Yelena Rossini

Yelena Rossini

Yelena Rossini is a fictional character in "Transmetropolitan", a comic book published by the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics. Physically, Yelena is quite short (we are never told how tall, but she is portrayed as a half a head shorter than Spider Jerusalem and a full head shorter than Channon Yarrow), with shoulder-length brunette hair and is usually seen in baggy black t-shirts and suits (primarily to obscure her short stature and modest bust—particularly when compared to Channon). Per Spider's orders, as with Channon, she ingested medication to give her a genetic trait protecting her from cancer, and took up chain smoking.

Fictional character biography

After Channon Yarrow leaves Spider's employ to become a nun, Mitchell Royce, Spider's editor, assigns her to be Spider's assistant, a job consisting primarily of making sure her boss is supplied with enough drugs and alcohol to be an effective journalist. Initially he claims Yelena is his niece, though she later reveals it was simply a ploy to make sure Spider behaves himself around her. She later refers to him as "Uncle Mitch", however. Of note is that Yelena has quite a different history from that of Channon. About a week after she's hired, she is interviewed by a major broadcaster, and she describes herself as 24 years of age, born and raised in what is presumed to be a high-class section of the City (Old Heath Road), fluent in seven languages, and a recent business school graduate.

One major arc in the story was the relationship between Spider and Yelena. Initially both were frequently at odds with each other, yet stuck together through a combination of pity and comradery. Then, after getting drunk one night, the two ended up sleeping together. In the morning, Spider, realising to his horror what must have happened, tried (unsuccessfully) to escape his bed. Upon realising she slept in the same bed as Spider, Yelena enters a stage of aggressive denial, insisting nothing happened between them. However, Spider's distinctive "live shades", mistaking the sex for a criminal assault, had automatically taken pictures.


Channon rejoins Spider and Yelena early in their fight to prevent the election of President Gary Callahan, aka the Smiler, taking on the role of bodyguard. Whilst Yelena was still officially Spider's assistant, he would refer to them both as 'filthy assistants' throughout the rest of the series. Channon and Yelena become friends, often sneaking away from Spider to have fun.

It wasn't until the night the Smiler won the Presidential election, during the election coverage party at their apartment, and after an argument with Channon, that Yelena finally admitted to herself and everyone else in earshot that not only had she had sex with Spider, but also that she wasn't Royce's niece. Channon had known for a couple of weeks, after emptying the pictures from Spider's live shades and seeing the contents of them (at the time, Yelena had not known that Spider's shades had photographic capabilities). She has teased Yelena about their relationship ever since.

Since her admittance of her one night stand with Spider, Yelena, in part because of her role as assistant, has started to exhibit behaviour similar to Spider, such as his consumption of booze and cigarettes and his colourful vocabulary. It is revealed that Yelena has a tattoo identical to the one on Spider's head on her left buttock. Also, on the rare occasions when Spider seems to be truly sorrowful, she instinctively reaches out to comfort him, although she nearly always either stops short or he shrugs it away. However, after Yelena revealed she'd written a crucial column under his name while he was incapacitated for four days, Spider responded, to her surprise, by kissing her on the forehead, followed by the words 'Thank you', and a warm smile.

To the mountains

At the end of the series' run, Channon and Yelena are shown to have retired to the Mountain to care for Spider, now seemingly disabled from a rare affliction and unable to care for himself. The two look after him as live-in assistants, much like Hunter S. Thompson's assistants Deborah Fuller and his last wife Anita Bejmuk. It is briefly hinted by Channon that more goes on between Yelena and Spider than Yelena admits. Yelena appeared to be in the early stage of pregnancy (ostensibly by Spider) but nobody explicitly talked about it. In the same sequence Yelena is also shown to have a spider tattoo on her arm (with the Venus symbol for a body) and is referred to as "the new Spider". She is last seen returning to the City with Spider's old editor to write weekly columns. Spider, however, is shown able to function perfectly well, muddying the true purpose of why the trio are out there.

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