By Warren Ellis & Jason Howard
The story picks up in the location of North West Spitzenbergen, right where the premiere issue left off. The team at the Blindhail station has discovered a flora unfamiliar to the area. As they investigate the origin, Warren Ellis and Jason Howard depict events occurring in two more locations…
Considering that several areas were presented in the premiere, it was a real surprise that the creative team added two more. This just indicates that Ellis and Howard are going to show the full scope of how the trees affect the world. Attempting such a bold perspective and story is no doubt a bold move; so many places, characters, conflicts and plots to pay attention to. One can’t help but worry that this comic may be biting off more than it can chew. Luckily, it seems these two can handle it…so far.
Tying the opening of this issue with the end of the last was a smart structural move on Warren’s part because it allows the reader to acclimate to the new content that is introduced. The amount of political intrigue that is being written may seem a bit daunting, but Ellis is able to make these plots easily digestible for any reader. Any good science fiction story has political and social commentary and Trees looks to be on the right track!
With so many locales and people to show, this project is the perfect vehicle for Jason Howard’s illustrative work. He is able to beautifully render backdrops ranging from icy, isolating landscapes to somber, rocky coastlines. Some of the coloring is reminiscent of John Higgins’ work on Watchmen, which makes some of the events/characters ethereal. This is only the introduction to his artistic ability; I can’t imagine what he’ll bring to life next.
Trees is still developing, but it looks to be a very comprehensive and in-depth story. Ellis knows how to maneuver and map out such a complicated plot structure and Howard brings a distinctive look and tone to the material. This creative team could very well have a groundbreaking comic on their hands. I’m hooked and you should be too!