Transmetropolitan: The Best Comic About Politics and U.S. Elections

Transmetropolitan Vol 1 from VertigoIn case you live under a rock, the 2012 U.S. presidential election is just one week away.

But I’ve decided not to write a long and drawn out article as to why you should vote for a candidate who cares about women’s rightsLGBT rights, and who isn’t an advocate of enforcing draconian obscenity laws (while still accepting campaign donations from porn promoters). Instead, I’d like to share a little about my favorite comic about politics and U.S. elections:  Transmetropolitan (1997-2002).

Spider Jerusalem on the cover of  TransmetropolitanThere’s a surprising number superhero comic books about U.S. elections. Ed Brubaker’s recent run on Captain America features an extensive story line about the subject and Sam Humphries’ current run on Ultimate Comics Ultimates even showcases Captain America as the newly-elected President of the United States.

Despite its flaws, Frank Miller’s masterfully written Elektra Assassin (1986) is another interesting tale centering on an election. Hell, even Howard the Duck ran for president in 1976 (but lost to Jimmy Carter).

But none of these compare to Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan. 

Civic Center Riot Police from Vertigo's Transmetropolitan

Transmetropolitan is a cyberpunk series starring Spider Jerusalem, an unstable and violent gonzo journalist who is contractual obligated to return to The City to write a book about politics. This is a very bad thing, as The City is a consumerist den of sex, drugs, genetic modification, and social injustice that’s eerily not unlike our own society.

Channon about to commit assault on a police officer in Transmetropolitan

It’s an intelligent and irreverent exploration of politics, religion, police brutality, bodily autonomy, discrimination, free speech, unchecked consumerism, censorship, and the power of the press. It’s also largely about poop jokes. Lots of poop jokes here, people.

I should also mention that its relatively small cast features a surprisingly large number of amazing female characters.

It’s violent, raunchy, and likely to offend but I highly recommend reading it and then re-reading it every election year.

What’s your favorite comic about politics and elections? Sound off in the comments!

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