Writer: Warren Ellis
Penciller: Darick Robertson
Inker: Rodney Ramos
Colourist: Nathan Eyring
Letterer: Clem Robins
144 Page Trade Paperback
Published by DC/Vertigo 2000
US $12.95 - ISBN: 1563896273
by A.B. Schwartz
Jerusalem is a tattoo-wearing, bowel-disruptor-wielding journalist.
Which, of course, is the best kind. Spider has returned to the City
after several years, to fulfill an obligation to the "whoremonger',
cause some trouble, and tell the Truth.
New Scum does not represent my personal favorite Transmet. stories,
but it does represent my favorite Spider Jerusalem stories.
off the death of a supporting character at the end of the Year Two
storyline, Spider attempts to deal with the loss of said character,
the impending election, his continuing popularity in the City, and
his own place in the grand scheme of things.
starts off on a high note, as Spider travels the City, and the people
revel in the fact that his is "one of them", the new scum. Underneath
his happiness, however, is confusion and sadness. The loss of Ms.
Severn seems to have pulled the rug out underneath Spider's feet,
and along the way, Spider starts to make some mistakes.
of the reasons these represent my favorite Spider stories is because
of the mixture of high and low points that Jerusalem is at throughout
the book. While the interview with the President goes well, the
interview with his opponent, The Smiler, does not. In an attempt
to "get back" at the Smiler for Vita's death, he lets out some information
that he probably shouldn't have. He also is not able to publish
the interview, like he did the President's.
TNS, there are full page spreads of members of the "new scum"(the
everyday regular citizens) going about their daily lives. This serves
several purposes: It gives the reader an idea of the culture of
Transmet, and it allows Ellis to explore the lives of the citizens
that Spider has chosen to represent.
book also some of the few genuinely altruistic Spider stories from
the series. From helping a little girl find her mother, to buying
a camera and checking in on a former column subject, TNS cover the
""high points" of Spider's life and personality quite well.
for the low point…
goes without saying that the ending of the six part story (One of
the Winter's Edge stories is also included after the "main story")
sets the tone for what looks like the rest of the series. A party,
a revelation, and lots of explosions are the highlights of the last
chapter of TNS.
to mention the results of the election; As the results pour in,
Spider realizes that his relationship with the new scum needs to
change. He put his faith in them, but they didn't return the favor.
All along, he gave them the truth, but when the time to reciprocate
arrived, the new scum failed.
is one of the smartest and well-written books available today. Warren's
socio-political commentary, compiled with his innovative ideas,
shine in The New Scum. I could waste serious space boasting of Robertson
and Ramos' artwork, but the fact is that my words aren't good enough.
This series is something you just have to read.
is one of the finer volumes from Transmetropolitan; From his highest
to his lowest, Spider is almost always at his best. And that is
indeed worth reading.
A.B. Schwartz has recently become a Staff Writer at PopImage. This is one of his first contributions.
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