!Spider Jerusalem
A famous outlaw journalist. He was called down from [[{{Arcadia}} the Mountain]] after a five year hiatus due to a book contract. He quickly reestablishes himself as a chaotic journalist and columnist.

* AwesomeMcCoolname: He was ''supposed to be'' named Django Heraclitus Jerusalem, but he came out a skinny baby, his mother had very poor eyesight and three different neurological difficulties at the time, so he ended up as Spider instead.
* BaldOfAwesome: Spider loses all hair on his body in an accident with a shower. (although the artists don't always remember.)
%%* CheshireCatGrin
* ClusterFBomb: A lot of his dialogue consists of swearing or creative insults. ''A lot.''
* DoesntLikeGuns: ZigZagged; he owns quite an impressive arsenal, it's just that he rarely ''uses'' it for anything besides intimidation. One of his first actions in the comic is to ''blow up a bar close to his mountain with a bazooka'' (though apparently no one was inside), when he charges into the Word to ask Royce for a job he's swinging [[Franchise/StarWars Han Solo's blaster]], and he's often seen with something that looks like a chrome Desert Eagle. However, if his life's not in danger he prefers to humiliate people rather than kill them, and eschews firearms in favor of bowel disruptors and snowball throwers for the majority of the comic. Late in the series, after a lot of death threats and a few assassins, he [[BatmanGrabsAGun begins blowing mooks away, much to everyone's surprise]]. [[spoiler: It turns out in the end to be misdirection; the BigBad is so worried about him having a gun that he only searches him for weapons, and Spider instead swathed himself in nanotech microphones, something that they didn't bother to look for.]]
%%* GonzoJournalism
* GoodIsNotNice: If we can even call him good. Maybe by comparison.
* HeroWithBadPublicity: 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''.
* IconicOutfit: 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.
* IntrepidReporter: His profession. He's gone so far for a story as to use an experimental teleporter to interview the Smiler's wife.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: 99.9% of the time he's an asshole through and through. He'll cuss at you, assault you and brag about how he can get away with it because he's Spider Jerusalem. But he is capable of genuine empathy, remorse, or gratitude, which particularly comes out in his columns (the non-political ones anyway. The political ones tend toward just repeating the word "FUCK" over 8000 times).
* KnightInSourArmor: The key to his Jerkass facade. The reason he's so pissed all the time is because he's been [[MaddenIntoMisanthropy Maddened Into Misanthropy]] at how the powerful abuse the powerless for money, power, votes, or just for the hell of it, and all he can see is how ''pointless'' all that is in a world full of wondrous technology that could cure all ills but somehow hasn't managed to do so. His entire reason for being an IntrepidReporter is exposing such actions, praising human achievement, and asking why the latter is necessary in light of the former.
* MakingASpectacleOfYourself: Spider Jerusalem's trademark camera shades [[FashionableAsymmetry 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.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** He's based on Creator/HunterSThompson.
** His long brown hair and beard during his initial appearance on the Mountain was inspired by Creator/AlanMoore.
* PhraseCatcher: "I like your column." By a proportionally small amount of people.
* VitriolicBestBuds: 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:
--> You take care of yourself, man. You never did anything wrong by me.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: 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. [[spoiler: Or feeling cold from Info-pollen degeneration.]]

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

* ActionGirl: After her sabbatical.
* AmazonianBeauty: Channon is very tall and cut, but she's also drop-dead gorgeous.
* BodyguardBabes
* BoobsOfSteel: Much more voluptuous and action-oriented than Yelena, though it's implied they're fake.
* DeadpanSnarker: You've GOT to be one of those to be able to stand working with Spider for any given length of time.
* HeroicBSOD: 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.
* StatuesqueStunner
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Quite often.

!Yelena Rossini
Spider's second assistant and Royce's niece ([[spoiler:only not really]]). An aspiring journalist and writer.

* [[ACupAngst 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.
* DeadpanSnarker: See Channon's entry.
* HasAType: It's implied a few times that Yelena's type is older, bald men [[spoiler:like Spider]].

!Mitchell Royce
Spider's constantly troubled editor.

* BadBoss: Besides his general vitriol with Spider ([[HeroWithBadPublicity which is a given]]), it's generally averted. However, he does have at least three interrogation cells in the office building, which does raise some concern.
* CatchPhrase: "Where's my fucking column?!"
* DaEditor: 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.
%%* DeadpanSnarker
* HonoraryUncle: 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".
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: How Spider knows something has gone down? Royce misses his trademark CatchPhrase in a phonecall.
* PrecisionFStrike: He generally reserves them for his calls with Spider, when he demands to know where his column is.
-->''[[{{Angrish}} My. Where. Column. Fucking. Is.]]''
** Inverted once, when Royce opens a phone call without asking for the column or swearing, foreshadowing that things have just gone FromBadToWorse.
* TookALevelInBadass: After "Two-Fisted Editor", you will never look at Royce the same way again. [[spoiler: 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 - [[RefugeInAudacity charged to his company expense account]].]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Spider.

!President "The Beast"
The President of the United States. Despite being corrupt, he managed to maintain the presidency well into his second term at the start of the comic.

* AtLeastIAdmitIt: 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.
* BerserkButton: 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.
* CassandraTruth: 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.
* TheCynic: Incredibly cynical about the role of the President and appears to be in it only for his own gratification.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: 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.
* HateSink: InUniverse. He has been attempted assassinated so much that Secret Service started charging him for protection. Presumably he ''has'' supporters, but the comic never shows any of them.
* MotiveRant: An uncommonly well thought-out one during his interview with Spider when he explains his beliefs:
-->'''The Beast:''' Look, my job isn't to make everything beautiful. My job isn't to make living life a good time. My job is to keep the majority of people in this country alive. That's ''it.'' If fifty-one percent eat a meal tomorrow and forty-nine percent don't, I've done my job. That is the absolute fucking limit of what can be done. Anyone who says otherwise is a con artist. My job is just to keep things the way they are. Everyone stays the same. I do the job. I keep the money coming. I provide the television and a few spare dollars and space for a fuck or two. You might not like that. You might not think that's the way a President should behave. But, you know... that's fucking ''tough.''
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Very clearly based on UsefulNotes/RichardNixon.
* NotEvilJustMisunderstood: Spider saw the man as pure evil. What he finds is an incredibly cynical man.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Thanks to Spider, everyone calls him "The Beast" - even his own children.
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: President Corrupt. He uses campaign funding as his own private slush fund and there are a lot of minor news stories about theft, corruption and prostitution involving him or his administration.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Incredibly he appears to be capable of being this at times; when Spider completely loses his temper during the interview with the Beast and attacks him, one of the Secret Service bodyguards comes in and stops him at gunpoint. The guard is about to take Spider down the hall and summarily execute him for attempting to kill the President, but the Beast tells him to leave Spider alone, even though he could easily get away with having Spider killed under the circumstances[[note]]although admittedly he'd lose the interview[[/note]].
-->'''The Beast:''' No, really. It's OK. He's ''little people.'' You have to allow the little people their shot sometimes.

!Senator Gary "The Smiler" Callahan
One of the candidates running against The Beast for president.

* AxeCrazy: Besides his irrational paranoia, which caused him to order the needless massacre of a peaceful protest of college kids, he's also incredibly capricious with his dictations.
* BigBad: The primary antagonist through most of the series.
* CardCarryingVillain: In private.
* CheshireCatGrin: In his first in-person appearance, he quotes [[Creator/AlfredLordTennyson Alfred, Lord Tennyson]] without much prompting. Most of the entire following passage is the same unnerving panel of the Smiler doing what he does best. He does not move his lips, blink, or emote at all:
--> '''Spider:''' Does he move?
--> [{{Beat}}]
--> '''Smiler:''' ''The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: / The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep / Moans round with many voices. / Come, my friends, / 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.'' "''Ulysses.''" Tennyson. My favorite poem. A new world. New opposition. New campaign. New politics. New president.
--> [{{Beat}}]
--> '''Smiler:''' ''(Extends hand)'' Gary Callahan. Nice to meet you.
--> '''Spider:''' ''(Recoils)'' '''AAH!''' It moved!
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: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.]]
* MisanthropeSupreme: He wants to be President because he hates everyone and wants to fuck with them.
* MotiveRant: Like The Beast, he gives one in his interview with Spider. [[spoiler:Unlike The Beast, he disables all Spider's recording equipment because he doesn't want it to get out.]]
-->'''The Smiler:''' [[MisanthropeSupreme I hate people more than anything.]] And I'm going to be President. I really need [[RightHandCat a white cat to stroke]], Alan. Like a Franchise/JamesBond villain. Can you arrange that? 'course you can. You're my political director. You can arrange ''anything,'' can't you, Alan? I hate you all, you know? All you scum. I want to be President because I hate you. I want to fuck with you. I want to make you shut up and do things properly. Get through your doomed little lives quietly. I want to be President because I think I should be.
* PresidentEvil: He has people killed to promote his own image, and then invents a pseudo-religion based on them to further aid his career, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking he masturbates into the American flag]]. Definitely evil.
* SlasherSmile: As the wheels begin to come off his [[spoiler:presidential administration, largely because of Spider's interference, he graduates to one of these.]]
* StepfordSmiler: It's where his nickname comes from.

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

* BaldOfAwesome: Has exactly the same number of hairs on his dome as Spider and is just as awesome.
* CoolOldGuy: 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).
* DeadpanSnarker: 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.
* GoodFeelsGood: 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."
* GoodParents: The third reason is "Because it keeps my daughter close by.
* SophisticatedAsHell: Supremely talented at it, as he proves when the police come to his front door:
-->'''Oscar:''' Hello. I am Oscar Rossini, noted city philanthropist, a supporter of the party in government, active on a dozen political committees and a substantial donor of financial gifts. I have no criminal record, several awards, three of which were given to me by presidents, and a medal. I am also, finally, a television star. I'd like it if you could arrest me now. Because it will ensure that in a week's time you will be in a most unpleasant prison with the mutant erection of a career dog rapist deep in your colon.

!Officer Stompanato a.k.a. Stomp
A sapient, talking police bulldog. He holds a grudge against Spider for emasculating him some years ago.

* BestialityIsDepraved: Inverted. In this case, it's the dog's attraction to humans that's an indicator of his depravity.
* BrownNote: 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.
* DirtyCop: When Stomp encountered Spider, he was trying to extort some strippers for protection money. Prompting Spider to, well...
* TheDogBitesBack: More literally in this case. His entire motivation is that he had a [[BiggerIsBetterInBed "huge wanger"]], and Spider had it removed for trying to extort strippers.
* FacialMarkings: He has a pattern of the CPD badge shaved or branded into his forehead
* GroinAttack: Courtesy of Spider paying a shady vet to have him emasculated.
* {{Phlegmings}}: He's constantly drooling.
* PragmaticVillainy: 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.
* RasputinianDeath: 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, [[spoiler:misses completely, and ends up jumping off of a roof to his death]].
* RedRightHand: The FacialMarkings and the rings sealing up his left eye socket are all you need to see to know he's not one of the good guys.
* SanitySlippage: 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.
* ShaggyDogStory: 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.
* TalkingAnimal: Possibly as an uplift or a genetic experiment.
* UnknownRival: 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 [[spoiler: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 [[spoiler: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]].