By Warren Ellis & Jason Howard
From this premiere issue, one can gather the immense scope that Warren Ellis and Jason Howard are trying to accomplish with Trees. Four different locations and three possible overlapping storylines with several characters are introduced. That’s a lot of content to process, which will warrant multiple readings, but Warren Ellis is able to write the exposition smoothly with conversational dialog between people.
Despite there being so much exposition, by the end of the issue, the reader is no closer to grasping what the heck is going on than before opening to the first page! All that’s left are more mysteries and open doors for the creative team lead us through…And that’s probably the point. With such a fascinating concept and the worldwide viewpoint, one can’t help but become hooked into this world. Turning the page to see what’s next and realizing it’s the end of the comic is such a heartbreaker. By this measure, Ellis has killed it on the initial introduction of the story.
Even though the book is called Trees, only a little bit of information is given about the behemoths that have mysteriously taken root across the world. Instead, the focus is shifted to how the world has adapted or coped with these organisms. Social injustices have become the norm in major cities; the poorer areas are closed off from the higher class, so that they may continue to live in wealth and prosperity. Blending sociopolitical plots with science fiction elements always makes for a compelling stor
There is fantastic imagery in this issue. Seeing the aftermath of the “sap” seeping from the trees in Rio de Janeiro was shocking to say the least. Also, the depiction of the various parts of the city of Shu was immersive. Howard really captured what it would be like to see things from a young boy’s perspective in a new city; bright, busy streets and the shadier living areas. The full spectrum was shown and Jason is more than able to present the large scope the story is going for.
This is comic is just a taste to massive world Ellis and Howard are attempting to create. 32 pages just aren’t enough or it’s just enough to leave the audience drooling for more. Get on board folks this is gonna be an intense ride!