by Warren Ellis & Jason Howard
The series Trees so far has been a delicate slow burn sci-fi series. These past few issues have manly focused on different characters living in various parts of the world that are inhabited by these alien trees. This week’s latest issue follows in that tradition, mainly focusing on Chenglei in the city of Shu and Eligia in Cefalu.
Trees is starting to take form now and you can see Warren Ellis moving things into place for something. Trees can be frustrating as a monthly read. All the different characters being formed while the story slowly molds around them is worth it if you’re patient. This particular issue had been about relationships. We get two contrasting stories, Chenglei’s young love with his older neighbor Zhen and Eligia’s one-sided relationship with Tito. It was a nice theme and it’s becoming fun watching these characters evolve (especially Chenglei). However there is still the looming threat of a war in Somalia and the mysterious appearance of the black flowers on a tree in the arctic.
Jason Howard has handled all artistic aspects in Trees so far, and every issue has consistently looked amazing. He has this style, particularly with his way of shading, that really sets the tone in the world of Trees. When you combine his sketchy ink style and his subdued color palette, it thrusts the reader right into this dystopian and chaotic society; even the simple and ominous design of the extraterrestrial Trees add a haunting overtone to this broken world.
Trees is slowly coming together and is becoming rewarding to those who have stuck around to enjoy it. Character and world building are always essential parts to great and lasting stories. The concept of Trees starts simple enough that it gives the series room to expand. Clearly there are plenty of places this story can go, and those possibilities are part of what makes Trees such an intriguing read.