Injection marks the pairing of Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey in a new series that plays things very close to its chest. What it does give us though is just enough strangeness and sickly humour to sink our teeth into while giving off the impression that is not our world. Instead, Injection is a world where elements of horror and sci-fi are things the characters are all too familiar with.
Ellis doesn’t reveal too much of the plot in this first issue but it doesn’t take away from the issue. I did find myself a little bit confused by the middle of the issue but I managed to stick with it. Ellis focuses on building a beautiful and strange world that teases just enough to make us want to read the next issue and watch the story unfold. Corporations and organisations within the government are a key element to the world of Injection and Ellis sets it up that even though their functions aren’t fully explained, they aren’t trustworthy either and each of our characters has had some sort of a run in with them.
The characters introduced in this first issue is where Injection #1 really excels. Ellis presents each character as someone that reached their breaking point and has been struggling with their sense of self ever since. A brief flashback sequence gives the reader a look at a cheerier side to the characters that has since been replaced with anger, paranoia and frustration.
Professor Maria Kilbride was a standout character of this issue for me. The issue begins with Maria as a hospital patient, left using a cane to walk from an incident that isn’t explained. What I loved about this character was her air of Sarah Connor from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. She looks like someone that has been through hell and has been pushed to her absolute limit, leaving her in a hospital that resembles an asylum. She has been reduced from a chirpy professor to a woman that is frustrated, tired, and threatens to beat someone with her cane for speaking in acronyms!
With a near perfect story from Ellis, it is left up to the art and colours of Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire to deliver it all onto the page. The result is absolutely stunning. I’m a big fan of the Irish duo and being a fellow Irishman, I loved Shalvey’s rendition of Dublin in the final few pages. Jordie’s colours compliment the art beautifully and it is in the sci-fi elements that her colours really shine through the blending of dark greys and blacks with glowing greens and blinding whites.
Overall Injection #1 is a beautifully written and illustrated issue that doesn’t give everything away but instead makes the reader question and guess what has left our main characters in their current states. It is easy to get a bit confused with the plot, or the lack thereof, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable read. The characters and the world Ellis has crafted steal the show in this issue and I look forward to seeing where he takes them.