Published on August 21st, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Trees #4 – Comic Review
This means something….
This issue focuses on Tian Chenglei’s introduction to the welcoming city of Shu. Zhen drags him around the wondrous streets and tries to draw him out but at first she is faced with some resistance. But after a chance meeting with some of her friends and her statement about being transgender, Tian comes to realise that his worries are unfounded: he can find a place for himself and be who he wants to be.
Meanwhile in the arctic, Marsh had has made a discovery of his own relating to the Black Poppies and in France Malek finds out that Rahim is putting something on top of the Tree in Somalia.
This issue allows the locations in the story to grow as much as the characters. The city of Shu has a lot of depth and flavour, with the artistic and the free thinkers bounding through the streets but there is also a darker element in the shadows, something sinister lurking in the background.
Warren Ellis continues to push all the right buttons with his script for Trees and by choosing to focus heavily on a single character each month he gives the reader a chance to get to know the cast a little bit better than if they only had a few pages each month. How it’s all going to come together is still a mystery but a mystery that’s worth committing too. Ellis is on top form at the moment and this can be seen in some of the almost speech free pages in this comic. Pictures do speak a thousand words and Ellis knows when to keep his characters quite and let the art work do the speaking.
There is a page with six panels, all head shots of Tian’s face, depicting his internal struggle to understand the revelation Zhen has unleashed upon him and you can see the thought processes he goes through without the need for speech or voice over’s or internal monologues. This is because Jason Howard and Warren Ellis know exactly what they are doing and they don’t feel the need to spoon feed the reader.
This series is still in its infancy but it is growing fast, filling out like a well fed toddler. I currently love Ellis’ writing here, and in other titles, and Howard gives the scripts such a vibrant and energetic visual aesthetic. This is definitely not a title to miss.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Howard