This month sees the much-anticipated collection of the acclaimed Berger Books series – David Aja and Ann Nocenti’s The Seeds. The bees are swarming. What do they know that we don’t? In a broken-down world, a rebellious group of ruthless romantics have fled a tech-obsessed society to create their own… and a few cantankerous aliens have come to harvest the last seeds of humanity. When one of them falls in love with a human, idealistic journalist Astra stumbles into the story of a lifetime, only to realize that if she reports it, she’ll destroy the last hope of a dying planet. How far will she go for the truth?
The first thing that will draw eyes to this series is the stellar creative team. Writer Ann Nocenti is well known for her Marvel work, in particular her tremendous run on Daredevil that ran through the late 80s into the early 90s – which included the debut of Typhoid Mary and tackled prominent social issues – and her recent work for DC on Green Arrow and Catwoman. Artist David Aja is one of the most talented artists working in comics today. His work with Matt Fraction on Marvel’s Iron Fist and Hawkeye has some of the most creative approaches to visual storytelling, panel layout and covers you will ever see. His work on Hawkeye garnered him three Eisner Awards for both his interiors and covers. Since Hawkeye wrapped up, Aja has mainly been doing cover work. As awesome as those covers have been though, the world has been hankering for a return to interior pages. Fortunately, we now have that, alongside a highly talented writer in her own right.
Whilst the world might not be broken down to the point where we all have to wear gas masks and aliens are coming to harvest are remains, The Seeds definitely will strike a chord with readers today lamenting the state of the world. Whilst it’s doubtful that any of the creative team could have predicted when the series started that there would be a worldwide pandemic, it’s still very eerie how much of the story echoes what has happened to the world today. Despite this, Nocenti avoids going down the normal end the world route, and instead centres the story over Astra’s dilemma as she struggles with her conscience over whether to bring her story to the press or not. All the while, Nocenti explores the impact the bees and aliens are having on Earth making the dilemma all the more pressing.
Aja has not missed a beat in his time away from interiors and still has all the creative flair he has demonstrated in his previous work. He brings an extra degree of bleakness to this depressing world that the story occupies and strikes a perfect balance between the very human conflict that the story is based around, whilst also nailing the fantasy/alien elements. Plus, it goes without saying that his covers are stunning.
This is one of the best titles to come out of the Berger Books imprint and an impressive tour de force of two top tier comic creators. This one all comic fans need to read.
The Seeds is out now from Berger Books
(9781506705880, p/b, £16.99)
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