I didn’t manage to get a review up of the last issue of ‘Trees’ but it was a good one. Compared to this issue, though, it pales in comparison. In fact, the entire series pales in comparison to the eighth issue of ‘Trees.’ Everything that has happened so far has been building to this issue and if it was in the Marvel Universe, this would be the issue that “changes everything.” While it is a stand out issue for the events that happen, it still manages to be a huge build up issue as well!
I’ve always been a fan of Warren Ellis and this issue is a perfect example of why. Some of what we saw happen on page was expected but there were more surprises than not. In fact, for ‘Game of Thrones’ fans the only thing I can say is that this is the “Red Wedding” of the series. Only I have to wonder if it will be just the first of many. It has been so easy to lose ourselves in the characters that Ellis has introduced us to so far and this one is going to pull at some heart strings. In fact I’ve gotten so invested at the character level that I almost forgot that much larger events are going on, trees not included.
In the art end of the book, Jason Howard is at the top of his game. Every scene draws you in and has meaning. Love, loss, Intrigue, it is all spelled out perfectly by his ability to weave Ellis’ words in between the action.
Honestly, I both love and hate Warren Ellis for this one. The issue is an eye opening moment as I feel that we’re really only coming close to the end of the first chapter of this saga even though I had convinced myself we were much further in. We’ll see hints of what is going on here in the United States, in the Chinese city of Shu and things falling apart in Cefalu and Puntland as well as a chilling vision of the flowers in Svalbard.
Aside from the brief shot of the United States, each and every scene will have a major impact on our story going forward.
Honestly I won’t lie. I felt that I finally had an idea of where the comic might be going until this issue. Ellis has taken my concept, crumpled it up, threw it in the garbage, added some lighter fluid, lit it up, and relieved himself on it to put out the flame. All of that just happened here and even with the pain of it, I can’t wait to see where we go from here!
I suspect we’re finally going to be given a liberal dose of what the United States are truly up to in this book and that the political and military side of things are about to largely ramp up.
‘Trees’ may have started a little slow but Ellis and Howard are clearly building an epic tale that you can’t help but be drawn in by. I almost want to say to wait for graphic novel installments because the wait on issues is killing me to know what happens next. They’ve crafted a tale that will draw you in with some subtle science fiction that appears to be building to something larger, a changing political/social atmosphere, and in this issue a Scorched Earth approach that would leave Stephen King, Joss Whedon, and George R.R. Martin proud.
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Howard