Published on September 17th, 2014 | by JCDoyle


Trees #5 – Comic Review

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President Rahim is dropping weapons on the Puntland Tree in a move that allows him to flex his political muscles while at the same time proving his hypothesis that the Trees don’t give a shit about what happens around them.

Meanwhile a heavy military force heads toward the city of Shu which surrounds another Tree. Inside the city Tian Chenglei wakes after a party to find himself in a situation he couldn’t ever have expected but is far from unwanted. He believes it’s the start of his new, wonderful life but the approaching jeeps and tanks suggest a different future.

Another meanwhile: Eligia is shown into Professor Bongiorno’s hideaway, an old mansion once owned by the magician Aleister Crowley. The Professor explains some of the history of the house as a way of preparing Eligia for her coming trails.

And in a final meanwhile the reader is thrown to the Arctic to discover what has become of Marsh and his obsession with the Black Poppies. Not all is well in the frozen wasteland and something extremely strange is starting to happen.

Trees 5 insert

This series is building towards the end of its first arc and it looks as though something monumental is going to happen. Warren Ellis spends this issue positioning each of the central characters that he has introduced in the previous four issues, ready for whatever the Trees have to offer next issue. This is technically a filler issue, reminding the reader of each character and where they currently are in the narrative, however in Ellis’ hands it doesn’t read like one. Each of the separate story arc’s are progressed in some fashion and they are all linked to a change of status quo relating to a particular Tree. It is also a clever way for Ellis to contrast each of the central characters: while Malek feels his world sliding into disaster Tian begins to wallow in his new found life and Eligia prepares to take control of her life while Marsh’s control is completely taken away.

There is a shift in colour emphasis from one page to the next which helps the narrative to jump from one location to another but it also illustrates the emotional mindscape of the character that story element is focusing on. For example, Professor Bongiorno’s pages are filled with dark shades of green and grey and dirty yellows that highlight the menace behind the tale he tells Eligia about his home. The final panel of his section is coated in very dark greys with a splash of brilliant white in his eyes: an unnerving image foretelling the dubious intent behind his actions?

There is so much happening in this issue that it warrants a second reading almost immediately and the wait for issue 6 is going to be a painfully long one. The first issue of this series promised a lot and so far the creative team have not let us down.


Title: Trees

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Warren Ellis

Artist:  Jason Howard



Lover of comics and Art and Sci-Fi in multiple media. Currently teaching my kids the ways of the Geek (while protecting my first editions)

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