Transmetropolitan, Vol. 4: The New Scum (Transmetropolitan, #4)
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Transmetropolitan, Vol. 4: The New Scum (Transmetropolitan #4)

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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  7,276 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Investigative reporter Spider Jerusalem attacks the injustices of the 23rd Century surroundings while working for the newspaper The Word in this critically-acclaimed graphic novel series written by comics superstar Warren Ellis, the co-creator of PLANETARY and THE AUTHORITY.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Vertigo
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Community Reviews

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Robert Beveridge
Warren Ellis, Transmetropolitan: The New Scum (Vertigo, 2000)

After all the praise I've lavished on Transmetropolitan in my reviews of the first three volumes, I guess it was inevitable that everything would come crashing down. I have to admit, though, I'm making things sound a lot worse than they are; I guess the first three volumes had me expecting new miracles with every episode. Having given us the overarching story arc in book three, Ellis gets down to business in The New Scum, the fourth bo...more
Keely
Comics have been going through a very public struggle with maturity for some time now. They were well on their way until they were hit with the 'Comics Code' in the fifties. The code was an outgrowth of reactionary postwar witch-hunting a la McCarthyism, and succeeded in limiting the content of an entire medium for thirty years.

For example, all crime had to be portrayed as sordid, and no criminals could be sympathetic. There goes any comic book retellings of Robin Hood. Good always had to triump...more
Sue Smith
Well this chapter of Transmetropolitan fell well below the bar it previously set in it's earlier versions. Still obnoxious and dirty mouthed - to be sure - but all without the hard hitting punch to go with it. It really felt like a half cooked transitional story to me. A partial story that missed out on the usual skewering of political antics and opinions the last novels shone at. There was some, I can't deny that, but it just seemed to be half hearted.

Hoping the next installment will get back...more
Batsap
What can I say about the Transmetropolitan series that hasn't been said before? Nothing, that's what.

It's brilliant, dirty, raw and funny and Spider is the perfect character to carry it - by turns both violent and sympathetic, pitiful and intimidating. He's angry, inescapably human and he's my hero.
Emma
I don't quite know why I like Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan series, but I do. I spend a lot of time reading the background art so each collection takes a while to get through.
Bria
Once you're old enough to know politics exist, and actually read the books in order, not only does Transmet make a lot more sense, but it's even better than you thought it was.
Molokov
The election campaign heats up and Spider's up to it in his neck. He's now discovered that both the incumbent Beast and challenger Smiler are both full of shit and there's no other choice the people can make. And both of these men - whichever will be the next President - now have it out for him, personally. This volume is the start of the 'middle bridge' of the overall story - not too much in the way of actions or revelations, but the quiet between the earlier rising action and the upcoming comp...more
Toshi
I like this series for the most part, but with each volume I'm enjoying it a bit less. Spider is an interesting character, but extremely two dimensional. He's either raging about something and pursing it headlong, or he's engaged in some redeeming fluff piece meant to show that he's not a complete ass hole. He buys a little girl a doll, he befriends a woman who was cryogenically frozen, etc. It doesn't feel jarring though, it just feels like a blatant attempt by the author to lighten things for...more
Sam Quixote
Following a shocking political assassination, the election between the Beast and the Smiler ramps up and Spider Jerusalem finds himself courted by both candidates for interviews. Meanwhile Channon finds out Yelena’s dirty secret and election day looms.

This book has Warren Ellis writing more about the world of the City with Spider, amidst the campaign madness, showing the reader the poverty stricken and the disenfranchised that live within the richest country in the world. It’s a bold move that...more
Sam Quixote
Following a shocking political assassination, the election between the Beast and the Smiler ramps up and Spider Jerusalem finds himself courted by both candidates for interviews. Meanwhile Channon finds out Yelena’s dirty secret and election day looms.

This book has Warren Ellis writing more about the world of the City with Spider, amidst the campaign madness, showing the reader the poverty stricken and the disenfranchised that live within the richest country in the world. It’s a bold move that...more
Larou
The fourth volume of Transmetropolitan continues the plotline started in volume three but raises the stakes – this time, it’s all about the actual presidential election. My favourite episode in this volume was I think Spider Jerusalem’s interview with the President – Ellis and Robertson turn that into a really great portrait of a villain: They give him the occasion to justify himself, to demonstrate that he has his reasons for doing what he’s doing – and that for all that he is not one bit less...more
Brian
A perfect description of how (I'm sure) many Americans feel about the weaknesses of the election process. Sure, the insanity of the "smiler" was very much taken to the extreme...but that just made it all the more powerful. What, indeed, could Spider (or one of us) have done? More chilling to think about is this: is what this book says about that process really so much more different in reality? How much lying do our candidates take part in? And I'm not talking about spoken lies...I'm talking abo...more
Cameron
The series continues to rocket along without hitting a wrong note with art or story. The tension continues to build and satire/ observation gets sharper, though some of the background gags may get a bit too much with some people with weak stomachs.

There was unexpected return of a minor character, I am interested to see where this goes. All covers are by Darrick.

Kirk
I don't have too much to say about this work that hasn't already been said. I just picked it up again for the first time in about a year because it was on a stack of comics I just brought home from my office. I love Ellis' ability to craft a good story, and Spider is an amazing character who, though seemingly desensitized by the world around him, is actually quite compassionate and caring. Though he seems to have little faith in humanity, he constantly strives to rekindle or ignite for the first...more
Lloyd
Warren Ellis continues on a great path with this volume of "Transmetropolitan". This time, outlaw journalist Spider Jerusalem spits Truth at the presidential election, shedding light on the deeds and lies of both parties.

Ellis continues to show us a futuristic world which, when we dig, is a mirror of our own. Legendary comics icon Grant Morrison is quoted on the back of this volume as saying, "Forget newspapers, they'll only lie to you. TRANSMETROPOLITAN tells you what's really going on." Throug...more
Fox
So, here it all picks up once more. It's the day before the elections (and the actual elections) and both the Beast (the incumbent) and the Smiler Callahan ask Spider for interviews prior to the vote. The interview with The Beast is surprising, and like some of the best comics, shows how the adversarial relationship between him and Spider is necessary for both of them to perpetuate their given roles. The interview with Callahan is just plain creepy.

I'm normally not one to enjoy political fiction...more
Mihnea
4.5 really...after an uneven start this series just gets better and better. Although in the beginning Spider was an unlikable bastard, I`m starting to relate to him.

Lots of drama, tension, some laugh out loud moments, a plausible future world, great characters, a potent critique of the madness that is politics, and raising some interesting questions about the way we treat each other without providing any easy answers...what`s not to like?

Can`t give it 5-stars because the art just doesn`t do it...more
luciddreamer99
A very nice follow-up to the last volume, this edition continues the stellar pattern set by this series. Spider Jerusalem shows some compassion at spots in this story, and the election coverage could apply to modern day election cycles. The believable and likeable characterization, both of Jerusalem and his assistants, friends (if Spider has friends) and antagonists, remains as a touchstone of Ellis' story. The detailed art by Robertson adds to the story, as well, as the world of Transmetropolit...more
Owen
Although the narrative quality has dipped in comparison to earlier instalments, nevertheless, some fiercely cogent points are raised against the filth-ridden cynicism that can grease the gears of the political machine.
Raisa
If you're jaded about politics and the whole electoral process (like me) then you'll love this Volume. It gets into the dirty games that go on during a political election- and the lengths each candidate will go to to win.

You learn a bit more about these Presidential candidates as Spider interviews them, which leaves you with the distinct feeling that if you were living in this dystopia of Ellis' imagination, you'd have no one to vote for. Which is actually quite close to reality, but I digress....more
Jerry Landry
I have to admit that this volume of the Transmetropolitan series failed to impress me. I picked this one up after having read the first three volumes, all of which were enjoyable, thought-provoking reads set in a dystopian future. However, this one fell rather flat. Though there were some interesting parts, in particular Spider Jerusalem’s confrontations with the Beast and the Smiler (the two presidential candidates in the dystopian future the series is set in), most of it just seemed like fille...more
Dave Riley
I like this because it was a throw back to gonzo journalism and Hunter S. Thompson. I'm not a gonzo fan especially but this is done so well that you have to appreciate the rabid libertarianism being advanced by dint of superb illustrations --pragmatically realistic, expressionist and comic. The grotesque is in the indulged political caricatures even though the 'point' is hard to comprehend.

Visually it is one of the most appealing comic books I've read in some time and the paneling flow is effor...more
Mikael Kuoppala
I thought with the third volume of "Transmetropolitan" that Ellis was losing his edge a bit, and I was especially surprised by the bland way he addressed such a directly political plot. With "The New Scum" it becomes apparent that Ellis was just saving all of his wit for this.

The story picks up from where we were left at in the end of the third volume, and this time the presidential election in a future chaotic America is squeezed out nearly dry of the potential this juicy subject offers. Wonder...more
Chelsea Jennings
This series encompasses all the extremes of human life. It is at times disgusting and perverted, at others tender and inspiring, and all the while hilarious. Especially appropriate for our times, this series follows the work of outlaw journalist Spider Jerusalem, who works to expose corruption in the leaders of government and society. He engages in an ongoing battle against a president who harbors ill will towards humanity, and who systematically attempts to rewrite the constitution, omitting al...more
Bill
This series continues to deliver. It is possibly the darkest, most twisted, and yet at times most beautifully hopeful piece of literature I've encountered, and yes, I just called a series of graphic novels "literature". I have resisted graphic novels for years, and in fact only picked this series up after reading a rather brilliant (also dark and twisted) novel by the author. Thanks to Warren Ellis for writing Crooked Little Vein, the novel which introduced me to his skill as a writer, and to my...more
Courtney
The election looms closer, Channon is back and Spider continues to be, well, Spider. This one feels more transitory than some of the other stories, but I do enjoy the world-building. The level of detail in this series is truly astonishing.
John
The most disturbing volume yet, because the politics ring so true.
Rachel
YES GOOD. I am probably going to finish this series by, uh, tomorrow
Jay
I'm glad the plot has finally settled into place. I do want to like this series, and now that the plot is starting to roll out and the worldbuilding and exposition has been done, I think I can get into the groove with this comic series. And Ellis does have a knack for creating characters you love to hate. I don't particularly favour any of the characters yet, but I know I find Spider to be a touch annoying. But I think that's most likely the point.

There's not much to say here other than I think...more
Andrew
Smug, juvenile, pretentious and shallow, The New Scum is like every shitty punk band I've ever heard. So desperate to shock it is merely boring. The treatment of political corruption and public apathy are terribly simplistic, and predate written history. Spider Jerusalem is basically anti-authority wish-fulfillment, kicking political toadies in the nuts, attacking people with a bowel disruptor, and being Totally Xtreem. It's all so... undergrad. Oh, the iconoclasm! Please, Spider, spare my sacre...more
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12772
Has written comics & graphic novels, books, journalism, animation, tv, film, videogames and anything else that looks like it might pay a bill or buy whisky.

Second novel, GUN MACHINE, due from Mulholland Books in autumn of 2012.

First non-fiction book due from FSG in 2014.

Currently a weekly columnist for VICE UK.

Hello. WHERE AM I

More about Warren Ellis...
Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1: Back on the Street (Transmetropolitan, #1) Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard (Transmetropolitan, #3) Transmetropolitan, Vol. 2: Lust for Life (Transmetropolitan, #2) Transmetropolitan, Vol. 5: Lonely City (Transmetropolitan, #5) Planetary, Vol. 1: All Over the World and Other Stories

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“Tradition:' one of those words conservative people use as a shortcut to thinking.” 82 likes
“Hi. I’m Spider Jerusalem. I smoke. I take drugs. I drink. I wash every six weeks. I masturbate constantly and fling my steaming poison semen down from my window into your hair and food. I’m a rich and respected columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper. I live with two beautiful women in the city’s most expensive and select community. Being a bastard works.” 18 likes
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