So I finally picked up a comic that I have been meaning to read by the name of ‘Transmetropolitan’ after having some friends on Google+ suggest it. Got the first two trade paperback and have been reading on the train, and I must say that have been awesome.
First off, I love cyberpunk. Worlds that have crazy technology things affecting everyday choices really bring me in and get me to think. I’m also, surprisingly, one of those people who likes things that makes them think.
The world that has been created for Transmetropolitan is incredibly vivid and detailed, with Warren Ellis’s brutal language and Darick Robertson’s and the rest of the art team’s no detail unnoticed approach sucking you in, chewing you up the whole time, and then spitting you out by the end. It is only made more so by the fact of the eerie parallels you can draw to today’s political and business atmosphere. When this was originally run from 1997 to 2002. Yeah, I occasionally get shivers.
You start out learning about Spider Jerusalem the main character, and his hatred of the city. Yet, at the same time, he has a very symbiotic relationship with it where he needs it to be able to write. He has been in the mountains for years, trying to get away from it, but when his editors start threatening lawsuits since they have not gotten a book from him, well he is forced to return to the so called mother’s teat and write again.
His re-entry to writing is absolutely amazing and the way secondary characters are introduced is even more so. An unnamed character put there for background compassion suddenly comes forward as something much more and starts to give Spider a run for his money, but even so, he takes her, Channon, under his wing and begins to train her as a sort of protege.
And the pair make a very interesting duo. Channon is willing to actually put Spider in his place and does not revere him, much like rest of the journalist world, as the next coming of a word messiah. Sure, he is great and there are things she can learn from him, but that doesn’t really matter. While it makes the self important female character a little obnoxious at times, it also is a great way to frame Spider and tone down his all important feelings also.
The first two trades have done a lot of back story and world building. While I don’t feel we have gotten to the meat of the story, I do feel as though we have gotten a very close view of the characters. You see Channon’s love get ‘downloaded’ and learn how they cryogenically freeze people and bring them back every once in a while, throwing them into a world where they don’t know a thing and are unsure of what is going on. You learn of Spider’s past and how some how his ex-wife has set up some big hit on him from 5+ years in the past. There are talking dogs that act as police, half aliens that want to ascend, and religions that try to convert you at every corner.
For me, it is a great romp in a world that while exaggerated, is not to far from our own. While occasionally grotesque, more than most likely has a reason for it. And while more often then not a bit corrupted and ashamed, I look out my window and don’t see it much better around me.
Transmetropolitan so far for me has a 5/5. The art is fantastic and the story is very apt and good. The characters are strong yet individual which is always nice to have. It is so far a must read and something that I suggest going and hunting down or downloading from DC digital comic section. I’ll keep you guys updated as I pick them up, please tell me if you have something you want to see reviewed or another comic along these lines! Always looking for good stuff to read!