Illustrated by Eric Gapstur, Phil Hester, and Ryan Cody
From this description, it's going to sound like Image is letting Jeff Lemire do whatever the heck he wants, but hear me out.
In Family Tree, Meg, a young girl, is slowly transforming into a tree (I know!), and her single mother, Loretta, is trying desperately to figure out what's wrong with her, and why her teenage son is acting up again. When they decide to take Meg to the doctor, they are met by a clan of crazies who want to kill them, and then their action-movie-star grandpa comes to rescue them, slinging shotguns and bowling people over. They get to a doctor in Manhattan and Judd, the grandfather, reveals a little more about what happened to Loretta's husband, Judd's son, when she though he'd abandoned the family. Turns out, he was turning into a tree as well!
I have come to have an appreciation for Jeff Lemire this year over titles like Royal City and Descender, so I'm willing to go along with him on this Groot journey. Judd is a really interesting character, and I feel Loretta's frustration as she's just trying to keep her family together. Volume 1 collects only the first four issues of this story, so there's not as much time to really get into the details of what's happening. Nevertheless, I am intrigued and want to know why this family keeps sprouting into Grootlings, and how this may spiral into other events.
Image rates this as Teen+. There is a lot of language, some drug use and discussion, and some violence -- not super gory, but enough to keep it out of junior high libraries.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Edelweiss. This graphic novel will be on sale April 15, 2020.
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Horror
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