Seriously, will someone get Professor Maria Killbride a sandwich? Beyond this simple request, I’m having trouble grasping the overall story arc that writer Warren Ellis is trying to build in Injection #1. Opening from within Sawlung Hospital, we find one of our main characters, Killbride, being spoken about in reflection before speaking personally to an antagonist before her: Control, from the FPI – Force Projection International. Distracted but focused, Killbride addresses her identity to Control in order for Control to reveal her purpose for her visit – cleaning up Killbride’s mess.
Next is a flashback for Killbride which introduces our additional main characters to the series. All members of the Cultural Cross-Contamination Unit, these are Robin Morel, Simeon Winters, Brigid Roth and the yet unnamed man pictured dressed dapperly with a purple ascot. They did… something with their combined skillset that has put the world off kilter. It seems now they’re partially responsible for fixing the mess they’re believed to have made.
Ellis is able to interject some wit into his opening chapter, but I’m more than confused throughout the whole thing. The dialogue talks both indirectly and vaguely as if everyone is trying to remember something. However, they are all very present in the scenes before them. I don’t know if this was accidental or a style choice but as a reader I’m left more with questions than interest in pursuing additional issues. Ellis’s wordplay I feel is unsuccessful.
Artist Declan Shalvey has a very specific style that he’s using for this series. The background is lush and detailed while the people are general and vague. The scenery envelopes our characters, which really works for the feeling I believe he’s trying to mirror from the story. Shalvey really brings to life the sense that outside forces are beyond the control of the people within it.
As it is the first issue it’s hard to complete want to give up on the story. Shalvey compliments what Ellis has given us so far and it makes me hope for clarity and answers, which is all I can really ask for as a reader. I’m not ready for a vaccine just yet. And if you’re in the kitchen, don’t forget the sandwich.
Injection #1 is available Wednesday May 13th 2015 from Image Comics. Find it where comics are sold.
Injection #1 (Image Comics)
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Declan Shalvey