Injection, Vol. 1
Warren Ellis, writer; Declan Shalvey, artist; Jordie Bellaire, color; Fonografiks, lettering & design
In this series writer Warren Ellis really brings together all of his interests (obsessions?) in one title. It features a group of five people--all of them uniquely talented specialists--who were brought together by a secret British government organization to predict the future. But when they look ahead, they see a society where innovation has stagnated, so they decide to do something about it. The technological/magical virus (the Injection, a non-biological artificial consciousness emulator) they inject into reality produces change, all right, but with massive unintended consequences. So we have technology, tradition/magic and its ongoing effect on the present, and governmental conspiracy.
The secret history of the world and the small group behind it are reminiscent of Planetary. The Injection team do not possess superpowers, but they all have skills far beyond the usual norm, so they almost might be superheroes in their role of dealing with the bizarre changes they have inadvertently created. The work they did together is in the past, and is told in frequent flashbacks (with a light color scheme that gives a clear visual cue). Now they have separated, but they all feel a responsibility for what they’ve done, which they react to in different ways.
The effects of the injection are bizarre, and the implication is that they may become even stranger. Bridgid the IT specialist is called to the scene of a computer tech who has wired himself directly into a computer system so the Injection can talk to her through him. Maria Kilbride, the genius who led the team, is summoned to a laboratory which has been transformed by a spriggens, a kind of pixie (not the cute kind) that was released by sonic exploration of a ringing rock. Transformed as in, looks like a portal into an ancient forest.
Lots of almost metaphysical dialog--which Shalvey always makes visually interesting--and really horrific visuals, which the art team totally nails. The Injection is conscious, and it’s got plans. The team members are in for it now, and the world has no idea what’s coming.
Nice review Mark. I've been enjoying this series quite a lot.
Thanks, Randy. I figured there were probably some folks here who are reading it. I was eagerly anticipating this collection, and was not disappointed.
I need to read these all in a bunch -- issue by issue, they're somewhat self contained, but build on each other side to side... a bunch of smaller incidents laying the foundation for the big story to come. I like what I've seen so far, though.
Just read the TPB and thought it was fantastic. I was thinking about adding comments in various threads but decided I would just add to the chorus in this one. Definitely fills the gap left when Planetary came to an end.