REVIEW: Deep Roots #2 by Dan Watters, Val Rodrigues, & Triona Farrell

Deep Roots No. 2 takes readers—ahem—deeper into the world of the story, and the book is all the more compelling for it. As I wrote last month in my review of No. 1, there’s a dual narrative in play here, with one story rooted (sorry) in the familiar world we know and another that details a knight lost in another realm, a realm of flora and more flora but not much fauna. In this issue, the distinction between the two dimensions crumbles a bit, as the creators do a wonderful job of starting to entangle the plots they set into motion during the first installment.

The artwork by Rodrigues and Farrell is incredibly strong. It’s no easy thing to flow so seamlessly between drawing a fight between a knight and a hulking grotesque monster in a world that exists only in tree roots, to the back of a limo on a crowded street in London, where  high-ranking government operatives discuss a massive civic emergency. But Rodrigues creates two fascinating environments, which Farrell easily differentiates via subtle shifts in color. All throughout, Watters knows exactly when to back off with dialogue or narration to let the visuals shine.

I wrote pretty glowingly about Deep Roots in my last review, so hooked was I by the first issue and the premise, and when one is so taken with a first issue, there’s always a risk the second will come be a let down. Deep Roots avoids that, and it actually felt like the team was freer in this issue, having established just enough exposition to really start hitting its plot points. In other words, none of my excitement for Deep Roots has diminished.

To read a history of the world in the trunk of a great oak…

I’m way in on all the book's main themes, the commentary about the environment, about what’s happened to man in technological world, and about governmental response to  crisis. I also like the characters, especially the dynamic between the two women who've gone into the other realm in search of the knight from our ongoing legend. And although I’m yet to grasp it, there seems to be something consequential happening with time, as the tagline of the book is “To read a history of the world in the trunk of a great oak…”, and our other world leaves behind those who have inadvertently gone to wander among the plants. I don’t yet have a supposition about what it all means, but I’m excited to find out.

Overall: Deep Roots No. 2 continues to build on the bold vision from the first issue. I went to bat hard for this book after reading part one, and in this second issue the story progressed in a substantial way that made me feel validated. Deep Roots is quickly growing (I’ll see myself out) into one of the best indie books on the market. 9.5/10

Zack Quaintance is a journalist who also writes fiction and makes comics. Find him on Twitter at @zackquaintance. He lives in Sacramento, California.

Rodrigues and Farrell's artwork shows hints of tree rings in the characters' faces.

Rodrigues and Farrell's artwork shows hints of tree rings in the characters' faces.