The Old 'Un
My summer reading list was beaten up and left for dead on the curb outside of my spacious Midwestern home, but while doing some belated spring cleaning, what should I chance upon but this trade collecting the first three issues of Transmetropolitan. You might be curious why I am reviewing the trade and not the individual issues, but they all fall in the first storyline, so instead of forcing my rare follower to read reviews for each individual issue for contextual clues referring to the previous or the next, why not discuss them all at once?
When the series initially come out, I thought perhaps Warren Ellis was trying too hard to channel Hunter S. Thompson to his readers via Spider Jerusalem. I thought Blade Runner and Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail was an interesting couple, and Transmetropolitan was an adorable lovechild, After I picked it up and read it, though... well, here we are. This trade predates the Smiler, Filthy Assistants, and the gratuitous drug use, bizarre dystopian sex practices, and a lot of the stuff that has made this series simultaneously infamous and popular. However, that's great. Before your knuckles turn white speeding down that track toward the climax of the roller coaster ride, first action has to rise. These three issues introduce Spider, and show the bizarre confluence of his disdain and his compassion for the people he professes to loathe.
After five years of seclusion on the mountain, Spider returns to the City to honor an obligation to a publisher. Newbies, don't be put off by the first few pages; the Captain Caveman look goes away. He soon finds himself as a witness to a conflict between Civic Center, the seat of power in the City, and the Transient RIghts peeps in the Angels 8 district. Things escalate, but Spider does not emerge unscathed. There's a price to be paid for standing up to The Man. Learn what it is, and be desirous of his two-faced--and I don't mean treacherous--chain smoking cat.