Could this series never end please? I’m serious, I can’t get enough of this book and every time it ends it feels too soon. If I didn’t have an exact page count to keep track of I would swear they’re getting shorter, but in reality I believe I’m reading it faster with each issue. This issue produces some fantastic scenes and again plays into my theory that Warren Ellis is writing different genres for each character’s story. I hope that’s the case because if so then it’s one of the most important works in comic literature. Even if it’s not it would still be an impressive story, that try as you might would only work as a comic book.
The issue begins with our political drama as Rahim the leader of the African country that is stuck with its hand out to the rest of the world because its neighbor got the better end of the stick. He’s put missile launchers atop of the “Tree” and we see what they look like for the first time. Low and behold it’s not just legs like we’ve previously witnessed. There’s a reason why the legs/trucks are always so close together they actually feed into a larger structure.
We also check in with Tian Chenglei our artist who has finally found his place in the world, but we have to wonder how long it will last?
What’s become one of my favorite stories are the Professor and his new protégé. He continues to walk her through the house which has a long history that feeds into what they’re doing there in a strange way.
What’s proving to be the most interesting is our sci-fi story in the arctic. Last time we saw what Marsh was up to and this issue… we’ll the situation hasn’t improved, but we’re getting a better inkling of what’s going on with the flowers.
This is another great issue. I don’t know if it’s quite as good as issue four, but that’s bound to happen when the story pops at certain places in the plot. Ellis continues to deliver strong dialogue and paces the story incredibly. We check in with four stories, but not an equal amount of time with them. You’d think that because of that one story wouldn’t be as strong as the others, but it’s the opposite. Ellis focuses each chunk in such a way that he doesn’t leave it until there’s been enough substance delivered. I sometimes wonder if he’s just writing pages and sending it to Jason Howard and then Howard actually creates the issue when he’s reached a certain page count.
Speaking of Howard his artwork supports my theory at times. For instance the scene with the professor the style changes slightly. Suddenly there’s a lot of extra line work which feeds into the lighting of the scene, but also serves to make that section look different from the other stories. With Zhen and Tian it’s cleaner and even the lettering changes. If you think that for one second that Howard isn’t telling as much of this story as Ellis is, then you’re not paying attention.
I know that Ellis has mentioned that he’s working on more of this series, but I’ve yet to hear that Image is planning more after issue six. I hope there’s more because this is definitely one of these best series they’re publishing.
In my opinion this is an important piece of comic literature. I think what the team is doing is incredible and groundbreaking. I know, I know, “groundbreaking” is a buzz word or so commonly used that it’s lost all meaning, but it’s not a word that I use lightly in reviews… in fact this might be the first time. Catch up on this series if you’re not following it already.
Writer: Warren Ellis Artist: Jason Howard Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 6/17/14 Format: Print/Digital