Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Trees #6 Review (Warren Ellis, Jason Howard)


I’d thought the series was getting more action-oriented after the last issue but Warren Ellis has chosen to settle back into the human drama of his characters than pursue any kind of plot to bring down the alien “trees”. Which isn’t bad to be honest and keeps readers guessing as to where all of this is heading. 

Most of the issue takes place in the cultural city around the Chinese tree. Chenglei, the artistic young man and new arrival, has hooked up with Zhen and discovered she’s a transgender and that he’s deeply in love with her. In Cefalu, Eligia discovers the secret behind her scummy boyfriend’s protection racket and moves to scupper it. 

Trees #6 is a comic that revolves around, and explores, the complexities of love, in particular homosexual love. This odd direction that Ellis has taken the series, purportedly about alien invasion, makes me smile because it’s so unexpected and I like being surprised with any comic that dares to do things differently. 

That said, there’s large scale sinister stuff happening in the background: the Chinese army have appeared in the cultural city and look menacing, their drones buzzing about everywhere, and there’s a quick look back in the Arctic Circle as the black flowers look like they’re creating a kind of zombie in one of the infected scientists! 

Trees #6, like the other issues, feels like a piece cut out of a larger narrative instead of a self-contained comic, and will probably read better in the trade. For that reason alone, it’s not a great issue though it’s got some good moments here and there. Who knows where it’s all heading though and whether or not any of the various threads will tie together? At any rate, I’m still interested to find out!

Trees #6

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