Injection #11 (Image Comics)
If you like horror – creeping intelligent gets-inside-your-head dread – then you need to be reading this comic.
This is Warren Ellis at his absolute best, giving artists Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire the perfect stories with which to play with their art and haunt the rest of us. This book is the purest sort of magic, a story that could only ever properly be told in this medium by three absolute masters of their craft.
It’s also been on hiatus for a bit while the three worked on other projects and plotted out the next storyline, of which this is the first part. The premise is simple enough – a think tank was put together to try and make life more interesting, the greatest thinkers and cultural scholars thinking that mankind was heading for a cultural and political plateau that looked pretty good but also boring.
The lot of them met one another and put together an AI that was supposed to make things more interesting, an injection into the technological consciousness, but one of their number wasn’t a scientist or strategist or what-have-you; he was a Cunning-Man (read: wizard), and his presence altered the injection somewhat.
What was created is no longer limited to computer systems, but is acting out in the confines of reality and changing what is real and what is not. It has no limitations other than perception and is an intelligence designed by some of the most intelligent people that have ever lived to be more brilliant than all of them.
Problem is, the damn thing went rogue and now the team that created it has to try and mitigate the messes it makes. The one person that’s doing this in any sort of official capacity, Maria Kilbride, has gone insane because of it and is basically let out of the asylum to fight a bodiless presences that is, quite simply, beyond the comprehension of most people.
It’s a sanity-shattering concept that’s writ and drawn to perfection, a philosophical/spiritual thriller that is unlike anything else you’re going to find, well, anywhere.
The new storyline starts with Maria sending one of the other creators of the injection, Brigid Roth (think a merging of Harold and Root from Person of Interest), to an archaeological site in Cornwall to investigate a series of flensed skeletons that have been chained to a wall. Brigid is there to separate data from legend and is putting her sanity at risk by doing so.
If you like intelligent horror you need to be reading this. Do so. Now.