Saturday, 11 June 2016

Injection, Volume 2 Review (Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey)


The Injection is a massive rogue artificial machine-learning system that is operating uncontrolled somewhere in the ether. Detective Vivek Headland and his colleagues, who created Injection, are trying to find it while another group, Rubedo, are trying to capture it, believing it’s the Philosopher’s Stone. But what does a stolen ghost and a slab of human bicep meat have to do with it?? 

The Moon Knight creative team of Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire continue to produce an interesting but mystifying story with Injection Volume 2. That said I found the second book more accessible than the first mostly because this one follows Detective Headland and his tough guy butler Red as they investigate the weird case of a rich dude, the ghost of his mistress, and his dead son; it’s still nutty but less abstract than the overarching storyline and more enjoyable too. 

Where I find Injection so bewildering is how this missing ghost/cannibalism case ties into the storyline of the rogue artificial intelligence. Not that I’ve really understood what the storyline there is anyway: why was the Injection created and what’s it trying to do – is it good or bad? But it isn’t just that, there are other baffling scenes like Vivek’s sex scene where he changes partners and locations with each panel – whuuh!? There’s also a sequence where Vivek appears at different times in history – is he immortal?! Vivek also spends several pages trying to convince Robin Morel to join the Breaker’s Yard (whatever that is) for some reason – Robin’s also got a kinda lightsaber weapon! Uh… (pulped brain starts pouring out of my ears.)

The book is a little overwritten for what it is: odd, highly paid people talking about doing inscrutable things while Vivek plays Sherlock Holmes to an investigation that doesn’t really go anywhere or add up to anything – there’s so much talking and the reader is left none the wiser on what’s happening. It’s a slow moving read and quite unengaging for the most part despite Ellis’ trademark salty quips thrown in. Declan Shalvey’s art is quite good though and Jordie Bellaire’s colours are excellent as always - lots of definition, very cool veneer. 

Injection is a more sophisticated Scooby Doo-type mystery comic that’s borderline incomprehensible – if that sounds appealing to you, have at it! Even die-hard Ellis fans like myself though are going to have a hard time finding stuff to like in this series.

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