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Transmetropolitan vol 5: Lonely City

Transmetropolitan vol 5: Lonely City back

Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Crusading journalist Spider Jerusalem exacts vengeance on all he finds wrong in this future America, much of which being thinly disguised versions of the hypocrisy we see now, for as ever Warren is on top of the sagging spirit of our times. Witness this newsflash:

"English author declares US 'culture of victims'; beaten to death by crowd, participants sue author's family for damage incurred to knuckles, fingernails..."

And he has the knack of exposing social and legislative stupidity by reversing traditional perspective, as here when the city's chief pornographer pays a senator to filibuster the introduction of a progressive sex bill:

"Sure I did. Sexual freedom, the erasure of taboo by education, the intelligent discussion of sexual mores... these things are no good to a pornographer."

I don't know whether most of the graffiti and street signs are Warren's or Darrick's but these jokes also derive their humour from current trajectories, a supermarket providing particularly rich material (Spiced Seahorses In Brine, Dingo'N'Baby Stir Fry or the following trolley warning: "This cart releases an Ebola level virus when removed from lot" - well, that'll help clear up the canals). As the series progresses the art's becoming increasingly varied. The opening landscape shot, of a city drenched in rain while in the distance rays of sunshine burst through the clouds, is meteorologically perfect. Linger a bit and you'll see the odd explosion and rogue typhoon which signpost a future date.

It's raining again by the end of the book as Spider's defiance of the new President - in disseminating the truth - back-fires horribly. I couldn't, however, leave you without passing on this excellent restaurant outburst from one of Spider's Filthy Assistants which rates right up there with WHY I HATE SATURN for quotations that should be tried out in public:

"Waiter! I'll have another bottle of Chilean Merlot, the raspberry pavlova, ten minutes of oral sex and an ambulance, please."

Do let us know how you get on!

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