Kara O'Connor

Trees #1: Warren Ellis’ Trees Sprouts Deep Roots

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They’re heeeere! In Image’s new title Trees by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard, the “trees” don’t seem to care that we humans are here too.

Trees #1 cover via imagecomics.com

Trees #1 cover via imagecomics.com

Trees #1
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Howard
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 28, 2014

Trees #1 – $2.39 Retail Price: $2.99 You Save: $0.60

In Warren Ellis’ latest sci-fi effort Trees, giant sentient beings in the shape of tree trunks have planted themselves on Earth and are occupying our puny planet. Set ten years after the Trees have landed and seeped green goo into the cities they’ve crushed, the story focuses on the humans who, at this point, have become used to the presence of their new neighbors. Biochemicals and nukes don’t seem to affect the giant monsters. Societies have both lost and regained their sense of structure in the wake of the Trees’ arrival, and now an unsteady culture exists where sometimes even the police act like gang members. As things appear to settle into a new “normal” and people try to get back to their lives, a young artist travels from his tiny village to the opulent city of Shu. A special cultural zone sequestered off from the rest of the world, Shu acts as a sort of petri dish for our new wooden inhabitants and attracts various creative types looking for inspiration. Thousands of miles away, scientists in the Arctic have refocused their research on the alien Trees in the hopes of understanding the visitors and their purpose. And in New York City, the political system hasn’t missed a beat, continuing its legacy of bullshit campaign speeches and empty policies with “Trees” as the new buzzword. So many unanswered questions remain after the conclusion to this issue. What do the Trees want with us and our planet? Is there even an agenda at all? Can we even handle the eventual outcome or will we tear ourselves apart at the societal seems? While Ellis’ aims and future plans remain uncertain, there is already an interesting view into how we humans cope with sudden change. Similarly, Jason Howard’s art reminds me of a beautiful Robert Capa photograph, helping to add to this in-depth look at how individuals and communities react to the unplanned. Ellis has always ventured into interesting socio-cultural commentary, and I look forward to where he plans to take us. More importantly, I’m excited to learn what Ellis and the Trees will force us think about.

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