Warren Ellis is a rare gem among oddball writers. He’s one of those guys who can take everyday interactions and occurrences and make them read like the stuff of obscure urban legend. It’s true of his run on Moon Knight, his James Bond comic and now, his latest team-up with Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, Injection.
There was a lot of standstill exposition going on in the last issue, but #9 makes it all worth it. As we go a little deeper into Headland’s case of vice and suspense, we get a slightly incomplete reunion between our heroes as well as an ominous face-to-face with the Big Bad. Vivek Headland alone makes this book more than worth the three bucks with his delightful blend of James Bond and Emma Frost (Joss Whedon’s delightfully contrary version), but once you put the band back together, you have magic. These are characters that are competent and self aware without being completely omniscient. The Injection is as entertaining as it is creepy which is exactly what an evil AI ghost thing (technical term). Blend all of this with taut, well laid out circumstances and you have a lovely new answer to the X-Files. Having said that, it’s definitely not for everyone. As is the case with some of Ellis’ work, everything isn’t always clear right away. This is a story about characters each with their own individual lives and agency that keep being brought together by something that they did a long time ago. So, that often comes across less than linear as puzzle pieces coming together in a more random order than some readers are used to. Ellis fans will enjoy this but this may take some non-initiated comic lovers some getting used to. Visually, Declan Shalvey is as on point as he’s ever been, giving us simple yet aesthetically compelling panels even during moments of exposition. The facial expressions are on point with Ellis’ sense of humor, showing a masterful understanding of the writer’s vision.
Bottom Line: Well choreographed action, quality characters and Declan Shalvey doing A+ artwork, this issue does a great job showing off what Warren Ellis fans love about his work. But it’s not newcomer friendly. But still awesome.
4 Evil Siris Out of 5