Transmetropolitan 1: Back on the Street (Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson)

In Transmetropolitan, Warren Ellis plops Spider Jerusalem, something of a Hunter S. Thompson with amped-up misanthropy, into the hyper-capitalist, corrupt future we all know from countless SF comics/novels/movies/etc. The premise and the world aren't that unique, but are well-realized. One of the brilliant moves Ellis makes is to have Spider re-introduce himself to the world after a five-year retreat in the woods, and so the protagonist and the reader learn about the futuristic world at the same pace. This solves the constant problem of how to properly feed information to the reader about an environment that the character presumedly knows better without awkwardness. Spider is a great character and I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of the series although it's a bit juvenile in that this is a very black-and-white world that lacks real depth.

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Jonathan Ball is a writer, filmmaker, and scholar living at www.jonathanball.com.

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