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Book Review < Back

Year of the Bastard (vol. 3)

Credits: Written by Warren Ellis and Illustrated by Darick Robertson and Rodney Ramos
Publisher: Vertigo (DC)


In YEAR OF THE BASTARD, the third volume of Ellis and Robertson's TRANSMETROPOLITAN, we find ourselves at the start of what the whole story is really about. It's election time in the City, you see, and the populace is about to elect themselves into four years of another nightmare.

Spider Jerusalem, outlaw hero of the new scum, finds himself with just enough arrogance and just enough hubris to think that Truth matters in the world of politics; with this woefully-naïve idea lodged firmly and stubbornly in his head he sets about trying to enlighten his readership as to the nightmare catch-22 they're soon to face in the voting booth. As the politicos try to use Spider (as the voice and mouthpiece of the invisible and disenfranchised), so does Spider try to use the politicos.

It, of course, ends very badly.

Reflecting Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, YEAR OF THE BASTARD is only about politics superficially. It's really about the commerce of democracy and the media manipulation so critical in the buying and selling of candidates in a modern political campaign. Even in broad strokes, the parallels are eerie enough to resonate across the fictional future to our factual present. Full of the profane wit and manic, angry intensity that are hallmarks of the series, YEAR OF THE BASTARD is a lightning fast, righteously indignant sweep through across a political landscape that's both familiar and sad.

-- Matt Fraction

Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.


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