Characters: Transmetropolitan

Spider Jerusalem

A famous outlaw journalist. He was called down from the Mountain after a five year hiatus due to a book contract. He quickly reestablishes himself as a chaotic journalist and columnist.

  • Anti-Hero With Good Publicity/Hero with Bad Publicity: Spider's fans either love him and more often hate him, and most public personalities hate him to an extreme. It was so bad that there was once a petition to put a mark out for Spider's life that reached 500 signatures.
  • Bald of Awesome: Spider loses all hair on his body in an accident with a shower. (although the artists don't always remember.)
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: The Joker might be unnerved by Spider's. Then again, the Joker might also be unnerved by Spider's typical drug intake.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: A lot of his dialogue consists of swearing or creative insults. A lot.
  • Expy: His job, heavy usage of drugs, and even some of his looks are based on Hunter S. Thompson. The personality and vitriol are like a magnified, pissed off version of Hunter S. Thompson.
  • Gonzo Journalism: He is based on Hunter S. Thompson, after all.
  • Good Is Not Nice: If we can even call him good. Maybe by comparison.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Though he has access to any clothes he can think of, he's usually wearing at least some of his trademark clothing (or nude), which consist of black pants, shoes, jacket, no shirt, and his shades.
  • Intrepid Reporter: His profession. He's gone so far for a story as to use an experimental teleporter to interview the Smiler's wife.
  • Jerkass: All the time.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Glimmers of it under the Jerkass exterior, but they're generally far enough between that any kind of genuine empathy, remorse, or gratitude from Spider comes as a shock.
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself: Spider Jerusalem's trademark camera shades with the mismatched lenses. Bonus points by being created more or less by accident, by a sentient fabricator that was stoned out of its goddamned mind. Even he came to think they were so cool that when he lost them, another set was made for him with the same mismatched lenses.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He looks like a cyberpunk Hunter S. Thompson (fittingly enough).
    • His long brown hair and beard during his initial appearance on the Mountain was inspired by Alan Moore.
  • Phrase Catcher: "I like your column." By a proportionally small amount of people.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His only friendly relationships that don't fit this trope are with Vita Severn, Mary, and Oscar Rossini. However, his relationship with Mitchell Royce is a standout. The two have yelled at, bullied, threatened, and degraded each other over many years (we know that Spider has gotten Royce infected with at least one extremely painful STD, and Royce at one point forced Spider to write a column at gunpoint), but when Spider slips off the net to avoid the police, knowing they may never speak again, his last words to Royce are:
    Goodbye, old friend. You always did right by me.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Only dons any kind of clothing that covers his full upper body on very rare occasions, usually when he's either getting very serious or very crazy. Or feeling cold from Info-pollen degeneration.

Channon Yarrow

A former stripper, she is Spider's first assistant. Later she works as his bodyguard.

  • Action Girl: After her sabbatical.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Channon is very tall and cut, but she's also drop-dead gorgeous.
  • Badass
  • Bodyguard Babes
  • Boobs of Steel: Much more voluptuous and action-oriented than Yelena, though it's implied they're fake.
  • Deadpan Snarker: You've GOT to be one of those to be able to stand working with Spider for any given length of time.
  • Heroic BSOD: Following her boyfriend dumping her, aided in part by the fact that immediately afterward he went Foglet, trading in his human body to become a sentient cloud of nanomachines.
  • Statuesque Stunner
  • Stripperiffic: Quite often.

Yelena Rossini

Spider's second assistant and Royce's niece (only not really). An aspiring journalist and writer.

  • A-Cup Angst: She claims that for her to fill out the kinds of dresses that look good on Channon she'd "need to be shot in the back by two cruise missiles" first. Which, given Channon's rather more spectacular figure, doesn't necessarily mean much. Still, Yelena seems to have a preference for wearing clothes that understate her figure, seemingly so as not to call attention to it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: See Channon's entry.
  • Has a Type: It's implied a few times that Yelena's type is older, bald men like Spider.

Mitchell Royce

Spider's constantly troubled editor.

  • Bad Boss: Besides his general vitriol with Spider (which is a given), it's generally averted. However, he does have at least interrogation cells in the office building, which does raise some concern.
  • Catch Phrase: "Where's my fucking column?!"
  • Da Editor: For the newspaper The Word, which Spider worked at in the past, and which rehired him as a columnist when he came back down from the Mountain. As it stands, he's the best in the business.
  • Deadpan Snarker: See Yelena's entry.
  • Honorary Uncle: Even after Yelena reveals she's not really his niece and he only told Spider she is to stop him messing with her too badly, she still sometimes calls him "Uncle Mitch".
  • OOC Is Serious Business: How Spider knows something has gone down? Royce misses his trademark Catch Phrase in a phonecall.
  • Precision F-Strike: He generally reserves them for his calls with Spider, when he demands to know where his column is.
    • Inverted once, when Royce opens a phone call without asking for the column or swearing, foreshadowing that things have just gone From Bad to Worse.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After "Two-Fisted Editor", you will never look at Royce the same way again. To sum things up, Spider's sources get knocked out after a (man-made) natural disaster. Royce turns out to have seen it coming and made private back-ups, and then beats, threatens and blackmails three people to fill in the gaps. Then he plonks the copies down in front of Spider, laughs in his face and goes on a bender of epic proportions - charged to his company expense account.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Spider.

President "The Beast"

The President of the United States. Despite being corrupt, he managed to maintain the presidency for two terms before the comic began.

  • At Least I Admit It: He fully admits to being an awful human being, but compares himself favorably to Callahan because Callahan is at least as bad but tries to hide it.
  • Berserk Button: The Beast puts up with a lot of shit from Spider with an almost admirable amount of restraint, but when Spider continues to insist he doesn't believe in anything, he loses his temper (apparently he hates being called a liar when he's actually being honest).
    The Beast: I said before: just because you don't like what I believe in doesn't mean I have no beliefs.
    Spider: Don't give me that. You don't-
    The Beast: Shut up. You call me a liar to my face again, I'll fucking glass you.
  • Cassandra Truth: As awful as he is, the way he describes Gary Callahan? If anything, he's actually restrained in describing how amoral and ruthless Callahan is. Nobody pays attention.
  • Expy: Very clearly based on Richard Nixon.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Beast believes that the president cannot be reasonably expected to do anything more domestically than make sure 50% plus 1 of the population are doing all right. As long as that's true, then he's done his job. However, he at least believes in that much; he claims Callahan believes in nothing but that he should be president.
  • Everybody Calls Him Barkeep: Or rather, everyone calls him "The Beast" - even his own children.

Senator Gary "The Smiler" Callahan

One of the candidates running against The Beast for president.

  • Big Bad
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: The Joker might run from his.
  • Karma Houdini: Discussed in the epilogue, where nobody's quite sure what's going to happen to him. On the one hand, he's buying off most of the charges against him, and some especially depraved souls are actually funding him. On the other hand, there's so many people out for his blood that he may well eventually run out of money, at which point all signs indicate that he will be subjected to Very Bad Things. Even if he does survive, he doesn't get to be President any more, which is the only thing he ever desired.
  • President Evil
  • Slasher Smile: As the wheels begin to come off his presidential administration, largely because of Spider's interference, he graduates to one of these.
  • Stepford Smiler: It's where his nickname comes from.

Oscar Rossini

Yelena's father, a rich, upper-class man formerly heavily involved in politics.

  • Bald of Awesome: Has exactly the same number of hairs on his dome as Spider and is just as awesome.
  • Cool Old Guy: So cool he's one of only two characters in the series Spider never shows anything other than absolute respect to (the other being Mary).
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of the things that makes him cool; despite looking like a stuffy, upper-crust gentleman he knows when not to be so serious.
    Oscar: <fondly> So like her mother, my Yelena. She was an awkward bitch too, you understand.
  • Good Feels Good: When Spider asks Oscar why he wants Spider and his assistants to use his home as their new base of operations, the first reason he gives is "Because I miss doing the right thing."

Officer Stompanato a.k.a. Stomp

A sapient, talking police bulldog. He holds a grudge against Spider for emasculating him some years ago.

  • Brown Note: Spider's actions traumatized him so badly, just hearing his name causes him to go into a seizure. Oddly, he's immune to this when he himself says Spider's name.
  • Dirty Cop: When Stomp encountered Spider, he was trying to extort some strippers for protection money. Prompting Spider to, well...
  • The Dog Bites Back: More literally in this case. His entire motivation is that he had a "huge wanger", and Spider had it removed for tring to extort strippers.
  • Facial Markings: He has a pattern of the CPD badge shaved or branded into his forehead
  • Groin Attack: Courtesy of Spider paying a shady vet to have him emasculated.
  • Phlegmings: He's constantly drooling.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Not by his choice. His superiors decided not to press charges on Spider for his actions, knowing that if it went to court, they would be pressured into charging Stomp for corruption.
  • Rasputinian Death: Before he even finds Spider: he's hit by two cars, giving him a concussion, blood loss, and possibly a fractured skull; gets mauled and blinded by a group of cats; and doused in "holy water" (whatever it was, it burned). It comes to a head when he attacks Spider, misses completely, and ends up jumping off of a roof to his death.
  • Red Right Hand: The Facial Marking and the rings sealing up his left eye socket are all you need to see to know he's njot one of the goodguys.
  • Sanity Slippage: As his story goes on, he's clearly becoming more desperate for revenge as the plot goes on. It's clear he's already gone down this road a bit before his story even starts.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Again, more literal in this case. He has a subplot spanning three issues trying to track down Spider for revenge. It doesn't end well.
  • Talking Animal: Possibly as an uplift or a genetic experiment.
  • Unkown Rival: He gets called in to "check on" Spider, after the latter had to kill three hitmen who break into his apartment. Stomp spends three issues tracking down Spider, and Spider doesn't know about him until he chucks his ex-wife's head off of a roof. Stomp, blinded, jumps at Spider from a blind angle, only to miss entirely and precedes Spider's wife's head off the roof by a few seconds. The most warning Spider gets is a crunching sound before the "splooshing" sound of his wife hitting the water. Spider walks away, never aware that Stomp was trying to kill him.