It's dangerous to buy anything on name value alone (just ask Cyberpunk 2077 players), but sometimes, a person can be tempted. The Seeds, a comic from Ann Nocenti and David Aja, is that temptation. Nocenti's a world-traveling comics veteran, and Aja, you know, from his trend setting work on Marvel's Hawkeye. Eagle-eyed readers will note this pairing teamed up for a Daredevil short story called 3 Jacks, way back in 2009 when Ed Brubaker wrote Daredevil.
This time around, the team got to work on their own property, courtesy of Karen Berger and Dark Horse. So what's The Seeds about? Aliens, biotech, reporting, and "the end of the world." The Seeds follows Race (a grey man style alien) and Lola (a human woman) as they're eventually found out by a tabloid reporter and photographer called Astra. Race's fellow aliens want to harvest seeds from humans and get out before the end of the world. Race, after meeting Lola, wants to stay.
Predictably, the result is great. Aja's pages dazzle and bring out the life in Nocenti's script. For example, the recurring theme of harvest, whether it's reporters bringing stories to the editor, bees bringing honey to the queen, or aliens bringing our seeds back to space with them. The Seeds rewards multiple readings, whether it's the recurring hexagonal honeycomb visual or Aja's use of the nine-panel grid.
Aja's use of olive as the only color in the book can range from apocalyptic to drab, depending on the requirements of the story. Aja also uses what looks like a lot of screen tones on the pages, but whether it's analog or digital, I can't tell. What I can tell you is if I'd gotten The Seeds earlier, it would've made my best of 2020 list. As it happens, I didn't, so The Seeds is the first comic I read in 2021, which sets a perilously high bar for everyone else.
Forgive some editorializing: The success of The Seeds is a logical consequence of putting a good team together with a combined half a century's experience in the medium (if not more) and giving them what they need to succeed. Presumably, we can thank Berger for that.
Here's to many more from Aja, Berger, and Nocenti.