If you read the solicits for you’ll have seen “Injection” #1 described as sci/fi-horror-crime-techno thriller about 5 people that poisoned the world and now have to deal with the consequences. This first issue does not hint at any of that. Instead, there is nothing but unintelligible, indigestible dialogue about locations and organizations with no context whatsoever. And yet, despite not having a single clue about what anyone is talking about, I found the characters to be instantly relatable, likeable, and emotionally substantial. “Injection” #1 puts the art foot first and asks you to trust the story will come together later. I would encourage you to jump in with both feet, this is going to be something pretty remarkable.
WRITTEN BY: Warren Ellis
ART BY: Declan Shalvey
RELEASE: May 13, 2015
The story begins with a woman in some kind of hospital, Maria Killbride. She is talking to Control, the woman who manages Cursus, an office inside FPI. Control has an actionable, she is talking about exploitable resources, non-state actors, the awkward squad, active finds, and the Cultural Cross-Contamination Unit. I don’t know what any of this means and trying to figure any of it out with only frustrate you. I do know that this is a power struggle. Maria is tired, annoyed by Control, and feeling helpless, I can see it in her eyes. Control wants something from
Maria is tired, annoyed by Control, and feeling helpless, I can see it in her eyes. Control wants something from her and is using threats, intimidation, and manipulation to get it. It is remarkable that despite not being able to follow the conversation I’m instantly drawn into the dynamic. It is a testament to the work of Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire that the art is driving completely by itself right now. The lighting, camera, and character work tell the story that you ought to be hearing right now.
We are then thrown back pre-injection to the Cultural Cross-Contamination unit and the 5 people noted in the press release. Again, what transpires is unclear, and nothing else that happens in the rest of the issue is anything you’ll understand. But you’ll have a pretty clear picture of who three characters are, Maria, Robin, and Brigid, as emotional beings. Especially Robin, who is approached during a soul searching walk and similarly threatened. Robin is a broken man, but within him is great potential.
“Injection” #1 is essential storytelling: focused more on the “who” than the “what” and demonstrates what really matters to an audience; identifying with the characters. You may be turned off by all the confusion, but this issue taps into something deep and concentrated like a cave painting depicting the origin of man. Look past what you can’t see an focus on what you can, and you’ll find “Injection” #1 makes perfect sense. It is a story of failure, of control, of best intentions gone awry. I encourage you not to reject something because you can’t fully understand it. The answers aren’t going to all come spilling out, but there is enough foundation here to settle on that I’m prepared to let Ellis, Shalvey, and Bellaire take me away.
It is a story of failure, of control, of best intentions gone awry. I encourage you not to reject something because you can’t fully understand it. The answers aren’t going to all come spilling out, but there is enough foundation here to settle on that I’m prepared to let Ellis, Shalvey, and Bellaire take me away.