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Transmetropolitan TP Vol 04 The New Scum (Transmetropolitan - Revised) Paperback – 10 Nov 2009
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Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan series has rightly garnered much praise from a number of quarters (Cyberpunk's finest, Bruce Sterling, loves it!). In Spider Jerusalem, Ellis's angry, intelligent, polemical journalist hero, he has found a powerful character through whom to transmit his scepticism around issues of government, power, representation and truth. But this is not a dull and "worthy" comic--it is often funny, beautifully drawn, with great futuristic details, and it contains some of the sparkiest, most authentic writing around.
In this part of the series, Spider, the voice of the City's hopeless masses, the New Scum, finds himself living in extreme luxury, with two beautiful women (his assistant Yelena and his bodyguard Channon), wooed to interview the competing criminals in the race to become the new President. Drawn into the race, as the most critical commentator around, Spider realises that the people he supposedly speaks for have no interest in the coming election, perhaps understanding more clearly than he does what a charade it actually is. The trouble with the New Scum, however, is that as a reader you perceive exactly what the masses do: that Spider has got himself involved in a story, the story of the Presidency, which is, in fact, not very interesting. Notwithstanding Spider's constant, and constantly amusing, aggravation with the world, the comic needs more than the fire in his belly to heat up this particular instalment--and never quite manages to do it. The details of the story never really cohere, the suspense is minimal, the action often dull. This is not a bad Transmetropolitan chapter, but it is not a great one. --Mark Thwaite --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Warren Ellis has created and written The Authority, Transmetropolitan, Orbiter, the award-winning Planetary, Ministry of Space and much more. Darick Robertson is the artist and co-creator of Transmetropolitan. He is also the artist on The Boys and Fury, and creator of Space Beaver.
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This book has Warren Ellis writing more about the world of the City with Spider, amidst the campaign madness, showing the reader the poverty stricken and the disenfranchised that live within the richest country in the world. It's a bold move that has no comedic value but it's applicable to circumstances in the real world and adds depth to Spider's character as well as the increasingly familiar-seeming City. You even get to see Spider... be nice. Weird.
The best parts come from Spider's interviews with the incumbent President, the Beast, who comes across as an apathetic and unlikable man who is nonetheless resigned to doing any good for his country, and the Smiler, who comes across as the Joker minus the facepaint. He shows his true colours here and makes it clear that Spider is on his hit-list when he gets into office.
Also included are a couple of Christmas themed one shots which has Spider pontificating on this most gaudy of holidays and referring to Channon and Yelena as his "filthy assistants" for the first time.
"The New Scum" is a solid book from start to finish, Warren Ellis continues to write Spider with a perfect pitch and extra nuance, while Darick Robertson's art is his usual high standard. An excellent read for an excellent series, readers of the series won't be disappointed, and definitely worth a look for any comics fan unfamiliar with Spider Jerusalem.
The art is great and there is a wonderful conversation with Spider and the president, reminiscent of the Frost/ Nixon conversation, which is wonderfully lit and superb to look at.
It is better than other writers can do but not as good as Ellis is capable of. No need to jump ship just yet though. It does promise to get even more interesting.
There are also two short Christmas stories. Thumbs Up!
Ellis' writing is by turns poignant, thilling, inspiring and provocative, while Robinson's artwork brings a depth of reality to the characters and a wealth of detail and jokes to the backgrounds of the city.
If you already read any of the previous books then you won't even be reading this you'll already have ordered it on spec, if you havn't then start reading them NOW!
The political plot thickens as the election approaches. Spider confronts both sides, winning himself death threats from whoever gains the presidency.
Ellis's writing is as smooth as ever, with beautiful sound-bites dripping off ever tongue but still ensuring that the substance is much more solid than the style.
Fantastic - if you haven't been hooked by now you'll be grabbed by this stage. If you're hooked already this is likely to be the point where you bulk-order the rest of the series.
Enjoyed this series so far. Read this straight through in one sitting.
Excellent artwork. Nod to King Mob on the wall as well.
Moving on to Book 5 and ordering Book 6.
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