Trillium #1 Review

By: Rob Neil Gruszecki

            In the year 3797, Nika examines video footage of a failed recon mission into the heart of the planet Atabithi, a habitat at the edge of existence and at the base of one of the largest black holes in the solar system, Trottier-6. It is here where a science exhibition attempts to cultivate a mysterious plant, Trillium, that may unlock the antidote to a sentient virus. One that has chased the human race to the end of space and only grows more powerful and aware with each day. After being informed of the Caul’s arrival at a colony on Crius, Nika must reevaluate her plan of long term diplomacy with the native Atabithians in exchange for more aggressive measures to harvest the potential salvation of her people.

In the year 1921, William, a soldier still traumatized by World War One and haunted by echos of his past, navigates through the thick jungle of the Amazon in search of the Lost Temple of the Incas. His memories bleed into his present and he finds that he is constantly running from death that chases him to the edge of reality much like Nika almost two thousand years later.


Worlds and times collide in a story of love, war and the constant struggle to perpetuate life.


Trillium is the new 8 issue mini-series from artist/writer Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Lost Dogs). While responsible for some pretty great superhero work at DC such as Green Arrow, Animal Man and Trinity War, it’s his independent work in comics that make Lemire one of the most important creators in comics today. His art style is like no other and his imagination is limitless. Stories like Essex County and Underwater Welder have delivered beautifully touching tales of family, loss and hope that are unforgettable. His ability to convey so much raw and sincere emotion in his books is relentless and his talent for storytelling is something all comic fans should be exposed to. Lemire’s dynamic when he is illustrating his own scripts is organic and captivating, not that his strictly scripted work isn’t, simply that his strengths shine brighter when exercising his singular vision for a comic.

Issue one of Trillium functions as a flip book where one half is the story of Nika in The Scientist while the opposite is William in The Soldier. This device is no mere gimmick as it’s delivery is a clever tool that services the conclusion of both chapters perfectly. Each chapter is dense and filled with astounding artwork, vivid character development, lushly realized worlds and substance that doesn’t simply set the stage for the following 7 issues but also contains two concise adventures that overlap thematically as well as structurally.

Trillium is an astounding first issue and another home run for Vertigo comics but more importantly, a showcase of Jeff Lemire’s growth as an artist and writer with a fresh concept treading new ground creatively. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and believe it will be a highlight of the year in comics.


Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior

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