Those lovely people at Image Comics made Warren Ellis’ Trees Issue 1 free to download for a few days. For me a new Warren Ellis comic is something to celebrate. Anything by Jason Howard is likewise worth raising a glass to. Trees feels like something special – I hope it runs and runs because seeing where Ellis can take something when given free reign is to see one of the best comic writers in the game doing his thing. Some writers come in with a concept, with research, and the story kind of gets bogged down in it; it sinks under a tide of exposition and the narrative can’t breathe. Ellis has this way of permeating the story with underlying themes, but running with the tale and the characters. This way of telling a story is always better in my opinion because it involves discovering the truths of the world you are being invited into, not being forcefed the structure and being left to feel that the characters are little more than ciphers or walking talking plot devices. So Trees gives us an alien invasion with a difference – an alien presence that is truly alien, not humanoid, not a stand in for some racial group, but a presence that exerts a pressure on all those around them.It recalls Wyndham for the implacable presence and it’s societal impact, and also those monoliths from 2001, except both of these comparisons fall down a little when you look at the time scale and then consider that the motivation of the invaders becomes apparent pretty quickly. I mean obviously I haven’t read the second issue but I figure this is going to be a slow reveal. I love the artwork, and the way Howard has created different atmospheres for the varied settings makes me excited for the series as a whole. Ellis plays to an artists strengths, so you know he is going to feed Howard just what he needs to turbo charge him. Both of them bringing their A game – if you aren’t excited by that then you are edging into retard territory.