This article is something of a personal pleasure of mine as I get to introduce and review one of my favorite comics of all times – Transmetropolitan. There have been a few comics in the history that have influenced my life as much as this comic has and I simply could not waste an opportunity to write something about it as part of this blogsite. I am sure that many of you have read Transmetropolitan but I am also sure that many of you have missed it when it first came out. It is mainly for you that I am writing this as I believe every fan of comics should at least check it out. And trust me when I tell you, once you check it out, you will not be able to put it down until you have read the entire saga.
Transmetropolitan is easiest described as a cyberpunk story of a gonzo journalist called Spider Jerusalem who is a true anti-hero in the purest sense of the world, but who is working towards keeping the world at least a bit more manageable than certain people would like it to be. The interesting thing is that the people who are actually working against him and who are looking for ways to make things worse in order to save their asses are two American presidents, one of whom becomes a president because Spider screws up and helps him get into power. When you read this description, you might think that there is nothing so special about a story like this, but the fact is that Transmetropolitan touches on so many different subjects and deals with them with sophistication and poise of a real work of art that it becomes something more than just a comic – it becomes both a statement and also art.
One of the biggest appeals of Transmetropolitan is its hero, Spider who is made in the image of Hunter S. Thompson and who is a long shot from a hero. He is a drug-addict, a borderline schizophrenic and a person that you would not trust a box of matches with. However, you cannot help but root for him because he shares the viewpoints of the common man and who actually tries to save as many people as he can, people that he hates, by the way.
Another huge selling point of Transmetropolitan is the world it is set in. It is a believable world, a world that does not require too much imagination and stretching of the imagination to believe in. It is very similar to the world today, only cranked up to about a thousand, with anti-cancer drugs being available, mafia-controlled replicator machines that get high on drugs they create themselves and so on. This world is what Spider is trying to save, as well as a few people who become his friends over the course of this incredible story.
Of course, all of this would be completely pointless without a story behind it all and the story of Transmetropolitan was penned out and perfected by one of the best writers in comics history, the incredible man called Warren Ellis, an Englishman with a fast brain and with special kind of love for this horrendous planet. I believe that he was peaking when he wrote Transmetropolitan and the five years in which the comic was first published, between 1997 and 2002 have been some of the happiest of my life, at least as far as comics were concerned.
In conclusion, I would just like to add this – if you haven’t read Transmetropolitan do it now. Go to Amazon straight away and order the entire comic book, you will not be disappointed. On the contrary.