Injection presented a strong start with its first arc, and with the release of the second trade paperback, the trend only continues. As someone who loves buying single issue comics (totally not a comic hoarder), I find some stories are best read when presented in the full package. Injection is one of those comics. Ellis, Shalvey, Bellaire are presenting their hearts to us, the connection to their homes being as prominent as ever. Injections first arc not only introduced a wonderful story, but also a cast of characters so amazingly weird, I only wanted to peer further in to their lives. The second arc gives me exactly this, while also moving the story along in the best of ways.
If you’ve been keeping up with Injection, then you know a team of five “crazies” has created an artificial consciousness they’ve injected into the internet. And, now things are getting out of hand. The Injection has the brain power of all five of our cast of characters, and it’s trying to making contact with its creators in the most interesting of ways. With the second arc of the series things kick off right where they left off. Instead of starting off with Maria, though, it begins with Vivek. This might be my favorite things they did for the series. After having introduced the characters in the first arc, now the comic focuses solely on Viv, while keeping the rest of the cast in the loop. Vivek is the modern day Sherlock after all in this comic, so having him as the focus, helps move the story along without having to explain too much. Cause he just knows. Vivek is definitely similar to Benedict Cumberbatch’s, Sherlock, but I think Viv is a little more badass.
Tagging along with Vivek is a fantastic; it’s seeing who he is as a person that’s even more astounding. This man has done everything, literally anything you can think of, and while he seems detached, he definitely knows what it means to connect with someone. There is one particular scene that shows this, which might be one of my favorites in the series so far. Red his right hand man/butler tells Viv he has a date for the evening, making a remark towards the end how Viv might not understand human connection. The scene then moves to show, Vivek doing an assortment of things with varies people and shows for fact is connected deeply with people, especially those he cares for. At the same time, the scene is playing with the duality that Viv just wants to understand everything (there is a computer part of his brain he can never turn off.)
Speaking of that computer brain, I haven’t actually talked about the Injection! This thing is running rampant, and it’s doing some crazy paranormal stuff in hopes of getting Viveks attention. The Injection manages to do just that, in the form of manipulating a powerful CEO that comes to Vivek with a case. At the same time, it is getting the attention of a terrorist cell that wants to get its hands on what it thinks is the Philosophers Stone. If Vivek is the star of this arc, then this is the meat of our story (speaking of meat.) If you’ve read the comic you’ll understand, but I’ll save that morsel if you haven’t. The paranormal/other worldly is as strong as ever in this arc, with the Injection manifesting itself even further. It desperately wants attention from its creators, showing them what it can do for the 21st century. They did create it after all to “make the 21st century more interesting” a loose statement by the Injection to Maria in the first arc.
I’m glad Ellis played out the case in one arc, it allowed Injection not to spread itself too thin, while being able to focus on key moments with the characters–not only the protagonist of the story but the antagonist, the Injection, as well. Now that the Injection is actually talking to the characters, it’s made for some pretty interesting moments. I love that the Injection is also the narrator of the story. I laughed pretty hard when Robin acknowledges that he can hear the Injection narrating. Having the Injection be as playful as it is fits perfectly, it is acknowledging its parents, and acting the child. This comic is clever in so many ways, and that’s just one example.
The arc ties up everything quite nicely, having Vivek solve the case (because of course he does), as well as showing us were the characters are going for the next arc. It seems it will be moving away from Vivek and focusing on Robin, but I could be wrong. The first arc did focus more on Maria, so having each arc follow a certain character from here on out would fit pattern. If they stick with Viv or even go back to Maria, I know I won’t be upset. All of the characters are so interesting in their own ways, it makes for a fantastic story. Or as one of my new favorite authors said.
The function of fiction is to show you people not like you. Likability is bullshit. To be honest I find the whole idea of relatability insulting too. You want to make a character “relatable”? To who exactly? It isn’t the job of a writer to try and find a consensus among readers. Every reader, every character, is different. There’s never one story to be told. -Lauren Groff
Of course, with Warren Ellis writing the story Injection is great, and with it, the art continues to match. Artist Declan Shalvey paired with color from Jordie Bellaire is just one of those matches that makes sense. Having worked together from the get go on this, the trend of creating scenes brought to life continues. Reading a comic and having the scenes come to life is hard to do, this pair pulls it off easily. Each frame I can see these characters interacting, I can hear the sound, smell the environment. Not a lot of comics pull this off, Injection is one of those comics. If there is one thing I’ve particularly liked about the art, it’s how the characters come to life. It’s the way Shalvey draws faces, capturing the exact emotion that character is feeling. With Bellaires color the characters are brought to life even more (the detective becoming flushed is a fantastic example of this.) Bellaire applies color in just the right places, the same way Shalvey is intentional with his line work.
To Sum Up
Injection continues to impress, and having just ended the second arc back in June of this year, it’s great to see the TPV2 come out so quickly. Like I said, Injection is one of those stories that’s just good to read as a whole. I look forward to seeing just how thing will play out, especially now that the Injection has gone full force at the end of issue #10. If you haven’t read Injection I suggest you run to your local comic store immediately because this is a must read. What’s not to love about; a kooky cast, the paranormal, and an artificial consciousness gone rogue? The fantastic team that has been working on Injection I’m sure will keep delivering only the best, and weirdest, for our reading pleasure.
Injection Vol.2 TP is now available online or just head to your local comic shop!