by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire
Injection has hit a point in the early development of the series where it has begun to transition from teasing ideas and plot threads to beginning to fill in some pieces. Writer Warren Ellis presented a lot of incredibly intriguing bits over the first two issues without conveying to readers what the focus or direction of the story would be. Here in the third issue, the pieces readers have been seeing start to form a picture. From the looks of it, not only do the creators have some curious teases up their sleeves, but Injection may certainly be a massive and rather unique tale.
In the first issue, readers are not only introduced to Professor Mara Killbride, but the introduction is done through her new assignment, looking into a strange new artifact that has warped the lab in which it is being held. While the book manages to keep a majority of its sequences seemingly grounded in reality, bits like this blur lines. Ellis has yet to fully tip his hat towards what is possible in this universe he has created, but each issue has featured some elements that stretch beyond the real world. Here in the third issue, readers see Maria speaking with her once team member, Robin, about the potential origin and properties of this rock. It appears that there is an element of folklore to the artifact.
As the issue goes on, much like the first two, Ellis continues to find ways to slip in mentions of potential organizations, names, and other such teases. He does this without ever falling back on narration or overt exposition. Even when the story includes its yellow narration text, Ellis manages to raise the intrigue even further. The book has a way of being incredibly natural and conversational in these moments. Ellis is a fantastic writer and it shows through these subtle, but effective techniques. Readers are not being catered to or pandered to. There is no reason to slow down the story, or lower the bar to be certain that everyone knows everything about the new universe. Instead, the story is improved by it feeling quite natural. Each issue, readers learn just a bit more about things like Robin’s abilities, the purpose of the Ministry of Time and Measurement, and what has transpired between the formation of that team and the story’s present day.
If that impressive bit of craft is not enough to get someone to dive into a new series with a number of unknowns, Ellis has brought along some of the best artists in comics to help fill out this series. His previous partners from Marvel’s Moon Knight, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire bring Ellis’s script to life. Shalvey is an amazing artist and certainly brings a distinct look to the books on which he works. And Jordie Bellaire, well she just happens to be one of the most amazing colorists around. Combined, the visual design of Injection is simply stunning. Matching Ellis’s knack for the subtle, the two craft an elegant sequence over the course of a few pages early in this series. While Maria sits on the phone in her office, looking rather skeptical as she unwraps and inspects her pre-packaged sandwich, the other half over the conversation is going through an amazing transformation. The shift is subtle and many readers will not pick up on it right away. But, when they do, the realization of what transpired will lead many to be flipping back to see just how this occurred.
Injection #3 certainly begins to clue readers in on some broader elements of the series. At the same time, Ellis continues his ability to release only a bit. After three issues, it is somewhat maddening to consider just how he has been able to make a story so engaging while revealing so little. But, with such talent at each level of the series, Injection is showing no signs of wavering from excellence.