REVIEW: ‘Family Tree,’ Issue #8

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Family Tree #8

Family Tree #8 is published by Image Comics. It comes from the creative team of writer Jeff Lemire, artists Eric Gapstur and Phil Hester, colorist Ryan Cody, and letterer Steve Wands. The issue resumes with Judd in the middle of a fight for his life. As he takes out several of the attacking cultists, he is gravely injured. Meanwhile, Loretta is trying to cope with Meg’s transformation and the fact that she can hear her voice from inside the tree. The Doctor tells her that she sent Josh away for food and water, but he is safe.

Back at the gunfight, Darcy tells his wounded father that he has to go and vanishes. With all hope lost, Judd launches one desperate final attack, only to be rescued by Josh who was passing by. But even as things seem to be looking up, new dangers are just over the horizon.

Family Tree #8 is the explosive climax that I have been waiting for from Lemire and his team. The pacing is incredibly quick, and every page is gripping. By the end of this issue, I was stunned at the events that had transpired and my love for the series was renewed. There are moments of tragedy, hope, and complete and utter despair all packed into 24 pages. I wish I could talk more about that ending, but it deserves to be read unspoiled. For anyone who was concerned that this series had become less about horror and more action-oriented, this issue will dispel those fears.

Family Tree #8

The art from Gapstur and Hester runs the full spectrum of beautiful and gruesome. It takes talent to make violence beautiful, but these two manage it issue after issue. Though the panels are often gory, it is never in excess, and they shy away from copious amounts of blood. Instead, most visceral art comes from a different type of body horror. All of this is shown in lovely daylight tones and palette thanks to Cody. The excellently drawn panels are vibrant thanks to his coloring work. Equally commendable are Wands’ letters, though the light coloring for some of Darcy’s dialogue is still a bit difficult to read.

I truly loved this issue, and it’s horrific ending. I wish that I could watch other people read it just to see the looks on their faces. Over the course of the past seven issues, this has steadily climbed to one of my favorite series of all time. This issue cemented it’s placed there. If you haven’t been following along with this series, you need to drop what you’re doing and check it out. Family Tree #8 is a wild ride, but every second of it is a blast.

Family Tree #8 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Family Tree #8
4.5

TL;DR

I truly loved this issue, and…I wish that I could watch other people read it just to see the looks on their faces.