There are no zombies, aliens or supervillains here. Our antagonist, the president, is truly diabolical and may even be mad but he is still human and very credible. There will be no technobabble, silver bullets or magic potion to save the day here. Spider is a hero in the classic sense of the word and like Odysseus he can only triumph through his own skill and courage. This is proper grown up writing, completely relevant to our lives today.
Spider is genuinely in trouble. His illness is a wonderful ticking clock turning up the tension and reminding us that the hero need not survive the battle for it to be a great story. With just a few volumes to go we are in the final act and you wouldn’t want to miss this for the world.
The art which was crazily good before just goes off the scale. There a lot of wordless pages leaving the pictures to impart a sense of epicness that would only be diminished by text. The first part of the book is entirely black borders then after an important story point it changes to white. This subtle transition is an amazingly effective device. At one point borders and panels are abandoned almost completely with the elements of each picture dividing up the page artistically and effectively. There is an internal monologue scene with Spider that just uses grey and black with his lone figure peering out of the darkness that is simply breath-taking.
This is the volume that confirms you never want this story to end. Double Thumbs Up!
Tomorrow: Transmetropolitan: The Cure – Warren Ellis