mstree1

mstree

1983 Series

Publisher: Eclipse
Publication Dates: October 1983 – June 1984
Number of Issues Published: 6 (#4 – #9)
Color: color
Dimensions: Standard Modern Age U.S.
Paper Stock: Baxter
Binding: saddle-stitched
Publishing Format: was ongoing series
Publication Type: magazine

Numbering continues from Ms. Tree’s Thrilling Detective Adventures (Eclipse, 1983 series) #3
Numbering continues with Ms. Tree (Aardvark-Vanaheim, 1984 series) #10

1985 Series

Publisher: Aardvark-Vanaheim
Publication Dates: August 1984 – May 1985
Number of Issues Published: 9 (#10 – #18)
Color: Colour cover; Duotone interior
Dimensions: Standard Modern Age U. S.
Binding: Saddle-stitched
Publishing Format: Was Ongoing Series
Publication Type: magazine

Numbering continues from Ms. Tree (Eclipse, 1983 series) #9
Numbering continues with Ms. Tree (Renegade Press, 1985 series) #19

1985 Series

Publisher: Renegade Press
Publication Dates: June 1985 – July 1989
Number of Issues Published: 32 (#19 – #50)
Color: Color cover; Duo-Chrome interior
Dimensions: Standard Modern Age U.S.
Paper Stock: Glossy cover; Newsprint interior
Binding: Saddle-stitched
Publishing Format: Was Ongoing Series
Publication Type: magazine

Numbering continues from Ms. Tree (Aardvark-Vanaheim and Renegade Press, 1985 series) #18

1983 Series Detective Adventures

Publisher: Eclipse
Publication Dates: February 1983 – July 1983
Number of Issues Published: 3 (#1 – #3)
Color: Color
Dimensions: Standard Modern Age U. S.
Publication Type: magazine

Information thanks to the Grand Comics Database

Ms. Tree was a comic book series and character co-created by writer Max Allan Collins and the series’ artist Terry Beatty. In addition to its obvious play on the word “mystery”, Ms. Tree was also the name of the series’ main character.

The title character is Michael Tree, a female private detective who takes over her husband’s investigation business when he is murdered. In her first case, she captures the murderer and discovers his link to the Muerta organized crime family.

Ms. Tree’s dead husband was named Michael Tree, the joke being that after the marriage they had the same name. (The female main character’s real first name actually is Michael; when friends want to irritate her they deliberately mispronounce it as “Michelle.” Michael Tree hates being called Michelle.) Series creator/writer Max Allan Collins makes no secret of the fact that Ms. Tree was inspired by Velda, Mike Hammer’s secretary, a stacked, gun carrying, six-foot tall brunette and Mike’s lover, who was almost as tough as he was. The basic premise of Ms. Tree was, “What if Velda and Mike Hammer eventually got married, and on their honeymoon he was murdered?”

Throughout the series, in addition to isolated cases that often touch on social issues of the day, Ms. Tree’s vendetta against the Muerta family is a major plot thread. Her methods often include deadly violence which she uses with little hesitation. In contrast to genre conventions, she faces serious consequences throughout the series for these violent actions including arrest, imprisonment, commitment to a mental hospital, and involuntary medication.

In another genre divergence, the male Michael Tree’s son, Mike (of course), inadvertently falls in love with the daughter of the Muerta matron. The female Michael disapproves of this arrangement but respects her stepson’s decision while observing with amusement the Muerta matron’s futile attempts to discourage it. To Ms. Tree’s shock, when the relationship grows enough to make marriage probable, the Muerta family decides Mike’s stepmother is now family and initiates a reconciliation with her while going legit.

In addition, Michael is impregnated by an old flame who is manipulating her to kill his wife. She decides to keep the baby, creating a unique series of adventures of this homicidal PI fighting off criminals even while dealing with a full term pregnancy while the mob family she hates moves to protect her in their own way.

Aardvark-Vanaheim 10-13




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Aardvark-Vanaheim 14-18





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Eclipse 4-6



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Eclipse 7-9



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Renegade Press 19-22




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Renegade Press 23-27





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Thrilling Detective Adventures 1-3



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