In INJECTION #6, the game was well and truly afoot when the second arc in this series focused on Vivek Headland, noted detective and strategist. A mystery of intriguing proportions garnered his attention, including ghost sex, the Philosopher’s Stone, and human meat sandwiches. This story was primarily focused on Headland as he navigated a sea of danger only he could get through. INJECTION #10 wraps up this particular case succinctly. While it is, to a degree, mainly talking heads explaining how the mystery got solved, it’s done so expertly and beautifully.

Injection

READ: Check out what we thought of beginning of this arc with our review of INJECTION #6!

Most of the action takes place in one room, Mr. Van Der Zee’s (the client’s) mansion. Headland waits with his client while Rubedo, the thieves who stole Van Der Zee’s property, arrive. What follows is a dialogue-heavy interaction where everything is explained, and the case is sewn up with lettering by Fonografiks that makes sure we don’t get bogged down in every panel with too much exposition. Not that I’m complaining about the dialogue here because it’s rich and full of intelligence and wit. The treat here is Headland explaining all the facts to Rubedo in arrogant, self-assured fashion. Warren Ellis is clearly having fun writing Headland, a riff on the Baker Street Detective without being a carbon copy. This man stands and smirks his way through his summation, cutting off Rubedo’s leader at every point, tearing at their belief system. The scene, which takes up over half the issue, is simple basic fun. It doesn’t need explosions or chase scenes. The writing here is self-assured, and each new revelation in the case is a clever one.

READ: Warren Ellis tackles Bond, James Bond in our review of JAMES BOND 007: VARGR #1!

But what breathes life into INJECTION, what gives Headland his smirk, the tick of his head, his pirouettes around the villains without barely moving, is Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire. This artistic team is an unstoppable beast of artistic comic book brilliance. From the first panel of a mansion in semi-darkness to the last panel of a skull smashing against the floor, they bring you on a thrilling ride full of character. Shalvey is one of my favorite artists and once again it shows here. His command of the inks, the character designs, the way they move and interact, and the chosen perspective for each panel conveys a story you want to drink in. Jordie Bellaire’s colors only make Shalvey’s art richer. Her use of color here tells a story of its own. There are layers to the art you don’t realize you see, but they heighten the story experience. This includes everything from the use of red to represent danger (the villains’ threatening entrance) to the use of blue to represent confidence and intelligence (Headland’s speech). A special shout out must also go to Eoin Marron whose ink assists Shalvey in this issue. The inking throughout is crisp and clean not to mention stunning. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of his work in future installments.

Injection

LISTEN: We talk to Declan Shalvey in a special ComicsVerse podcast!

Overall, this second arc of INJECTION has been enjoyable, fun, and a rewarding reading experience. While the case may be solved, the threat of the Injection still looms large over our cast of characters, and it will be interesting to see which character the creative team will focus on next when INJECTION returns at the end of the year.

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