|INJECTION No. 4, August 2015|
Amidst the unnecessary and juvenile application of profanities within his characters’ conversations and the utterly unfollowable technobabble of “five crazy people” as they discuss their work’s final findings, storyteller Warren Ellis inadvertently also stumbles upon an all-too worringly apt description for this comic book’s narrative… “It’s so boring.” For whilst Professor Kilbride is clearly describing her team’s unappetizing vision for the planet’s future when she extrapolates that Mankind has previously reached “a peak of novelty and innovation” and must now “enter a long trough. Straight flat line”. The insane guilt-ridden ‘troubled scientist’ could just as easily be talking about the quality of this title’s writing and just how tediously poor the English author’s storyline is.
For starters this periodical squanders its entire twenty-page length in order to just simply depict Maria deciding to visit “an abandoned factory” in order to ascertain whether there has been “an incursion from deep history or another strata of space-time or a previously mysterious terrestrial life form that we once believed to be folklore” within its dilapidated ruins. Everything else, whether it be Control updating the new Dispatch (and reader) with a series of media files showing Kilbride facing “more than we can ever find the words to describe in plain briefing documents”, Simon Winters being collected from Criochfort Terminal Two at Dublin Airport or Robin Morel “circling around the notion of building something to accelerate the future and… doing it to the world without warning” is superfluous, arguably somewhat sanctimonious, padding… and discourse-heavy incomprehensible padding at that.
Admittedly the Essex-born writer does manage to ‘inject’ a little of his (in)famous humour, barbed or otherwise, into this “creator-owned project". The British Foreign Office serviceman inadvertently stepping in some ‘dog muck’ whilst out on a friendly ramble with his team-mates is rather droll, as is Maria’s “Star Trek” quote during a theological discussion; “Ye Cannae break the laws of physics! The budget cannae take it, cap’n!” There’s even a facetious ‘pop’ at the “Sapling Foundations” Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conferences. But such amusements are few and far between, and certainly don’t compensate for an otherwise lethargic read.
Equally as unfathomable as Ellis’ “sociocultural commentary” is Declan Shalvey’s inexplicably inconsistent illustration work. The Irish penciller’s misshapen, overly-angular and surprisingly undetailed figures, such as those drawn for a lack-lustre-looking ‘flashback scene’ staged within a public restaurant, are uninspiring at best, and genuinely make one wonder why Eric Stephenson, publisher at “Image Comics”, thought “the two of them together are an absolutely amazing team.”
|The 'Haunted' variant cover art of "INJECTION" No. 4 by Declan Shalvey|