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Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1

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Award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, Y: THE LAST MAN) uniquely combines big city politics and superheroes in this criticially acclaimed series. Set in our modern-day world, EX MACHINA tells the story of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America's first living, breathing super-hero after a strange accident gives him the power to communicate wi Award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, Y: THE LAST MAN) uniquely combines big city politics and superheroes in this criticially acclaimed series. Set in our modern-day world, EX MACHINA tells the story of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America's first living, breathing super-hero after a strange accident gives him the power to communicate with machines. Eventually Mitchell tires of risking his life merely to maintain the status quo, retires from masked crime fighting and runs for mayor of New York City, winning by a landslide after the events of 9/11. Illustrated by Tony Harris, EX MACHINA BOOK ONE is the first chapter of one of the finest series ever from Vertigo. Collects Ex Machina issues #1-11.


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Award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, Y: THE LAST MAN) uniquely combines big city politics and superheroes in this criticially acclaimed series. Set in our modern-day world, EX MACHINA tells the story of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America's first living, breathing super-hero after a strange accident gives him the power to communicate wi Award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, Y: THE LAST MAN) uniquely combines big city politics and superheroes in this criticially acclaimed series. Set in our modern-day world, EX MACHINA tells the story of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America's first living, breathing super-hero after a strange accident gives him the power to communicate with machines. Eventually Mitchell tires of risking his life merely to maintain the status quo, retires from masked crime fighting and runs for mayor of New York City, winning by a landslide after the events of 9/11. Illustrated by Tony Harris, EX MACHINA BOOK ONE is the first chapter of one of the finest series ever from Vertigo. Collects Ex Machina issues #1-11.

30 review for Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 stars A friend recommended this to me after I had lukewarm feelings toward Vaughan's Y, saying that it was (in his opinion) a better story. And I have to agree with him on that. I did like Mitchell far more than I did Yorrik, and I thought the actual plot was more my personal type of thing. Now, for those of you diehard Y: The Last Man fans out there, I'm not trying to shit on your favorite graphic novel. All I'm saying is that I prefer this one. Even so, I'm not 100% sold on Ex Machina due to 3.5 stars A friend recommended this to me after I had lukewarm feelings toward Vaughan's Y, saying that it was (in his opinion) a better story. And I have to agree with him on that. I did like Mitchell far more than I did Yorrik, and I thought the actual plot was more my personal type of thing. Now, for those of you diehard Y: The Last Man fans out there, I'm not trying to shit on your favorite graphic novel. All I'm saying is that I prefer this one. Even so, I'm not 100% sold on Ex Machina due to the somewhat slow pace and meandering plot(s). The set up is that Mitchell is telling the reader how he got to this (supposedly and as yet unidentified) horrible place in his life in flashbacks, so you're watching multiple points of his life and the choices he made intersect with the 'present day' (<--only not really?) part of his story. And while that's pretty cool, it also lends itself to that sort of meandering feel that I mentioned. Ok, so this is an alternate reality thing in which Mitchell gets the power to communicate with technology (due to stuff), ends up becoming a middle of the road superhero called The Great Machine (possibly the dumbest name ever), saves ONE of the Twin Towers from going down during 9/11, then decides that he can't do enough as a superhero and parlays that fame into becoming the mayor of New York. <--none of that is a spoiler, just the basic set up for everything else. The real story is what he does while he's the mayor, and the lingering stuff that follows him because of his powers and the way he got them. <--that is still, as of yet, somewhat unexplained. I think social commentary is something that Brian Vaughan does really well, and his observations are worth reading. However, I will say that sometimes anything resembling action gets lost with all the wah, wah, wah talky stuff. Overall, though? I liked it. I'm looking forward to seeing how everything goes sideways for Mitchell and how he ended up...wherever he was when the book opens. Recommended to me by The Chadster. - Thank you!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    This series is amazing. Brian Vaughan has a great ear for dialogue and creates such realistic characters. Ten years later this is just as enjoyable to read as when the issues originally appeared. Tony Harris doesn't get nearly enough credit either for being the top notch artist he is. His character designs and costumes are some of the best in the business. This series is amazing. Brian Vaughan has a great ear for dialogue and creates such realistic characters. Ten years later this is just as enjoyable to read as when the issues originally appeared. Tony Harris doesn't get nearly enough credit either for being the top notch artist he is. His character designs and costumes are some of the best in the business.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jedi JC Daquis

    Deluxe Editions of Ex Machina cover around two paperback volumes of Brian Vaughan's post-9/11 series. It is about the story of Mitchell Hundred, NY's mayor and a man who mysteriously got the power to talk to machines, who for a time became The Big Apple's superhero. Volume number one is a good introduction to the protagonist yet it barely reveals what the series will about in its next installments. Ex Machina, as far as the first book is concerned is definitely not Vaughan's best work. While I lo Deluxe Editions of Ex Machina cover around two paperback volumes of Brian Vaughan's post-9/11 series. It is about the story of Mitchell Hundred, NY's mayor and a man who mysteriously got the power to talk to machines, who for a time became The Big Apple's superhero. Volume number one is a good introduction to the protagonist yet it barely reveals what the series will about in its next installments. Ex Machina, as far as the first book is concerned is definitely not Vaughan's best work. While I loved his Y: The Last Man and absolutely relished reading Saga, Ex Machina narrowly kept my interest alive (thanks to a handful gory illustrations, haha). All the characters, especially Hundred is boring as hell. Character development gets buried as Vaughan works more in building up the politics, intrigue and the "post-9/11 messiah depression disorder". I just hope that all these are just part of a slow-burn writing style that will eventually reach a satisfying conclusion. By now it is safe to say that Brian Vaughan definitely loved Garth Ennis' Preacher. I am not saying that this is a complete rip-off, but Hundred's machine-speak ability has its uncanny similarities with Custer's Word of God, only this time with machines. (Going further, I also felt that Yorick Brown's interstate journey in Y: The Last Man certainly got its inspiration to Custer, Tulip and Cassidy's nomadic adventures while Marko and Alana's star-crossed love in Saga mirrors the forbidden love between the angel and the devil in Preacher.) Hundred's superhero alter-ego screams to be free again in this rather depressing city of post-9/11 New York. Speaking of Y: The Last Man and Saga, our man Mitchell Hundred definitely needs a strong woman (or gay) partner. Vaughan has the knack to create a inherently weak and jovial protagonist teamed up with a more pragmatic, stronger supporting partner. I definitely want to see that in Ex Machina.

  4. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    I'm making it official. Brian K. Vaughan is the greatest comic writer ever! I can't believe I never read Ex Machina. Actually, I'm kind of glad I didn't. I think when first read Brian's work (Runaways/Y the Last Man) I wouldn't have understood much about what is happening. This is a political drama, mystery, superhero story all combined into one little neat, interesting, different than anything I've read before, package. Mitchell Hundred is the main character here, a guy who gains the power to c I'm making it official. Brian K. Vaughan is the greatest comic writer ever! I can't believe I never read Ex Machina. Actually, I'm kind of glad I didn't. I think when first read Brian's work (Runaways/Y the Last Man) I wouldn't have understood much about what is happening. This is a political drama, mystery, superhero story all combined into one little neat, interesting, different than anything I've read before, package. Mitchell Hundred is the main character here, a guy who gains the power to control machines. He tells them what to do and how to act. It's pretty insane and wickly cool idea. For awhile he goes around saving people and being "The Machine" and helping the best way he could. However, he starts to see he's limited on who he can help and how that way so he wants to run for office. This is when it gets real interesting. When a killer is on the loose you begin to question what the fuck is happening. Who is bad? Who's good? The political nature in itself becomes enthralling and by the end you want answers, and you get some, but many more open up. Good: I admire the way this story is told. Hopping back and forth can hurt a story big time. However, the way this is laid out is super simple and easy to go with but keeps you intrigued. The chapters before 9/11 events give you chills, the ones after give you a dreadful feel, and it all works so well. The art is great and fits the overall themes and message the comic is trying to tell. The characters interactions kept me reading every single line. I love good debates and political fights and to me, I listen to all sides, and make my own view on that particular subject. I love that Hundred is basically in the middle on most things, keeps it highly entertaining. Bad: None I really think this is one of the best series to ever be created based on the first volume. I can only hope it keeps up. However, after this, y the last man, Runaways, and of course Saga Brian K Vaughan is hands down my favorite author in comics (and maybe all time) because he continues to make some of the best stuff around. Thank you! 5/5

  5. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Bullet Review: At the end of the day, my thoughts are jumbled. This is better than "Y: The Last Man", but nowhere near as good as Runaways or Pride of Baghdad and, duh, Saga. (Seriously, NOTHING is as good as Saga.) Mitchell was annoying but nothing like what's-his-name from aforementioned Y; the story is intriguing but lacks the punch of "Pride". And there is action but not as gripping as Runaways. So for that: 3 stars. Not bad, but not the best. Bullet Review: At the end of the day, my thoughts are jumbled. This is better than "Y: The Last Man", but nowhere near as good as Runaways or Pride of Baghdad and, duh, Saga. (Seriously, NOTHING is as good as Saga.) Mitchell was annoying but nothing like what's-his-name from aforementioned Y; the story is intriguing but lacks the punch of "Pride". And there is action but not as gripping as Runaways. So for that: 3 stars. Not bad, but not the best.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Years ago, I’d read Ex Machina up until the seventh volume (Ex Machina, Vol. 7: Ex Cathedra) and then, because of shipping delays and some impatience on my part, and despite the fact that I really liked this series,I’d sold off the books. In late December of 2012, due to the fact that I really wanted to read this series again (and also because my LCS was having a 40% off sale), I got all 5 Deluxe Editions and re-read the whole thing in something like six days. The story structure of Ex Machina i Years ago, I’d read Ex Machina up until the seventh volume (Ex Machina, Vol. 7: Ex Cathedra) and then, because of shipping delays and some impatience on my part, and despite the fact that I really liked this series,I’d sold off the books. In late December of 2012, due to the fact that I really wanted to read this series again (and also because my LCS was having a 40% off sale), I got all 5 Deluxe Editions and re-read the whole thing in something like six days. The story structure of Ex Machina is ‘present-day’ events with related flashbacks, the former being chronological, the latter not. Some of the arcs are stronger than others, but it’s really when taken as a whole that Ex Machina is a 5-star affair. The sum is greater than the parts, in other words. The individual multi-issue arcs each involve a mystery of sorts while drip-feeding us more clues as to what’s going on in the Grand Picture. The few stand-alone issues each focus on a different cast member and provide more background info on them, in a sort-of ‘origin’-type fashion. It must be noted, as well, that the different arcs’ titles have a double-meaning : they apply to the overall story of the arc itself, but also relate to Mitchell Hundred in some way. Very clever, Mr. Vaughan. Brian K. Vaughan rose to fame with his superlative Vertigo series ‘Y : The Last Man’ and many wondered if he could deliver the goods again with a new series. The answer is a resounding YES. The art is supplied by industry veteran Tony Harris (Starman and JSA: The Liberty Files) for all 50 regular issues, Chris Sprouse for the first 2 Special issues, John Paul Leon taking care of the art duties for Specials 3 & 4. Jim Lee penciled a 2-page sequence and one alternate cover. It really is too bad that Harris could not pencil all 4 specials, for uniformity’s sake, but it must be said that Sprouse & Leon’s output was good as well. I guess deadlines and shipping schedules are to blame in this case. Here, then, is my review of the individual stories… (1) The Pilot We’re introduced to Mitchell Hundred, a civil engineer who was caught in the blast from the explosion of a mysterious device under the Brooklyn Bridge. This left him temporarily disfigured but also permanently with some powers over machinery : he can communicate with them (they speak to him and he to them). With the help of two friends, Bradbury and Kremlin, he becomes The Great Machine, the world’s first superhero, complete with jet-pack. Oh, it should be noted that in this series’ reality, Hundred managed to save the second World Trade Center tower before the plane hit it, so New York City’s skyline is that much different than um, ‘our’ reality. Our protagonist then parlays his fame into a bid (and subsequent victory) in the NYC mayoral elections. A representative of the state governor visits him with incriminating ‘evidence’ as to some wrongdoing on Hundred’s part. It is only later in the series that we found out what all that is about (and it’s a doozy). This issue kicks off the series with a bang, does a great job of introducing the main (and some secondary) players. One inconsistency that I picked up was that the commissioner (in this issue) is an African-American woman, and all through the rest of the series she is a white/caucasian woman. I don’t know if this is intentional on Vaughan’s or Harris’ part; sometimes in TV series some elements of the pilot are changed when the series gets picked up by the network (Star Trek comes to mind). (2) State Of Emergency A controversial painting at the Brooklyn Museum of Art is causing a stir : A painting of Abe Lincoln with the N-Word prominently overlayed. Also, in the grips of a major snowstorm, someone is killing off snow-removal employees, leading to the rest of them refusing to work, leaving NYC paralysed. We learn that Kremlin, Hundred’s former friend and associate, is really committed to seeing The Great Machine fly again, even though Mitchell has formerly retired from vigilantism. Mitchell suspects Kremlin is responsible for the killings. Their friendship is even more strained when it is revealed that Kremlin had been listening in on Mitchell through a cleverly hidden transmitter. (3) Tag Some weird symbols are sighted in the subway tunnels and causing some people to behave strangely, while at the mayor’s office a debate is going on about gays having the right (or not) to legally marry their partner. Mitchell’s NSA ‘handler’ goes missing after his family is killed and all the evidence points to him (the handler, not Mitchell) as the prime suspect. Some more information is provided in regards to Mitchell's powers and the plot twist at the tail end of the arc really caught me by surprise. Excellent arc overall. Vaughan's mix of drama & comedy are reminiscent of his "Y: The Last Man" run but the reality he's created for this series is all its own. (4) Fortune Favors In this stand-alone issue, Mitchell visits a fortune teller and... nothing much happens. In spite of this being the first volume of a series, where we could expect the creative team to take the time to establish the players & their motives (and Vaughan & Harris do this), this book is an absolute blast to read. Real dialogue and interaction between the cast & real-life situations (or as close as you get with comic books) make for quite a reading experience with minimal "exposition". After reading the whole series, it occurs to me that there are a couple of story threads that Vaughan did not tie up. Case in point: in this volume, 2 German-speaking agents break into Mitchell's residence and ask him to give them the shrapnel [from the Brooklyn Bridge incident]. The "German government agents" angle never really gets fully explained or much explored in the subsequent volumes. Why include this plot thread if you're not going to see it through? Click here for a review of Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 2

  7. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa

    Ex Machina is the story of NY’s mayor, Mitchell Hundred (yes, that’s his real name); a man with the power to talk to machines. Mitch mysteriously gains his powers after a mysterious explosion and because New York’s first superhero during the events of 9/11. Not long before that he was a masked vigilante deemed “The Great Machine” and had put up his cape to run for mayor, but 9/11 forced him out of retirement and, as a result, put him in office. Now, book one does a good job of introducing your k Ex Machina is the story of NY’s mayor, Mitchell Hundred (yes, that’s his real name); a man with the power to talk to machines. Mitch mysteriously gains his powers after a mysterious explosion and because New York’s first superhero during the events of 9/11. Not long before that he was a masked vigilante deemed “The Great Machine” and had put up his cape to run for mayor, but 9/11 forced him out of retirement and, as a result, put him in office. Now, book one does a good job of introducing your key characters but it lacks character development. Personally, I think the constant shift between pre-9/11 and post 9/11 is to blame. Vaughan spent a good chunk of time building the politics and government conspiracy to build intrigue, which works, but the downside is that the characters became a bit bland for my taste. It’s a solid series but not his best work, in my opinion.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    I'm just going to review the entire series here under volume 1. This book is absolutely amazing....until it's not. Here's how it goes: Vol. 1-Amazing! Vol. 2-Amazing! Vol. 3-Amazing! Vol. 4-How is Vaughan going to wrap up all these plot threads with only one volume left to go?! Vol. 5-He's not. Remember how you felt at the end of the last season of Lost? Well, get ready to feel that way all over again. As great as this book is in the beginning, I couldn't help but feel betrayed at the end. A lot of t I'm just going to review the entire series here under volume 1. This book is absolutely amazing....until it's not. Here's how it goes: Vol. 1-Amazing! Vol. 2-Amazing! Vol. 3-Amazing! Vol. 4-How is Vaughan going to wrap up all these plot threads with only one volume left to go?! Vol. 5-He's not. Remember how you felt at the end of the last season of Lost? Well, get ready to feel that way all over again. As great as this book is in the beginning, I couldn't help but feel betrayed at the end. A lot of the mysteries of the series are not addressed at all, and the plot threads that do get "resolved" are done in such a way as to make you want to wrap your lips around an exhaust pipe. The non-climax is understandable. It's just that kind of book. It just drove me insane that Vaughan spent so much time building all these really intriguing sub-plots only to completely abandon them. If you're not the cynical type who immediately calls "bullshit" when somebody tells you a story was "about the journey" this might not bother you. However, if you're not a cynic and you read this entire series, you very well may become one by the end.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Clark

    Brian K Vaughan is a really good writer. His characters have depth and personality, and he tackles real life issues without making them seam forced. If you're not into politics, this would be a skip, but if you don't mid some, go for it! Brian K Vaughan is a really good writer. His characters have depth and personality, and he tackles real life issues without making them seam forced. If you're not into politics, this would be a skip, but if you don't mid some, go for it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ian Cook Westgate

    Ex Machina is remarkable. I say that straight away because, on the surface, there's a lot of potential goofiness here if you judge it from the premise alone. A superhero with the ability to command machines decides to give up his superhero career so that he can run for Mayor of New York City? It's a bit peculiar, conjuring up images of Superman hobnobbing with Rudy Giuliani over a couple of beers, or Magneto kissing babies while running for office. But it reaches that "remarkable" moment by playi Ex Machina is remarkable. I say that straight away because, on the surface, there's a lot of potential goofiness here if you judge it from the premise alone. A superhero with the ability to command machines decides to give up his superhero career so that he can run for Mayor of New York City? It's a bit peculiar, conjuring up images of Superman hobnobbing with Rudy Giuliani over a couple of beers, or Magneto kissing babies while running for office. But it reaches that "remarkable" moment by playing it straight. The main character, Mitchell, honestly believes that saving the occasional person's life pales in comparison with what a good man can do from within America's political system. This viewpoint is adorably optimistic, especially when you consider how historically easy it is for politics to corrupt the people who go into it. My heart went out to Mitch time and time again as his unshakeable faith is challenged by insoluble political issues, old friends & family finding his goals naive, and people who refuse to view him as anything more than a celebrity staging a popularity stunt. All of this is given additional resonance by the events of 9/11 looming over the plot. The ramifications of the terrorist attack and peoples' efforts to cope and rebuild are all a major factor in the plot. This is handled beautifully, with author refusing to shy away from the dark tragedy of the day, along with the courage of many who were involved at ground zero. He treats the trauma felt by those in New York and beyond with respect and care. It helps make Mitch's "origin story" powerful and much more memorable than most. Beyond that, you get the story of a man who is just always struggling to do right and only occasionally hitting the mark. Despite all of his power, Mitch is often fighting alone and is utterly overwhelmed by the societal problems he is faced with. It made me really sympathize with the everyday politicians of real life who try to do good. And they don't even have Mitchell's powers at their fingertips. It should be noted that, though I consider this one of my favorite comics, Ex Machina is very heavy on political discussion and banter reminiscent of The Wire, The West Wing, or The Newsroom. Being a superhero (or not) is intrinsic to the plot, but it does not shy away from the complexity of what the Mayor of New York City actually has to deal with. This is definitely something to keep in mind as you go into the book, although it is worth mentioning that, closer to the end of the 50 issue run, it swings more in the direction of what you would expect from a superhero comic and veers a little bit away from the dense political concerns, for better or worse. tl;dr - Check this comic out. It's one of the best. :)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Henry Blackwood

    This is only the second title I’ve read from Brian K. Vaughan and I already know he’s one of my favourite writers of all time. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this series but I knew it was going to be BKV’s take on a political superhero story. So, having read saga, I was very interested to see what this was all about. I can say I wasn’t disappointed at all, and after the dreary last couple of days I’ve spent reading some Snyder stuff, this was a welcome change of pace. There’s writers out t This is only the second title I’ve read from Brian K. Vaughan and I already know he’s one of my favourite writers of all time. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this series but I knew it was going to be BKV’s take on a political superhero story. So, having read saga, I was very interested to see what this was all about. I can say I wasn’t disappointed at all, and after the dreary last couple of days I’ve spent reading some Snyder stuff, this was a welcome change of pace. There’s writers out there who make you feel inspired because you can see yourself being able to create what they’ve created, and then there’s writers who make you absolutely lament reading it because you can never hope to recreate the work they’ve done. Brian K. Vaughan is the latter of these two, anything he does it seems to boggle my mind and make me wish I was good enough to think of it. He’s like the Radiohead of the comic world!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chalupa Batman

    Brian Vaughn is one of the best comic writers around...the combination of politics, social commentary & the super hero makes this a must read. 9-11 and gay marriage are just some of the topics tackled in this edition.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    me: is hundred, you know... like tyler the creator bkv: ? me: gay and homophobic

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hung

    Fantastic. I have been missing Brian K. Vaughan mature storytelling comics. So glad I still have this series and Y : The Last Man to look forward to.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    this was...fine. i liked it, but not enough to continue with the rest of the series. the story was good, but the storytelling was choppy and hard to follow at times. also if i can be so bold as to say...the female characters in this are kinda wack. all of them were mostly unbearable, and even the way they were drawn in comparison to the male characters angered me a bit. women should be more than objects/plot devices!! don’t be shy, give them some purpose. ok those are all my thoughts.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    A very fast read. I probably should have purposely slowed down to take in the art more carefully - it's gorgeous - but another time. I like the idea of the politics-heavy story more than the execution, but only because it won't wear as well as the rest. The sci-fi and soap opera plots are compelling enough that I can put up with the slightly heavy-handed political content. Feeling a big seasick from all the flipping back and forth in time, but the frequent references to the date makes things mor A very fast read. I probably should have purposely slowed down to take in the art more carefully - it's gorgeous - but another time. I like the idea of the politics-heavy story more than the execution, but only because it won't wear as well as the rest. The sci-fi and soap opera plots are compelling enough that I can put up with the slightly heavy-handed political content. Feeling a big seasick from all the flipping back and forth in time, but the frequent references to the date makes things more manageable. The Great Machine is an enjoyable hero, basically a good guy with a few flaws, and his abilities are neat/general enough to keep things satisfying but limited enough to keep them interesting. Kremlin is my favorite supporting character so far, I hope to see a LOT more of him. Also, the foreshadowing is so intense, there's no way I can avoid finishing this series now. A promising beginning, plenty of room for improvement.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    Seriously loved this. Yeah... it might be a bit politically preachy, but since I'm onboard with pretty much everything it preaches, I'm just going to overlook that... (shhh... I know that makes me kinda hypocritical. But really, aren't we all?) Okay, politics aside, the art is interesting (has a bit of a rotoscope feel to it, but I like it), the story is really engrossing, and Hundred is flawed without annoying the hell out of me. So far have yet to find a Brian K. Vaughan comic I haven't enjoyed Seriously loved this. Yeah... it might be a bit politically preachy, but since I'm onboard with pretty much everything it preaches, I'm just going to overlook that... (shhh... I know that makes me kinda hypocritical. But really, aren't we all?) Okay, politics aside, the art is interesting (has a bit of a rotoscope feel to it, but I like it), the story is really engrossing, and Hundred is flawed without annoying the hell out of me. So far have yet to find a Brian K. Vaughan comic I haven't enjoyed (though I'll admit... I have been avoiding Swamp Thing)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I knew nothing about Ex Machina going into this other than it was written by Brian K Vaughan and that he has never once disappointed me yet, so I bought this blind and am so glad that I did. I'm fully intrigued, have completely bought into the story and this world, and I wish I wasn't at work right now so that I could get to Volume 2 immediately. Vaughan is a masterful story-teller in his pacing, humour, foreshadowing, and pitch-perfect dialogue. And of course, the best review you can give to th I knew nothing about Ex Machina going into this other than it was written by Brian K Vaughan and that he has never once disappointed me yet, so I bought this blind and am so glad that I did. I'm fully intrigued, have completely bought into the story and this world, and I wish I wasn't at work right now so that I could get to Volume 2 immediately. Vaughan is a masterful story-teller in his pacing, humour, foreshadowing, and pitch-perfect dialogue. And of course, the best review you can give to the first volume of a series, I can't wait to see what happens next!

  19. 4 out of 5

    TJ Shelby

    I was absolutely blown away by this book. What a refreshing explosion of magnificent writing (Brian K Vaughn) and stunning artwork (Tony Harris). If you want a non-superhero in tights, adult-oriented comic series, Ex Machina is definitely for you. Think of Batman retiring but then becoming mayor of Gotham. However, it's less about the superhero days and more political thriller. Can't wait to read volume 2! I was absolutely blown away by this book. What a refreshing explosion of magnificent writing (Brian K Vaughn) and stunning artwork (Tony Harris). If you want a non-superhero in tights, adult-oriented comic series, Ex Machina is definitely for you. Think of Batman retiring but then becoming mayor of Gotham. However, it's less about the superhero days and more political thriller. Can't wait to read volume 2!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    BKV has done a great job, once again, in this tale of a super hero who retires and runs (and wins) for election as NYC mayor after 9/11. Lots of action, intrigue, good, solid characters, and a writing style that is lively. Tony Harris, mostly known for his work on Starman, does a great job here with the art. With Tom Feister on inks, the art is clear and tells the story as much as the words do.

  21. 4 out of 5

    JA

    Took me a few times of trying to get through this and putting up with it. This wasn't really my kind of read, I never fancy reading politics related and there were times when I didn't understand some terms and what was going on. Had to reread though the summaries did help. Nonetheless, it was a good read if you stick with it and if you're into this kind of stuff. Took me a few times of trying to get through this and putting up with it. This wasn't really my kind of read, I never fancy reading politics related and there were times when I didn't understand some terms and what was going on. Had to reread though the summaries did help. Nonetheless, it was a good read if you stick with it and if you're into this kind of stuff.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jin

    "My first book by Brian Vaughan and I was awed! I was awed by the story and the art! Characterization is rich and the book is just too human to ignore. This is a fine example of graphic novel with a purpose. I'm gonna complete this whole series and add to my growing collection!" "My first book by Brian Vaughan and I was awed! I was awed by the story and the art! Characterization is rich and the book is just too human to ignore. This is a fine example of graphic novel with a purpose. I'm gonna complete this whole series and add to my growing collection!"

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachael | booksforbrunch

    I’m so happy I finally started this series. Brian K. Vaughan is my favorite comic writer and this story does not disappoint on any level!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    One of those rare books that nails its characters and plot simultaneously from the very beginning and never lets up.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laurian Vega

    So. Very. Male.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Centravanti

    [SPOILER ALERT] Brian K Vaughan might be a genius. A spot-on painter, for sure.. [SPOILER ALERT] Brian K Vaughan might be a genius. A spot-on painter, for sure..

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Dinges

    Ex Machina is Brian K Vaughan and Tony Harris' sci fi super hero/political thriller series that debuted in 2004. This deluxe edition collects the first 11 issues of the series. In the back matter of the book, Vaughan's original pitch is feature and he describes the story in each arc including an A, B, and C plot where A is the sci fi super hero action, B is the politics, and C are the various character relationships. I found the A plot material to be superb. The idea is original and intriguing an Ex Machina is Brian K Vaughan and Tony Harris' sci fi super hero/political thriller series that debuted in 2004. This deluxe edition collects the first 11 issues of the series. In the back matter of the book, Vaughan's original pitch is feature and he describes the story in each arc including an A, B, and C plot where A is the sci fi super hero action, B is the politics, and C are the various character relationships. I found the A plot material to be superb. The idea is original and intriguing and I feel like beginning each issue with a flashback was a good narrative tool. I also enjoyed the C plot material. BKV is very skilled at developing and mining relationships. It's apparent in basically everything he writes. The B Plot material didn't do nearly as much for me. You can tell this is a younger Vaughan using his platform to find his political voice and deal with 9/11. I'm just generally not usually a big reader of political fiction and that's what about half (maybe more) of this series is. Think West Wing if it took place in directly post 9/11 New York City. A lot of the political topics make the series feel aggressively dated, in a way Y The Last Man (which was being written around the same time) doesn't. BKV also seems to be trying to be very edgy with some of his political commentary and language. One sub plot ends up featuring a pretty distasteful meta argument about the use of the N word in art and the other big sub plot centers around Gay marriage, which was genuinely edgy in 2004, when it obviously is much less so today. Sometimes I found some of the content to be mildly problematic, but not generally outright offensive. You can see Vaughan's growth between this and Saga...he's much better at pushing boundaries of what's acceptable without making it look like he's deliberately trying to do so. Tony Harris does some pretty great work on this book. The fashion and feel of the time seems to match my memory of the era so exactly that it made me laugh a few times. I also love his rendering of facial expressions. About 2/3 of this book is people in suits talking to each other but he finds a way to make the panels visually interesting. Complaints about the amount of political drama aside, I enjoyed this one. I'm probably being harder on it than I would be from someone who I didn't consider to be one of the best writer's in comics. It's not BKV's finest work but when you've got so many to choose from, sometimes it's okay just to be a good series and not transcendent.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    This was good. Good enough that I made Tom read it as his first foray into comic books. The last comic book that I read (that, cards on the table, I didn't like very much) attempted to answer the question of what role of superheroes play in a modern world where ills tend to be more economic in nature (like unemployment or inequality) than easy-to-stop crimes like bank robberies. This one tackles a similar topic and I think is much more successful. Ex Machina tells the story of New York City's firs This was good. Good enough that I made Tom read it as his first foray into comic books. The last comic book that I read (that, cards on the table, I didn't like very much) attempted to answer the question of what role of superheroes play in a modern world where ills tend to be more economic in nature (like unemployment or inequality) than easy-to-stop crimes like bank robberies. This one tackles a similar topic and I think is much more successful. Ex Machina tells the story of New York City's first superhero mayor, Mitchell Hundred. This is the first volume (of ten compendia) and it covers the first five comic books in the series. In it, Hundred has to navigate both run-of-the-mill politics with superhero-y intrigue and the result totally works. Creator Brian K. Vaughn does an excellent job of structuring the story, resulting in some truly excellent twists. I also really enjoyed the art. If you're interested in dipping a toe into the world of comic books, particularly if you have an interest in policy and politics, give this a whirl. 3.5 stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    James Lawner

    *3.5* The West Wing meets Unbreakable! This was a series I learned of after I discovered Y: The Last Man and when I looked into more of Brian K. Vaughan’s work, and I never got around to reading it until now and I gotta say, this was some pretty interesting writing for a comic book like this. I’m not really into politics, but the politics presented here fascinated me and I was so intrigued by what was going on, but it is a comic from the early 2000s so a lot of elements are a bit dated now, but I *3.5* The West Wing meets Unbreakable! This was a series I learned of after I discovered Y: The Last Man and when I looked into more of Brian K. Vaughan’s work, and I never got around to reading it until now and I gotta say, this was some pretty interesting writing for a comic book like this. I’m not really into politics, but the politics presented here fascinated me and I was so intrigued by what was going on, but it is a comic from the early 2000s so a lot of elements are a bit dated now, but I think it adds a unique charm and really captures the tone of that time period. What I liked the most was obviously the superheroics, the overarching mystery and the way characters talked and interacted with each other felt very real to me. The artwork reminded me of Pia Guerra, and I will say it’s an acquired taste, but for me, the story was far more engrossing than the art. My main issue with this, and I think it has to do with the edition I read, is that each issue is kinda mashed together and you don’t know exactly when each issue ends and which begins, and the flashbacks kinda disrupted the story for me at times, and usually that’s not a problem I have. Overall, I liked how the series started here, but compared to Vaughan’s other series, I feel like it’s not quite the standard he set in Y: The Last Man and Saga.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    For proof that Brian K. Vaughan is one of the best writers of dialogue in comics, read this series. The dialogue is so natural-sounding, and often funny, that it feels like real people talking. It really makes the story flow (much like basically anything else Vaughan has written). Speaking of the story, it’s great: the world’s first superhero, an engineer who can control machinery after a mysterious accident, becomes mayor of New York City. He wants to help people in a different way, only to fin For proof that Brian K. Vaughan is one of the best writers of dialogue in comics, read this series. The dialogue is so natural-sounding, and often funny, that it feels like real people talking. It really makes the story flow (much like basically anything else Vaughan has written). Speaking of the story, it’s great: the world’s first superhero, an engineer who can control machinery after a mysterious accident, becomes mayor of New York City. He wants to help people in a different way, only to find that being mayor comes with plenty of problems. This seems like a commentary on leadership; specifically, what it’s like for someone who is seen as a hero to lead. And judging from the first page, not everything will turn out rosy for Mayor Hundred. I can’t wait to find out where all these hints are leading to. Ex Machina is also a great NYC book. Tony Harris deserves a lot of credit here, as his backgrounds and detail perfectly capture everyday life in the city. I loved his work in Starman and this is just as good, albeit different. An excellent start. If you like Vaughan’s recent books like Saga and Paper Girls, be sure to seek this out. I can already tell it’s a good one.

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