The more that I’m reading of ‘Trees’ the more I am wishing I had waited until it came out as a graphic novel. With how much is going on and how little space there is in each comic, we are really only getting a snippet of the grand picture. When an issue is an absolute hit, I’ve flown through it wanting more. When an issue is a miss though, I am dying for the next one because I am fully convinced that it will get better. The last issue leads directly into the majority of the stories in this one though each felt a little too abrupt for my taste.
In this issue we get quite a bit from Ellis on character development. We are shown what the artist Tian Chenglei is up to, how he is fitting in at his new life, as well as quite a surprising development of what is happening right outside of the city that he finds himself in. There have been hints all along at what is right outside the door though it is unclear on what and why such a build up is happening. Past that, we check in on Luca and his student who still seem to be at odds with one another, though there are hints at why he might actually be teaching her how to use a knife. We take a look at the African nation that Rahim is in charge of and see that he has decided to use a Russian strategy of how to mount weapons on one of the trees in a way that no one has actually tried until now. Will this provoke one of the trees to actually act or do they truly not care what humanity does? Finally, the black flowers in the arctic have gotten a little out of control. We still don’t know what is going on with them but clearly they are not as harmless as the camp’s director felt they were.
As always, Howard’s art is spectacular and fits well in the odd mixture of the different views of humanity that we are being presented with here. Not only that, but something new happens in this issue as we get what I believe was our first look at the top of a tree.
My one concern here is that at this time Image has not sent out any solicits of ‘Trees’ past #6 and while Ellis has said that more is on the way, I fear we are about to be in for a bit of a break in the story. I’m not sure if they can give us a full enough detail on what is going on with just one more issue. Warren Ellis carried on his character development but there wasn’t much movement forward in plot and a bit of slow pacing had me down. I’d still recommend continuing the series for anyone who has invested their time in it so far, but this is probably my least favorite issue to date. Not that it makes this a bad issue, just the one that I’ve liked the least.
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Howard