injection cover

Review Soundtrack:  Some people are only alive because it’s illegal to kill them. by  Nomadic War Machine from the I have a gun. Give me all the money in the register. CD. Bandcamp.

injection sex ghostThe Case of the Elderly Ghost Sexer

It’s all going to be about sandwiches, in the end, I just know it.injection sandwich01

Volume 2 starts with the discovery of artisanal human ham in a sandwich. A clue that leads to alchemical criminal organizations, vaginal ectoplasm, and the learning curve of a non-human artificial intelligence that was injected into the Internet in order to stop the future from being boring.

Which is to say, Warren Ellis has done it again. He’s put words together in combinations that make me wish for a precisely targeted neurological event that would leave me unable to ever write again. He’s so very fucking good at what he does.injection words

In the first volume of Injection five people get together under the aegis of a shadowy corporate think tank to run scenarios about the future and to figure out what might be coming down the pike. Marie (anthropologist), Simeon (spy), Vivek (detective), Brigid (hacker), and Robin (cunning man {wizard}). They discover, through all the scenarios that they run, that future will be a flat line – no more massive rate of change, no advancement. They decide that is unacceptable. They decide to do something about it. Each of them throws something into the pot. And the Injection is born.

The first volume introduced the characters, showed how the Injection came to be and what it’s capable of, Wayland the Smith is summoned, and someone is skinned alive. The stakes are laid out, in other words.

This volume focuses primarily on Vivek. Warren Ellis has said that this a Sherlock Holmes story and Vivek is taken directly from that mold. Vivek is very wealthy and even smarter and lives high above New York City. John Van Der Zee, a serious financial guy, comes to Vivek with a problem. Someone has stolen a photograph of his dead mistress. And without that photograph, her ghost, the ghost of the dead mistress, no longer appears and has sex with Ven Der Zee. He really wants the photo back. When a piece of Van Der Zee’s son is found in Vivek’s sandwich, Vivek decides to take the case. After all, someone has just fucked with his sandwich!injection sandwich02

It’s a fast paced story, flashbacks of Vivek’s education (mental, physical,… sexual) intertwine with the progress in the case (homicidal clerk at the Brooklyn artisinal deli, interrogations, the final reveal in the study – a classic ending).

In past works, Ellis has stuck to a very formal page structure: only a four panel grid in one book, only a nine panel grid in another. In Injection, he plays it a lot looser, a mix of square panels and horizontal panels. His craft is so polished that each page rewards careful study as to why each specific layout was chosen and what each does for the story beats. How he makes each page both an encapsulated unit. How he gets you to turn the page.

The book ends with the lead in for the next volume. Robin has been pressured by everyone around him, including the ghosts of his mother and his sister, to get a government job. The hereditary job of the his family. Ghost Breaker for Her Majesty’s Government. He bows to the pressure. Reports to The Breaker’s Yard. He now has power. This isn’t going to end well.

I can’t wait for the next volume. Which Ellis has said is a Doctor Who story. Starring Brigid. So we’ll get the black Doctor we’ve always wanted.

Highest recommendation.injection dongzilla

Next up: The Divinity Student by Michael Cisco.