OF THE BASTARD
turns his attention to the last great spectator sport...politics
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Darick Robertson and Rodney Ramos
Colorist: Nathan Eyring
Letterer: Clem Robins
Published by DC Vertigo 1999
by Rick Beckley
not kidding either. Spider Jerusalem isn't the only bastard in this
book. In fact, You'd have a hard time finding a character who isn't
OF THE BASTARD concerns itself with an upcoming American Presidential
election. And given that everything in TRANSMETROPOLITAN takes place
in the City, everything political is also happening in the City.
journalist" Spider Jerusalem, having spent years in isolation after
becoming a victim of his own success, has been back in the City
for one year. During that year he's avoided direct political commentary
like the plague. But now slowly, and extremely reluctantly, he's
drawn back into it.
is only the second time I've actually cared about any of the
characters in TRANSMETROPOLITAN"
City in TRANSMETROPOLITAN is both a fetishist's and conservative's
dream. Everything is available, in every combination. Many of the
stories in TRANSMETROPOLITAN show the seamy, rabid or just plain
disgusting side of the City, but if you take them as a whole the
people who live there have it pretty good. Technology is everywhere,
offering incredible opportunities to those who can afford it, and
even making the lives of those who can't better. All of society's
problems exist, but they seem to be on a smaller scale -- and thus
in sharper contrast.
the selection process in the Presidential election begins to heat
up, Spider finds himself drawn to Vita Severn, campaign director
for Senator Gary Callahan. Callahan is candidate of the Opposition
party, who is nicknamed "The Smiler" for obvious reasons. The Party
in Government, meanwhile, is headed by the Beast, whom we encountered
earlier in the series.
this is only the second time I've ever actually cared about any
of the characters in TRANSMETROPOLITAN (the first was the poor lady
who was thawed out to face the future). Usually, Ellis sets up obvious
candidates for sympathy who are little more than plot devices, but
this time it actually worked for me. Much as I dislike the character
of Spider, I was somewhat touched by the interaction between him
and Vita. And "that bit" with poor Yelena is hilarious, but how
is the poor girl ever going to live it down?
OF THE BASTARD twists and turns to its conclusion, the inevitable
nomination of the Smiler, with Ellis's usual skill. Ideas must crackle
in his brain like Pop Rocks. And Darick Robertson's artwork is amazing
in this book; I can hardly believe this is the same guy I hated
doing the JLE and loved doing New Warriors.
(with reservations: definitely not for children, and maybe even
some adults without supervision)
Rick Beckley is an alumnus of PopImage.
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