So in the wake of a shocking assassination/murder, Spider finds himself coveted by both the Beast and the Smiler (the 2 men running for POTUSA). The New Scum refers to the part of the City where the very lower classes manage to scrape by their existences. Spider doesn’t think too highly of the men who subjugate these people, but he also expects more from them in terms of their civic responsibilities.
Warren Ellis has always been an impressive writer (save maybe for Avengers: Endless Wartime – which is a dirty stinker) but here, you just see the pure vitriol, spite, anger, scorn, rage, and disappointment that fuels his writing. (Or at least I feel like that’s what’s being poured into Spider, who is some sort of pseudo-Ellis here).
I cannot help but look at the date (1999) and think about the US elections at the time (Bush/Gore) and see parallels.
However, the most important moment in the whole volume for me is when Spider acts like a compassionate human being towards a sad lost little girl (and later, her mother). From what most of us have seen of Spider, this is so out of character, it seems shocking…and yet…would he really be so angry about the state of the world if he didn’t have that caring for humanity? Would he have been so angry at the people in the wake of the election? I think this is a great way Ellis shows us underneath, that the high hopes being crushed are what fuels the rage of Spider.
A strong volume for sure, but not for the faint of heart…the only light stuff comes from Spider’s assistants discussing their carnal knowledge of the boss…