Thursday, 4 June 2015

Injection #1 - Image Comics

INJECTION No. 1, May 2015
Judging by the pre-publication hype and advertising, this first instalment of an “ongoing series” crafted by a “critically-acclaimed creative team” is clearly something which has publisher’s “Image Comics” rather excited… And quite rightly so when the science fiction title reunites “best-selling and award-winning writer” Warren Ellis with artist Declan Shalvey and “Eisner Award-winning colorist Jordie Bellaire”; the visionaries behind the first six issues of “Moon Knight” (2014) by “Marvel Worldwide”. Unfortunately however, such enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily translate into an entertaining read and disappointingly this is certainly the case with “Injection”, a decidedly disturbing comic book whose narrative is as nonsensical and bewildering as its dialogue is profanity laden.

The vast majority of this confusion is due to Ellis’ misguided belief that by failing to provide any sort of clarification as to what is going on within his storyline he will generate an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. It doesn’t. Instead it simply creates utter bewilderment and uncertainty as to just what is going on and who the characters populating this periodical are.

Fortunately the British author has provided much more of an explanation as to this comic’s plot in some of the book’s marketing literature. But it really shouldn’t be necessary for anyone buying this magazine to have to seek out promotional material in order to understand that “set in a dystopian future” this publication is all about a multinational corporation scientist who having “poisoned the twenty-first century” now has “to deal with the corrosion to try and save us all from a world becoming too weird to support human life.”

It would though be useful if any of the foul-mouthed “crazy people” the Eagle Award-winner has created were in anyway likeable or even bearable. With sandwich-obsessed Professor Maria Kilbride, presumably Ellis’ lead character for this series, proving to be especially annoying with her brusque ‘holier than thou’ attitude and overly aggressive willingness to assault innocent co-workers simply because they use an acronym with which she is unfamiliar; “Get me a [bleeping] sandwich” indeed.

Equally as galling is the creator-owned publisher’s belief that this title is already destined for a long healthy run of “graphic novels about how loud and strange the world is getting”. Admittedly the likes of Ellis, Shalvey and even colorist Bellaire have a following of loyal fans willing to support even arguable horrors like this twenty-page purported “techno-thriller”. But it is hard to imagine without some significant improvements and story revelations that a book of such ‘shaky’ quality will survive on the stands for too long.
The variant cover art of "INJECTION" No. 1 by John Paul Leon

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