Each month the staff at 8th Dimension Comics picks out the best book to review. Look for Part 2 tomorrow.
Trees #1: Everything Warren Ellis does is amazing, and no one knows that better than Warren Ellis. That might sound snarky, but I think it allows him to do things on a slower burn than other comic creators sometimes. He know we'll wait for the payoff with him.
Trees is an alien invasion book, but easily the strangest one that I've ever read. A force from beyond out planet lands and takes over the world as trees. Giant trees. So big that they reach to the sky.
The trees emit a deadly poison occasionally, but are otherwise for the most part just large and inexplicable. It's sort of like the beginning of Independence Day except that it's not ridiculous. The best part of it is akin to what made the novel World War Z so gripping. E get to see how a universal and frightening phenomenon impacts different people around the world in an in-depth and sincere way.
There's more to come, but for now even the epilogue of Trees is something special.
Rating: 8 of 10
Thunderbolts #27: I've honestly never really gotten into Thunderbolts. General Ross as Red Hulk always made me yawn, and as fond as I am of Deadpool there is such a thing as too much freakin' Deadpool. This new story arc, though, is a must have.
Frank Castle can only play nice for so long with any team, and adding in a morally ambiguous leader like Ross to chafe against really cuts down on that time limit. After tracking a mind-control villain intent on killing The Avengers and doing something unspeakable to Captain America, the team come across an entire murdered high school. Deadpool and Ross sell the scene perfectly; commiserating how only the absolute worst people hate Captain America in some hilarious dialogue.
However, Ross' ultimate command decision leads The Punisher to quit the team in disgusts, and sets him up for a showdown with one of the deadliest team of miscreants in the Marvel universe. This is going to be classic Frank Castle stuff.
Rating: 7 of 10
This story continues on the next page.
Saga #20: When time allows the first series I always catch up on is Saga because it's the best. Simply, the best. Brian K. Vaughan has written the greatest mind-fuck space opera ever.
So this week I got to grab #19, which opens with a TV-headed robot baby coming out of a vagina in all the gloriousness Fiona Staples can draw that idea with. This far in Saga, she and Vaughan can literally do anything and make it work it work.
#20 is the start of something heartbreaking though, as the long love story between Alana and Marko appears to be shattering. It's impossible to believe with all they've been through, but there are cracks on the edge of everything. Meanwhile, the Robots (The TV-headed folk mentioned earlier) are poised to see their entire government brought down when a commoner rises up and plots to change the world in a bloody coup. In case I haven't said it enough... Read. This. Series.
Rating: 9 of 10
Princess Ugg #1: For the all ages crowd this week let's look at Princess Ugg by Ted Naifeh. In a world of traditional princesses Ugla is a fur-clad, axe-wielding warrior from the north. Happy as she is in her barbarian lifestyle, she recognizes that there is something missing in her life and leaves her home to attend a princess school hoping to find it.
On the back of a woolly mammoth because of course she does.
Coming into towns she's taken for trash and attacked in the street by the guards of a more prim and proper lady. The fight that ensues is the best thing this side of Rat Queens and mixes combat and comedy like a medieval Spider-man. Eventually, her identity is revealed and she is assigned student's quarters to start her education.
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And guess who her roommate is. A fantastic book full of fun.
Rating: 7 of 10
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2.