Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Howard
What They Say:
Luca has a plan for Eligia. It is not the plan she thinks it is. She is his knife now.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
A good part of the fun of this series is trying to get a handle on the ebb and flow of what’s going on with it when it comes to the global scale of the vent. While we’re seeing a lot of smaller character stories set amid the larger events, I’m admittedly drawn more to the larger events with what the represent. We got some good stuff with that early on with what’s going on in Somalia with what the president there, Rahim, thinks of the smallest of the Trees that has impacted his country and turned it from moving forward to moving backward, especially with how it’s impacted Puntland so positively. So seeing that he was finally making a move with the Tree in the previous installment had its own kind of excitement, which plays well here.
What we see is how he’s landing a lot of military hardware on top of the tree towards Puntland, using a tactic that the Russians had come up with but never executed since the Trees there are too high for it. It’s a curious plan and threat to use them as a platform for war, since the first shot fired from one of the mechanized vehicles would cause it to go sliding right off due to the low friction surface. And as its revealed here, just in setting all of this up and executing it Rahim has gone from a little known statesman on the political stage overall to someone that’s now leading in a way that others haven’t been able to before. There’s some decent politics going into this and some optics that work in Rahim’s favor even if it doesn’t go well in the end. But seeing someone after all this time take a risk really is intriguing.
This issue in particular is one that moves across several of the stories here. Chenglei gets a small bit of time as he’s really discovering that this place is where he wants to be, which isn’t a surprise after some rampant sexual experiences and a sense of kindred spirits. The Professor spends some time going over the history of the house he’s in and why it’s important for Eligia to understand it as he shapes her as his tool for his mysterious agenda. There’s some neat things talked about in it, but a lot of it is just taking away the knowledge base that he has and the connected nature to things with how he views people and events. The Norway science base gets most of the attention here overall, but mostly it’s reactive as we see that Marsh’s experiments with the plants have revealed that the more there are, the more they impact the usability of technology, to the point where it’s turning the base into a giant useless place – and Marsh himself into a seemingly catatonic state as it seems like they’re growing out of him as well.
Trees continues to expand its world, but more so in terms of what the various locations are getting involved with at this point. Focusing on Somalia – through the lens of TV news reports no less – shows a radical change in how the powers of the world will begin to use the Trees to their advantage after ten years of caution. At the same time, we shift between others like Chenglei and Eligia as they settle into their own new worlds and grasp at the meanings of it all. But the most intriguing really is what’s going on at the science base where Marsh has been overtaken by the plants and everyone else has to really come to the understanding that he wasn’t crazy and that he has found that something unexpected is going on. What it all means is still up in the air, but the stakes are slowly but surely being raised.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics
Release Date: September 17th, 2014