Published on June 17th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Trees #10 Review
In which the Mayor Elect of New York acts a touch sinister and Dr Creasy leaves London for The Brodgar dig.
The thing that I have noticed reading Warren Ellis’ Trees for the last 10 issues is that each issue is easy to sum up, at least in one respect. He concentrates on a limited number of his characters, allowing them room to breathe and not get them bogged down in panel sharing. This is a perfect approach for the type of story that is being told here; various aspects of the narrative are unfolding simultaneously but the script focuses just on the relevant sections and characters, telling a story within the issue that feeds into the greater story. It’s a technique that George RR Martin uses in his A Song of Ice and Fire novels to keep his vast cast under control and is used in the same way by Ellis.
So, the story this month is pretty straight forward. The Mayor Elect convinces the previous Police Commissioner to stay on for another term despite knowing that the aging general is a corrupt bastard. This in fact seems to be important to the Mayor and his decision. The opening of this issue is filled with the disasters visited upon New York when the mysterious Trees arrived and this provides a disturbing backdrop to the underhand dealings in the corrupt mayoral office. It would appear that politics is still a haven for the unscrupulous.
The story then switches to Dr Creasy in a juxtaposing story about people trying to survive despite the horrors around them. Creasy is reminded of how unsettled city life is when there is a fire bomb attack on a house of Indian families and this seems to expedite her journey north to investigate the UK Tree site (she was cajoled into it last issue). Her journey is full of surprises as she, and the reader, expects the dig site to resemble in some ways the Artic site from the first arc; there is a preconception about scientific operations that somehow has you believing they would be remote and inhospitable. However the Doctor discovers that everyone is friendly and she has all the modern amenities that she needs.
Ellis writes an interesting story with engaging characters that grow, naturally, as the narrative develops. At the same time he uses the story as a sounding board for his social commentary, highlighting aspects of the modern day by dropping them into the background and peripheries of the comic. The firebombing in the street goes unexplained but the reactions of the characters around the incident resonates with the reader because it is how most people encounter terrorist attacks; without any understanding of what’s happening. There is shock and fear but also a sad acceptance of the situation.
To understand the larger story you obviously have to read all of the previous issues however Ellis always has something to say in each issue as if his narrative is a construct of micronarratives, fitting together in a large, complex jigsaw of a concept.
Keep reading this comic because it keeps rewarding you, page after page.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Howard