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Brian K. Vaughan – Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days

April 4, 2014

19. Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, Tom Feister (2005)
Ex Machina, Volume 1

Length: 136 pages
Genre: Superhero Science Fiction

Started/Finished: 14 March 2014

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I like Brian K. Vaughan, and I like the idea of reading a graphic novel series that’s already complete.

Most politicians
can seem less than human; this
guy is something more.

Summary: Mitchell Hundred has been many things in his life. He started out as an engineer, until an accident with a strange mechanism attached to the Brooklyn Bridge gave him the power to control machines with his voice. Then he turned into a vigilante, wanting to be a superhero, but oftentimes causing just as much damage as he attempts to prevent. Now he’s been elected as the mayor of New York City, attempting to do good by working within the system, even though that system is rife with political tension. But before he can get comfortable in his new position, a string of attacks makes Mitchell suspect that one of his old enemies has resurfaced, even as he’s attempting to keep his powers harnessed.

Review: Brian K. Vaughan’s done a lot of stuff that I really enjoy. Y: The Last Man was uneven at times, but had a great concept and a lot of interesting ideas and moments, and I am loving the hell out of Saga. Ex Machina has a lot of the same sensibilities – something about the flow of the story and the tone of the dialogue makes it very clear that it’s the same author as those others – but its subject matter is not as much in my wheelhouse. I certainly enjoy superhero stories well enough, but mayoral politics (politics in general, honestly) are just not my favorite cup of tea. But the story is just getting going, and I feel like it’s going to have some interesting things to say about superheroes and the nature of heroism, especially in a post-September-11th world, so I’m definitely willing to stick around for that. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Hard to tell yet, although if you like Vaughan’s other work it’s probably a good bet you’ll like this one too. I’m also getting kind of a Watchmen vibe off the storyline so far; we’ll see how much that’s borne out as the story continues.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2014 12:00 pm

    Oh, I am glad you liked this. I can’t get the sequels easily and the collected editions of this comic are pricey. Hopefully something will work out so I can see what happens!

    • April 11, 2014 12:22 pm

      Kailana – Yeah, if it weren’t for my local library, I’d never be able to afford enough graphic novels!

  2. April 6, 2014 10:08 am

    I thoroughly irritated my friend who lent me this comic by saying it didn’t seem to have as many interesting themes as Y: The Last Man. He was all like, YOU HAVE ONLY READ ONE VOLUME OF IT. Sadly I moved away before I could borrow the rest, so I still have a lower opinion of Ex Machina than I have of Y: The Last Man. I know I need to pay a visit to the library to rectify all that.

    • April 11, 2014 12:23 pm

      Jenny – Hee! Well, at this point, I agree with you, but then, I’ve also only read the one volume. (But I’m on the hold list for the second one!)

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