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Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 2

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Award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, Y-THE LAST MAN) deftly combines big city politics and superheroes in this much lauded series. Now, the entire critically acclaimed series written by Brian K. Vaughan, one of the writers of LOST, is collected into a series of oversized, hardcover editions. In this second volume, Mayor Mitchell Hundred must make a diff Award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, Y-THE LAST MAN) deftly combines big city politics and superheroes in this much lauded series. Now, the entire critically acclaimed series written by Brian K. Vaughan, one of the writers of LOST, is collected into a series of oversized, hardcover editions. In this second volume, Mayor Mitchell Hundred must make a difficult decision about his own future, becomes part of a shocking trial complicated by the unexpected arrival of an all-new superhero, and leaves New York City for the first time since his election to embark on a strange adventure. Plus, shocking tragedy strikes an Iraq War protest in downtown Manhattan. Collects Ex Machina issues #12-20 and Ex Machina Special #1-2


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Award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, Y-THE LAST MAN) deftly combines big city politics and superheroes in this much lauded series. Now, the entire critically acclaimed series written by Brian K. Vaughan, one of the writers of LOST, is collected into a series of oversized, hardcover editions. In this second volume, Mayor Mitchell Hundred must make a diff Award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, Y-THE LAST MAN) deftly combines big city politics and superheroes in this much lauded series. Now, the entire critically acclaimed series written by Brian K. Vaughan, one of the writers of LOST, is collected into a series of oversized, hardcover editions. In this second volume, Mayor Mitchell Hundred must make a difficult decision about his own future, becomes part of a shocking trial complicated by the unexpected arrival of an all-new superhero, and leaves New York City for the first time since his election to embark on a strange adventure. Plus, shocking tragedy strikes an Iraq War protest in downtown Manhattan. Collects Ex Machina issues #12-20 and Ex Machina Special #1-2

30 review for Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 2

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jedi JC Daquis

    I really, really envy the majority who have read this second deluxe volume of Ex Machina and liked it. I believe that this is an "it's not you, it's me" type of issue. I mean, Brian Vaughan totally slayed it in Saga and for most parts of Y: The Last Man, so why can't I see through the goodness of Ex Machina? Maybe because I see the story of the series as two things which try to meld into one cohesive literary material - the political views and issues that engulf post-9/11 NY City, and the whole o I really, really envy the majority who have read this second deluxe volume of Ex Machina and liked it. I believe that this is an "it's not you, it's me" type of issue. I mean, Brian Vaughan totally slayed it in Saga and for most parts of Y: The Last Man, so why can't I see through the goodness of Ex Machina? Maybe because I see the story of the series as two things which try to meld into one cohesive literary material - the political views and issues that engulf post-9/11 NY City, and the whole of America and Hundred's exploits as the Great Machine prior to his election as the Big Apple's mayor. Sometimes they work, like the brilliant storytelling in the ricin poison mini-arc, but sometimes they do not, like in that very underwhelming story about Pherson, a sound engineer turned villain who can talk to animals as Hundred can talk to machines. That flashback about Pherson was so vague and unnecessarily long, though it managed to reveal a little bit of information about this superhuman power of communication. The right mindset will definitely let you experience some level of entertainment reading it. Moreover, I also do not share many of Hundred's (and ultimately Brian Vaughan's) patriotic political views. Even sometimes, the story doesn't give a sh*t about balance of views and just throws in arab terrorism and white supremacy stuff, though in very minute doses. At least, journalist Spider Jerusalem of Transmetropolitan as much as possible presents the opposing views of warring ideas and "sees" beyond the surface to uncover what is really happening in the world of politics. But like I say, this low rating is more of an "it's not you, it's me" issue. Once you get the right mindset and dig the political viewpoints presented in the story there's no doubt that you'll experience some level of entertainment reading Ex Machina.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    I can't believe I waited so many years to read this book. It's fan-fucking-tastic. So Hundred is trying to balance his political campaign with his superhero past. It's not so easy running for Mayor when you used to be a superhero. It's hard enough when the media twist your words, people believe every little thing they hear and read, but when you have the power to control Machines by talking to them? Yeah...it only gets harder. What I love about Ex machina is that it's a big political campaign st I can't believe I waited so many years to read this book. It's fan-fucking-tastic. So Hundred is trying to balance his political campaign with his superhero past. It's not so easy running for Mayor when you used to be a superhero. It's hard enough when the media twist your words, people believe every little thing they hear and read, but when you have the power to control Machines by talking to them? Yeah...it only gets harder. What I love about Ex machina is that it's a big political campaign storyline but it feels like a lot of shorter stories all equaling into one big adventure. So we have one where Hundred goes to Jury Duty. That already sucks, right? What happens when a crazy guy in there starts making demands by holding someone hostage? Then we deal with a protesting march that goes really wrong. Last but not least it ends with a super villain story of sorts but not a big old traditional one. Which was refreshing. Good: I loved it all to be honest. Each story tries to balance superheroism, political moments, and human feelings. Even the weakest stuff about Hundred's dad was still pretty interesting. But then we get into things like Jury duty case, the protest march, and our very first super-villain story? Yeah, Brain is the king of making stories captivating throughout. On top of that the art is great and the feel of each character, the emotion, and the overall tone is amazing. Bad: I can't think of much. Maybe a LITTLE long-winded at times. Another fantastic look into the political superhero world of Ex Machina. Really reading it slow so it never ends. I have a feeling this will be in top 10 comics along with Saga and Y the Last Man in the end. A 5 out of 5.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Clark

    Again, a well done plot that moves back and forth from Hundred's time as the Great Machine and his time as mayor. The art is good, and the political angle is pretty well done as well, since these characters are well fleshed out, and not just stand ins for a republican or a democrat or a hippie or whatever other stereotype. I was a little confused on how Hundred's voice gave the other guy the powers he had, but that's a plot to be revisited, I hope! Again, a well done plot that moves back and forth from Hundred's time as the Great Machine and his time as mayor. The art is good, and the political angle is pretty well done as well, since these characters are well fleshed out, and not just stand ins for a republican or a democrat or a hippie or whatever other stereotype. I was a little confused on how Hundred's voice gave the other guy the powers he had, but that's a plot to be revisited, I hope!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    (1) Fact Vs. Fiction A new super-hero is sighted in NYC – the Automaton, who claims to have been created by ‘the engineer’ and will continue to operate until his ‘return’. The police commissioner suspects Mitchell, but the mayor denies any involvement. He then tasks Bradbury to find out who this mystery person is. Meanwhile, Mitchell serves jury duty and has to deal with a hostage situation in the jury deliberation room (while himself being a hostage and seemingly having no way of contacting ‘the (1) Fact Vs. Fiction A new super-hero is sighted in NYC – the Automaton, who claims to have been created by ‘the engineer’ and will continue to operate until his ‘return’. The police commissioner suspects Mitchell, but the mayor denies any involvement. He then tasks Bradbury to find out who this mystery person is. Meanwhile, Mitchell serves jury duty and has to deal with a hostage situation in the jury deliberation room (while himself being a hostage and seemingly having no way of contacting ‘the outside world’). This arc was one of the best ones of the entire series. (2) Off The Grid Mitchell takes some personal time off and visits his recovering alcoholic mother. He learns from her that his father did not die in a cave-in (as she'd told him years ago), but rather from a fatal blow to the head that she'd given him in self-defense. These two stories are some of the strongest of the series. Their overall theme is an exploration of what we consider to be "The Truth": we believe what we're told because we have no reason to doubt, but it doesn't necessarily mean that we're being told the truth. If a lie is plausible enough, convincing enough, who's to say it's not true? (3) March To War There is an anti-war protest being organised in NYC and Journal, one of the mayor’s former interns and now a junior member of the cabinet, decides to attend. The mayor tells her she cannot participate while she still works for the mayor’s office, so she resigns. Things turn sour at the protest when some protesters fall victim to a ricin attack, including Journal, who ends up in a coma, then dies. This marks the first time (in this series) where an arguably main character dies. She will be replaced by her sister (sounds like something you'd see on cable TV) who will be holding a grudge against Mitchell, blaming him for her sister's death. While Journal was, at best, a prominent supporting character, her being «killed off» showed us that Vaughan is willing to change things up and throw his readers a curve ball or two. Her being replaced by her own sister (who looks almost just like her - except mostly for the hair) might seem like a cheap tactic on the writer's part but, knowing what's coming up in the next volumes, my guess is Vaughan needed a «spy» and Journal really had no motive to become one. (4) Life & Death A story arc spread over the first 2 of 4 Special issues, we are introduced to Pherson, the Great Machine’s ‘arch-nemesis’ and we’re treated to his origin story, which goes something like this: Working as a sound engineer for direct-to-DVD porn, Pherson hears about the new vigilante and attempts to isolate the frequency the Great Machine uses to ‘speak’ to machines, patent it and then sell it and become rich. Of course, something goes wrong and instead he ends up acquiring powers of his own, the ability to communicate with animals. The whole mystery with Mitchell's powers, where they're from (and perhaps more importantly: what they're FOR) deepens in this 2-parter. Click here for the review of Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 3.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Bellm

    Finally the story is picking up a bit. I really whipped the archnemisis in this volume.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Simple review for Book Two - I love where this is going and I'm completely hooked. Simple review for Book Two - I love where this is going and I'm completely hooked.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    In the first story, Mayor Hundred serves jury duty which results in a hostage situation where he’s forced to intervene in ways he’d rather not. Then he visits his mother who reveals a secret she’s been harboring for years. After that, he approves a protest for the Iraq War, which comes home to roost in more ways than one. Finally, we see what happened with the Great Machine’s archnemesis, Pherson. I really enjoyed this continuation of Mitchell’s story, which I’m realizing is about a man trying t In the first story, Mayor Hundred serves jury duty which results in a hostage situation where he’s forced to intervene in ways he’d rather not. Then he visits his mother who reveals a secret she’s been harboring for years. After that, he approves a protest for the Iraq War, which comes home to roost in more ways than one. Finally, we see what happened with the Great Machine’s archnemesis, Pherson. I really enjoyed this continuation of Mitchell’s story, which I’m realizing is about a man trying to help people through politics but realizing he can only do so much. The storytelling is frequently brilliant. And for someone who isn’t very politically minded like me, the political stuff is always compelling. Reading this, I’m reminded of The Boys which I read earlier this year. Both are explicitly post-9/11 comics about New York, comment on superheroes, and heavily deal with American politics. What all Vaughan has to say about superheroes remains to be seen, but I anticipate his assessment being at least partially negative. Or at least his assessment of how people perceive superheroes will be negative (I don’t think it’s possible to be as anti-superhero as Ennis is in The Boys).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Combs

    I'm back on my Brian K. Vaughan kick...if I'm being honest, I probably won't ever be off, but at some point I'm sure I'll finish all of the series he has out so far, but I don't want to think about that dark day. I think I read Vol 1 of this series over a year ago at least, so I reread the first one before I picked this back up. This might be the most complex storyline? Mostly because there are about three plots going on in each (usually political, past, and something along the lines of super he I'm back on my Brian K. Vaughan kick...if I'm being honest, I probably won't ever be off, but at some point I'm sure I'll finish all of the series he has out so far, but I don't want to think about that dark day. I think I read Vol 1 of this series over a year ago at least, so I reread the first one before I picked this back up. This might be the most complex storyline? Mostly because there are about three plots going on in each (usually political, past, and something along the lines of super heroes or maybe just other lol), so it can be fairly easy to get a little tangled up. There are also a lot of characters of course, but it's SO good and such an interesting story. It makes me both really want to get into politics and have any type of super hero ability (both equally feasible story lines for my real life, right?) and want to never, ever, ever have to experience anything along those lines whatsoever. As much information as you get about Mitchell Hundred, he still remains a bit of a mystery. I'm very interested to see where this will continue to go!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Henry Blackwood

    This is brilliant. Brian K. Vaughan is such a good writer i can’t believe it. However, I can see why someone would struggle with the concept of this book and lose interest in it but for me, this does exactly what it should. It gives me something different in a superhero story, it gives me a more realistic and political look at the problems superheroes and regular people face. It’s an extremely thoughtful and thought provoking view on politics and the war on terror especially in that time of the This is brilliant. Brian K. Vaughan is such a good writer i can’t believe it. However, I can see why someone would struggle with the concept of this book and lose interest in it but for me, this does exactly what it should. It gives me something different in a superhero story, it gives me a more realistic and political look at the problems superheroes and regular people face. It’s an extremely thoughtful and thought provoking view on politics and the war on terror especially in that time of the Bush administration. For me that is all very interesting stuff and I want more of it, especially since BKV is such a good writer that he serves it in a really interesting way but I can sympathise with someone who wouldn’t like it. It’s tough for someone to eat a serving of The West Wing when they ordered ‘Invincible’. But that’s why I love it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James Lawner

    This installment was better than the last, I felt that the story was more focused and the flashbacks didn’t disrupt the main story too much, and I actually liked the story that explained Pherson. I will say that these deluxe editions aren’t great for me because they mesh all the issues together and sometimes you don’t know which issue begins and ends, and the way sections of the book are organized into “chapters” rather than “parts” seems kinda lazy to me. Also, this book has a foreword from The This installment was better than the last, I felt that the story was more focused and the flashbacks didn’t disrupt the main story too much, and I actually liked the story that explained Pherson. I will say that these deluxe editions aren’t great for me because they mesh all the issues together and sometimes you don’t know which issue begins and ends, and the way sections of the book are organized into “chapters” rather than “parts” seems kinda lazy to me. Also, this book has a foreword from The Wachowskis and they’re credited as, “The Wachowski Brothers”, and that seems a bit shortsighted on Vertigo’s part to not change that. Overall, this was good, but I don’t think I’m as obsessed with this series as I was with Vaughan’s other works.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Dinges

    The second volume of Ex Machina continues what is a quite original and thought provoking series. Like the first volume, it balances a super hero backstory and a political drama. There's a pivot towards more of the political and character drama for the majority of this book and I think the volume was better for it. It continues to run right up against the line between thought provoking and distastefulness when dealing with ethical questions but I found the dilemmas less forced here. I'm unsure abou The second volume of Ex Machina continues what is a quite original and thought provoking series. Like the first volume, it balances a super hero backstory and a political drama. There's a pivot towards more of the political and character drama for the majority of this book and I think the volume was better for it. It continues to run right up against the line between thought provoking and distastefulness when dealing with ethical questions but I found the dilemmas less forced here. I'm unsure about the seeming shift towards more superhero content as the series continues, but we'll see how the creators handle it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Continuing in the same vein as the first volume, this one continues to interweave the current-day challenges of being mayor with Mitchell Hundred's previous time as The Great Machine. While the first three chapters are mostly standalone stories (albeit with long term consequences for at least one character), the final one starts to hit on the origin of Hundred's ability to talk to machines. Vaughn's storytelling continues to be top notch, and the art is crisp and detailed. Looking forward to see Continuing in the same vein as the first volume, this one continues to interweave the current-day challenges of being mayor with Mitchell Hundred's previous time as The Great Machine. While the first three chapters are mostly standalone stories (albeit with long term consequences for at least one character), the final one starts to hit on the origin of Hundred's ability to talk to machines. Vaughn's storytelling continues to be top notch, and the art is crisp and detailed. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hung

    Mayor Mitchell (aka The Great Machine) is just a good guy doing his best to make the world a better place. In his path are bureaucratic red tapes and the occasional crazies (because this is still a superhero tale). Kinda like Aaron Sorkin's hopeful shows such as The West Wing meet Amazon's The Boys (the moral questions, not the violence). My favourite part of this volume is about a particular character development. Saying anymore than that would be spoiler. Mayor Mitchell (aka The Great Machine) is just a good guy doing his best to make the world a better place. In his path are bureaucratic red tapes and the occasional crazies (because this is still a superhero tale). Kinda like Aaron Sorkin's hopeful shows such as The West Wing meet Amazon's The Boys (the moral questions, not the violence). My favourite part of this volume is about a particular character development. Saying anymore than that would be spoiler.

  14. 5 out of 5

    B

    You know what? Yeah. This is an unbelievable rare superhero book that does politics in at least a semi-believable way. And I'm impressed with the way Vaughan keeps me guessing about whose politics are right. Weirdly, I'm not that into the actual superhero, supervillain storyline. It seems like the charm of the series should revolve around a superhero in retirement. Kind of the flipside of Zenith's Peter St. John, if I have that right. You know what? Yeah. This is an unbelievable rare superhero book that does politics in at least a semi-believable way. And I'm impressed with the way Vaughan keeps me guessing about whose politics are right. Weirdly, I'm not that into the actual superhero, supervillain storyline. It seems like the charm of the series should revolve around a superhero in retirement. Kind of the flipside of Zenith's Peter St. John, if I have that right.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Wade

    A good continuation of the story, the pace is beginning to pick up a little and he is tackling some issues like weighing what is legal vs what is right, and who gets to decide? I still am quite taken with the whole idea this story and BKV continues to play with it in fascinating ways, though I am still somewhat reserved about his characters here.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kurt Pankau

    Artfully done, but the series never really explores the villains but has no problem pausing everything to go on and on about libertarian "post-political" platitudes that it's pretty sure you haven't heard a dozen times already. It's definitely not BAD, but I had a hard time engaging with it. Artfully done, but the series never really explores the villains but has no problem pausing everything to go on and on about libertarian "post-political" platitudes that it's pretty sure you haven't heard a dozen times already. It's definitely not BAD, but I had a hard time engaging with it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ign33l

    Hundred is being a major but his city gets attacked and everyone thinks that is a terrorist job. He also gets visited by some past memory of a guy who talks to animals, and then back in 2003 (present) there is a hint that he is back. So, lets see in book 3. Lots of drama and political views.

  18. 4 out of 5

    A.j. Garner

    Reading this series for a second time, well at least the first four volumes. I still love it and I think Hundred speaks, story pun intended, to me more now than in college. I wish we all wanted to make a difference.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    To me, no one is better at writing character dialogue than Vaughan. He just really understands people and how they interact. Ex Machina might be gods best example of this. By the way - Saga, Ex Machina, Y The Last Man, Paper Girls... who's had a better batting average over the past 10-15 years? To me, no one is better at writing character dialogue than Vaughan. He just really understands people and how they interact. Ex Machina might be gods best example of this. By the way - Saga, Ex Machina, Y The Last Man, Paper Girls... who's had a better batting average over the past 10-15 years?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rangaprabhu Parthasarathy

    Brilliant This is the third time I am reading the full series. It is brilliant. It shows the complex challenges of a politician who is trying to do it right. The artwork is stunning and the narrative is gripping. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marek Michalak

    I thought some storylines in this one were incoherent and although I am still very much curious where Vaughn (one of my favorite writers) will take us, some parts of it were a bit all over the place for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matthew WK

    Starting to lose steam on this. I'm more interested in the main story and the secondary plots written for trade are ok, but not enough there to keep me going. I really want to drop this series, but I'll give it one more volume. Starting to lose steam on this. I'm more interested in the main story and the secondary plots written for trade are ok, but not enough there to keep me going. I really want to drop this series, but I'll give it one more volume.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chalupa Batman

    So good....this volume deals with the right of free speech. It also deals with the individual rights of search & seizure, racial profiling, capital punishment. Just so well written & the art does the story justice.

  24. 5 out of 5

    James

    Ex Machina Book two was interesting, like the first one. But this time we get more of the story, and introduce a past bad guy. That is the best part of this book. But I need to read the next book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Dalton

    Well paced story This is a very well written and drawn series. Part sci fi, soap opera, and plenty of oddball super hero action!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jake Mcintosh

    If you liked Superman reversing the Earths rotation in order to turn back time, then you'll *love* this. If you liked Superman reversing the Earths rotation in order to turn back time, then you'll *love* this.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Pankau

    A continuing exploration of super heroes and politics in the post-9/11 world. Continues to be an interesting series, and still interesting to look back at the politics of 15 years ago.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bassie

    Again, excellent stories and art. Also really liked the background story of Hundred’s nemesis, hinted at in the first book. Can’t wait to read the next book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    BKV at his best Excellent art and story make a compelling superhero political drama. Not usually a genre mix that makes good but this is an exception!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Froof

    Characters get a little more depth, but it remains far from compelling. Just meanders without seeming to have any point, or at least at any sort of pace I would hang around long enough for.

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