Another week, another dystopian future. This week we are covering the future of Transmetroplitan. This is a 1997 comic series that was written by Warren Ellis with art by Darick Robertson. It was published by DC under the new defunct Mature Sci-Fi imprint of Helix.
The story of Transmetropolitan starts with journalist, Spider Jerusalem living in isolation in the mountains (the way he likes it) when he gets a call from his publisher who tells him he needs to fulfill his contract of writing 2 more books. He doesn’t have any ideas for new books so he makes the decision to go back to the City to get his next story. This is a very difficuly decision because Spider hates the City. The cruel, dirty, polluted City.
Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson take use on a fun, cigarette and caffeine fueled roller coaster ride of what the world looks like in this nightmare vision of the future. You’ll laugh and laugh more.
It’s a dystopian future but it’s not too bad compared to some of the other futures we covered in the last few weeks.
The future is now! We are continuing our discussion on future dystopian comics and this week we are cover the future of American Flagg!
American Flagg! was a comic written and illustrated by Howard Chaykin with letters by Ken Bruzenak that originally started in 1983 and was distributed by First Comics, an independent publisher at the time.
American Flagg! takes place in 2031 in Plex America which is the name of the former United States of America. It follows the adventures of former TV star, now conscripted Plex Ranger, Reuben Flagg. He is relocated from Mars, a planet of the wealthy to Earth, home of the dregs of society and in a constant state of conflict. It is up to Flagg and his Plexus Rangers to establish order and return Plex America to it’s former glory before the Tricentennial.
We review the collected trade volume one by Image. It collects the first 6 issues.
This comic is a dark, satirical take on America and it’s politics in the 1980s, but it feels as relevant today, more than ever. In Flagg’s reality, people have broken their political beliefs into fractured, radicalized cells and wage war on the streets with other political parties every day – and this is a normal day! Chaykin takes a philandering louse and makes him the hero of the story and it works! This comics gets you with humor and keeps you reading for the twists and turns of the plot. Netflix, HBO and Hulu – why are you not making this a series yet?!!
We are continuing with our review of Dystopian comics and next on the list is Tim Truman’s Scout. It was originally published by Eclipse Comics back in 1987.
If you are not familiar with the comic, here is a brief summary:
BY TIMOTHY (CONAN WRITER/ARTIST) TRUMAN Scout, originally published in 1987 and created by Timothy Truman features the Native American hero, Emanuel Santana, and his one-man war against oppressive governmental forces in a post-apocalyptic United States.
This was pulled off the Dynamite Entertainment website. Direct link here.
Jon and I have did not read this in issues when it originally came out but Dynamite Entertainment collected the first 7 issues in a trade paperback so we got the opportunity to read this rarity and give our review on it.
Scout is a interesting satire of 80s politics and “Go Big or Go Home” culture mixed with Indigenous People folklore. Scout “sees” the evil in the world and it is up to him to heed the hero’s call to vanquish the beasts that destroy the land and reestablish order in America.
*** SPOILER WARNING***
In the podcast we talk about characters and plot points. We don’t give everything away but we do spoil a couple of parts to talk about the story. You can listen to this podcast prior to reading the comic. In fact, it may help you understand some of the content. But if you want to read the comic without any spoilers, go read it and then come back.
The world is in a social crisis. COVID-19 is impacting everyone and we are all worrying about the future. Now seems like the perfect time to talk about a cheery subject – a totalitarian future were everyone’s freedoms are stripped away and there is no hope.
This is not entirely true. The is one hope – one man wages war on a despotic government to overthrow the tyrants and return freedom to the people. Hooray! We are going to be talking about V for Vendetta. A comic by writer Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd. It was originally published as a serial in a UK comic Warrior in 1982. DC converted it into a 10 issue miniseries in 1988.
I have been waiting for the perfect time to talk about this comic and now seems the best time. Jon and I share our history regarding reading this comic.
We talk about the history of the comic coming from Warrior and moving over to DC. The original David Lloyd art was in black and white and DC wanted it to be in color. Normally, this would not be a problem but Lloyd uses Negative Space technique for the black and white images and that will not look great with color. The colorists for the comic get around the problem.
We then get into world history of the UK in the 80s and how that would have a major influence on Moore and Lloyd on the creation of V and how their dystopian society looked.
We then get into talking about the actual comic (but not too much). We go over the first 2 issues. We learn about V, the main protagonist. Evey, a innocent by-stander that gets swept up by accident into V’s terrorist plot and finally, Mr. Adam Susan, face of the fascist regime that is controlling the UK.
This podcast is a great place to start if you have never read V for Vendetta. We don’t talk too much about the comic in this podcast but we are giving you a chance to read it and come back in a week for part 2. Next week, we will get into all of the comic and do a comparison of the movie to the comic.
Some bloopers in the podcast: This is podcast 256, not 258. Alan Moore wrote Swamp Thing not Swamp Men and there are probably a dozen others but I am too tired to address them. This is why it’s called Comics Misremembered.
In the podcast, I promised a link to Superman Annual #11 (Here) AKA “For The Man Who Has Everything”. Moore explores the same themes of nationalism and fascism.