The first volume of Injection reads like a fairytale brought into the tech world

See sample pages from this book at Wink.


by Warren Ellis (author), Jordie Bellaire (illustrator) and Declan Shalvey (illustrator)

Image Comics

2015, 120 pages, 6.4 x 10 x 0.4 inches

$7 Buy a copy on Amazon

Science meets folklore. It's a theme that is pervasive throughout literature, from Frankenstein to Dracula to The Dragon Riders of Pern. And like its predecessors, the first volume of Injection also poses the question, what if these two things aren't as different as we'd like to believe?

Injection reads like a fairytale brought into the modern century, combining the folklore used by its predecessors with new computers and communication systems. The story jumps backwards and forwards in time, telling the chronicle of five brilliant people with different backgrounds who came together and built an artificial consciousness to "make the 21st century more interesting." As anyone who has seen The Matrix or Terminator films could tell you, this creation doesn't do what the team was hoping it would. But instead of being straight science fiction, the novel joins science with the fantastic. The creation begins mimicking folklore, and the solution to defeating it seems to lie just as much in magic as it does in science.

The artwork is classically rendered graphic novel illustration, reminding me of the Hellboy series, or Sandman. What strikes me as the most interesting part of the pictures is the range of color used in them; the palette moves from dark greys and greens to brilliant oranges and reds, and some of the scenes are done in such a surreal manner you feel as though you've been transported to another plane altogether (which, truth be told, might just be the case). Each character is distinct in design and memorable in execution, and the different storylines interweave with each other during the telling of the tale. My favorite character remains the somewhat crazy scientist, Maria Kilbride, whose story is simultaneously dark and hopeful.

Injection proved an interesting and beautiful read, although in complete honesty I was often confused by the story. The arc is clearly designed to be resolved over several books, so I imagine this confusion was intentional, but I could have done with more background either visually or in the actual wording to get a better sense of the story they were telling. However, I still eagerly await the next installment.

– Julia Pillard