The first issue of Trees was more than enough to enthrall me. The premise alone offered a hook that couldn’t be passed up: Mysterious and enormous stalks, dubbed “Trees”, have fallen from the sky and have taken root upon the earth. These Trees are alien beings that, quite simply, don’t even recognize the human race as intelligent life. Yeah, where do I sign up?
In issue number two we see quite a few additions to the already big cast that was introduced in the first issue. Where one might think that having so many threads to follow would only convolute things, what we see here is writing at its finest. With every new personality that is introduced, we can feel a backstory as heavy as lead having only read a short amount of dialogue. Warren Ellis is a master of his craft. The fact that I feel more than invested in every character introduced is a boon to this title.
Sure, there really isn’t that much in the way of advancing the plot as far as answering the questions that are on everyone’s mind:
Where did the Trees come?
Why are they here?
But that is not the point of this story. We see a lot of character development going on and I’m not disappointed with that. The Trees have been on the earth for over ten years and many people have many different hypothesis as to what they are. And that’s the great thing about this book. We aren’t pigeonholed into viewing this story from one or two perspectives. Rather, we are seeing this story unfold from the eyes of many people spanning across not only geography, but across socio-economic lines, across a wide spectrum of intellect, across many different cultures, and across the moral spectrum. This is what makes this book so great.
Jason Howard’s art is wonderful here. His ability to portray each scene in a way to make you feel like you are there inside this world is borderline uncanny. After reading this book, I felt like I could look out my window and see a Tree towering above my neighborhood.
If there is anything negative to say about this installment, it is the fact that some characters that were introduced in the first issue are nowhere to be seen here. Not to mention that we may be seeing too many threads play out at once; how many people can we keep track of and feel engaged? Another thing is that this may be a slow burn of a book considering that we are two issues in and are still getting introduced to new people and places.
Trees has been a wonderful read so far and I can’t wait to get my hands on issue number three. So far, I would be comfortable recommending this book to anyone.