Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Declan Shalvey
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 05/13/2015
Injection is a science fiction title from the creative team of Ellis, Shalvey, and Bellaire; already famous for their work for their work on Marvel’s 2014 re-launch of Moon Knight. It takes place in the not-too-distant future, centering around a team operatives that have fallen into disarray. The seemingly primary character, Professor Kilbride, is found wasting away in a hospital before she is contacted for a vague and foreboding mission (and not her first, from the implications). Other members of the team are scattered across Great Britain, finding their own ways to survive. Techno-babble and half allusions towards cryptic incidents fill the first issue, setting a stage for a complex world and an intriguing story without ever actually revealing anything about it.
From a storytelling point of view, this initial issue feels like a trailer for something grand. By the end of the story, there were more questions than answers (zero answers), and without the synopsis provided by Image, I doubt I’d have any inclination as to what genre I was even reading. Still, the set up is inherently tempting, and Ellis’s style of writing often favors a slow build towards revelation. There’s nothing wrong with it, perse, but there’s not exactly a lot to critique yet. I personally have no qualms, as I’m familiar with (and a fan of) Ellis’s style, but a new comic reader who happens to pick up the title might find it confusing.
Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire are, as always, on point. Their art creates a wonderfully dark and gritty sort of vibe throughout the work. It blends realistic elements with exaggerations to just the right degree that comics of this type should, and I’d be lying if I said they weren’t the reason I requested the opportunity to do this review in the first place. I could go on, but I’d imagine that you all have better things to do than to listen to me degenerate into a fanboy.
All in all, it’s a solid introduction to story for those who know what they’re getting into, and know that they want a darker, psychological sort of work. In those respects, there’s nothing bad that I can say about this work. As always, I suggest that each comic hook the reader on its own, with or without the context of previous or subsequent issues. For some readers, this might fail to sink that hook. Still, I’ll be reading it myself and recommending it to anyone that I can. Issue #1 of Injection is not just a premise, it’s a promise of things to come.