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on May 31, 2000
Ye gods, such an incredible combination...
*Transmetropolitan* is quite obviously Ellis' platform for ranting frantically about what he feels is wrong with the world (real, imagined, and otherwise).
For those of you who are Ellis fanatics, the story falls in the not-too-near future in the world that exists around the time that Lazarus Churchyard was busy being a terrorist.
"Year of the Bastard" is something of a homage to Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72."
In other words, this is DEFINITELY NOT a comic book for your average child or teen. Ellis makes no pretense in writing for an adult audience.
Mixed in with the off-color jokes and futuristic musings are meditations, of a sort, on what's wrong with the world - gerrymandering all the poor people into a single community with cheap housing, traitorous political tradeoffs that sell out all the principles that the platform supposedly stands on, and the futility of voting between two evils, to name a few. Can't happen? Try urban housing projects in 50's and 60's, Clinton's presidency, and the current presidential election (robotic liar who sold out to the Chinese and writes extremely bad environmental legislation vs. inexperienced governer with a bad pollution record and not a strong grasp on all the issues).
Too bad we're not all as outspoken as Spider Jerusalem, the beloved outlaw journalist who needs to be in the City he hates and to be hated himself to write well.
It's a great read, folks. I'd suggest you pick it up after watching a couple campaign adds and feeling your brain mush into gel from all the bull that you're being fed.
I'm going to end this with something beautiful:
A bald man with a spider tattooed on his forehead has just injected a stimulant into his tear duct. He is bleeding slightly from that eye and from the opposite nostril. His eyes are bugging out, he is sweating profusely, he has tobacco smoke exiting his orifices, and he has a death-head's grin playing on his features.
Why is this beautiful (btw, I'm not condoning drug use)? Because this is the picture of a man who is about to do something vital, something terribly necessary, something that shows that he is a passionate and dedicated person. He is ALIVE.
An image of Spider Jerusalem, ladies and gentlemen. Now buy the bloody book or I'll have to lob steaming moose entrails into the nearest crowded playground.
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on November 26, 2000
8 years ago, Spider saw the Beast come into power. After that, he went to his mountain. But he was called back, and in Lust for Life, wrapped his fingers around the pulse of the city. Now, it's election time again, and his editor has spoken. Spider will cover the election, since his readers demand it. Not a threat, but advice for someone who wants to make money for himself and Spider.
You might think that a comic book is for teenagers. Maybe even younger. Some might be. This is not one of them. Spider is a drug crazed maniac. But he's not the worst of the lot.
The politicians are. Heller, with his "America for Americans" catchphrase, and a Hitler lookalike in the crowd - in case you missed the point with the Gothic lettering of his name and having his rallies compared to Nuremberg, it's driven home is a rather unsubtle manner.
The Smiler is just plain deranged. It's not clear if politicians look like that before they've been prepared by their handlers, but the scary thing is I don't find it implausible.
Vita is an interesting character, a nice addition to the cast of maniacs that populate this world. The story line flows well, and demands several re-readings to see all the details that the first reading misses.
The artwork in this novel is simply at its best. Yelena is a character that Darick Robertson is meant to draw, and he does the things he does well, well here. No experimentation, no compromises.
This is easily the best of the series, and makes "The New Scum" all the more disappointing as a follow-up.
Absolute must read.
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on May 23, 2006
Here in Volume Three, Spider Jerusalem finds his life once again driven further into madness by the demands of his Editor. Spider has been back into the city for a while, and except for a short but memorable run-in with The Beast, he's failed to address a seemingly unavoidable topic of the news (by choice of course): politics.

It's an election year, and his hated enemy, The Beast, on whose depravity Spider literally wrote the book (the same book which made his career, and drove him out of civilization entirely), is seeking reelection. The Opposition party is in town, and Spider is being dragged kicking and screaming into discussing their imminent convention. Unfortunately for Spider, the front-runner in that race is a neo-fascistic nutjob, and his adversary is a man who only seems to do one thing: smile dementedly.

Can Spider save the American Electorate? Can he pry himself away from the needles, pipes, and pills long enough to find The Truth?

Read Transmetropolitan Volume Three to find out.
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on October 17, 2013
With vol. 3 Transmetopolitan doesnt joke around, the same awesome of the last two books is in here even more developed. This series just keeps you wanting more and more. One of the best running series yet.
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on January 28, 2016
This was thoroughly enjoyable: a superhero story for grown ups who came to terms with the fact that super powers don't exist. In this storyline, Spider Jerusalem is covering the presidential campaign and making new enemies along the way. This is the cohesive, caustic and thoroughly focused narrative I thought TRANSMETROPOLITAN has the power to be, exposing the inner workings of a political campaign and the capital importance of public opinion for politicians. This is a futuristic series about the problems of today and I am more than overjoyed I have 7 more issues to go through. Spider Jerusalem makes me feel like a 12 years old boy who just stumbled upon a hidden treasure.
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on July 15, 2013
I've been eagerly reading the Transmetropolitan collected volumes over the past few weeks, and when I got to #3, roughly halfway through the binding fell apart. I've never encountered such a cheaply made print...not sure what happened here, but a single read and the glue completely came apart. The story is great, but I'm not sure this format is worth the price if they're going to cheap out on the materials.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 26, 2012
Up until now "Transmetropolitan" didn't really have a story and followed Spider Jerusalem from one bizarre story to the next but in "Year of the Bastard" a story arc that will continue for much of this series begins - the election of the President, the Beast vs the Smiler.

The Smiler is this great character who is the most superficial person alive and underneath the surface is one of the most terrifyingly blackest souls who ever lived. He's a brilliant target for the fearless Spider to latch onto and try to bring down.

Along the way Spider gets a new assistant, Yellena Rossini, and his old assistant Channon returns to be his bodyguard. The politics of the future is as filthy as it is today though there is a very brutal assassination that puts this future's politics over the present's in terms of cynicism and desperation.

Warren Ellis is on top form giving the hateful Spider plentiful dialogue to vomit on the other characters while Darick Robertson outdoes himself again building on the last two books' excellent portrayals of this dystopia and giving it more depth. His depiction of Spider's new apartment made me wish those places were real so I could live in one.

"Transmetropolitan" is a superb series and rightly Warren Ellis' best work. "Year of the Bastard" is the best of the series so far and is an excellent read that any comics fan would adore.
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on April 20, 2014
When compared to the first two volumes this one is much better. You could even skip the first two and read this one on it's own. It's a great story that really shows why this book is recommended so much.
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on November 29, 2012
Transmetropolitan is like throwing Hunter S. Thompson, Ridley Scott, and Quentin Tarantino into a room, locking the door, and telling them they can't come out until they write a graphic novel. What more do you need to know?
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on June 21, 2011
If your like me you've probly never heard of Spider Jerusalem, sounds like a terrorist, or a new bio weapon. He is a weapon, but not the shooting kind (he has plenty of those), no hes a weapon against the truth. Spider Jerusalem's world is very similar to ours except far more advanced

At first I found Transmetropolitan offensive. VERY offensive. It took some serious will power to put away my views on things like religion, and politics, but when I did I enjoyed these books much more, and I suggest you do the same.

Year of the Bastard covers an election that in all honesty reminded me of the Kerry Bush election. Neither candidates are the right choice. But now Spider Jerusalem's large fanbase want him to support one. I won't go into more detail because I don't want to spoil it.

Transmetropolitan is deep. Not like "Animal Farm" "Hey were in the 12 foot end of the pool, and I can't swim" deep end. Its a 6 footer. It became obvious which candidate was which party. But its one big metaphor for this time, and how there isn't that one voice whos REALLY telling the truth. When i finished Transmetropolitan, I had a new perspective on every political situation thats happened "Well you have to look at it this way" and "Is that really what happened?" I have to say Transmetropolitan is probably the best Graphic Novel I've read. Ever. Its what a comic book should be. Not something just kids and nerds read, it something that could be read in a Government class if you cleaned up the language and shooting. It is also one of the greatest books I've read. If you want the truth (and you CAN handle) then give this a shot
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