Read Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan Tony Harris Tom Feister J.D. Mettler Online

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Set in our modern-day real world, Ex Machina tells the story of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America's first living, breathing superhero after a strange accident gives him amazing powers. Eventually tiring of risking his life merely to help maintain the status quo, Mitchell retires from masked crime-fighting and runs for Mayor of New York City, winning by aSet in our modern-day real world, Ex Machina tells the story of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America's first living, breathing superhero after a strange accident gives him amazing powers. Eventually tiring of risking his life merely to help maintain the status quo, Mitchell retires from masked crime-fighting and runs for Mayor of New York City, winning by a landslide! But Mayor Hundred has to worry about more than just budget problems and an antagonistic governor, especially when a mysterious hooded figure begins assassinating plow drivers during the worst snowstorm in the city's history! Suggested For Mature Readers....

Title : Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781401206123
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 136 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days Reviews

  • Patrick
    2019-04-13 05:32

    A really interesting mix of political drama and superhero comic. Short version: I liked it. It's well done. Good narrative. Good story. Smart comic. The longer version.... Well.... Through no fault of the book itself, I'm afraid this comic is starting to show its age a bit. The comic was written between 2005 and 2010, and set between 1999 and 2008. That's not a long time ago historically, or even technologically. But since this book deals with pressing social issues of the day, 7 years is a *ton* of time politically. For example, they tackle gay marriage in the book. And some of what's done must have seemed like an outrageously radical progressive stance. But now, 7 years later, everyone can see what way the wind is blowing on the issue. In another 5-10 years, kids who read this might (hopefully) shrug in confusion at this, thinking, "What's the big deal about two guys getting married?" For me the big difficulty was my perception of the police. The comics are set in New York City, and as I write is now in late 2014, the NYPD.... well.... they're embroiled in their own complicated and emotionally charged politics. This series deals so much with issues of race and civil rights, having nobody bring up the issue of racism in the police felt really, really odd to me. Which is a good thing, really. It shows that the series is believable and well-written. But again, the downside of that verisimilitude is that it feels very much out of time now, 7 years later. That aside, the series is really well written. Amazingly well written, in all honesty. Not that you'd expect anything less from Vaughan. He deals with complex issues carefully, showing many sides. Showing the valid disagreements. Playing out the arguments. Taking great care not to come off as liberal or progressive, republican or democrat. As a result, I didn't feel like I was being preached at or pandered to. That has to have been a nightmarish balancing act... but he pulled it off.Good series. Good writing. Good art. Good comic.

  • Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
    2019-04-10 11:49

    Read a graphic novel.3.5 starsI really enjoyed this first volume (I think it contained the first 5 serials) about a politician who has developed the ability to talk to machines after a mysterious accident. I only wish I had the other volumes in the series! Argh!!Mitchell Hundred is injured in a mysterious explosion and suddenly finds himself able to communicate with machines. Sometimes, this ability really helps him (such as telling a gun being used to assassinate him to jam) but at other times, he finds it very hard to tune all the "chatter" out. He, along with an ex-military crony named Bradbury, and a Russian immigrant father-figure named Kremlin, he becomes New York City's superhero, dubbed "The Great Machine." He serves as a vigilante and a hero in New York City, choosing after the tragedy of 9/11 to swap in his mask and jet pack for an office and a title when he is elected Mayor of New York City.Bradbury is now is head of security, but a disgruntled Kremlin keeps urging him to return to his masked persona. We find out that "The Great Machine" was a hero in 9/11 and actually saved one of the towers. However, Hundred dubs himself a failure for not being able to save both in time.This is more of a political saga than a superhero comic and primarily deals with Hundred's internal struggle to use his gift for the greater good instead of seeking power and glory. I thought the artwork was really well done and the story was definitely unique and captivating. My only criticisms are that I wish more of Mitchell's back story had been revealed (though I'm still holding onto hope for future volumes) and the politics of it got a little boring at times. But all in all, a wonderful start to what I hope will be an awesome series. Now to get my hands on the next one...

  • Donovan
    2019-04-12 09:47

    It's interesting to see where BKV got his roots. Saga is space opera, it's a huge idea, and Paper Girls is zany 80s fantasy. Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina are similar in their restraint. They both have their quirks but they're modest, more concerned with dialog and tight plotting than big ideas. The idea here is a super hero, The Great Machine, albeit not a very good one who controls machines, retires and runs for mayor. It's part social commentary, part crime procedural, but with BKV's signature wit and snappy dialog. The story, while generally quiet, is fast-paced. And although now Mayor Hundred doesn't fight crime, he still uses his powers to his advantage in service to his city. Interesting, right? Similar to Saga and Paper Girls (not a fan of Y's artwork), Tony Harris does phenomenal illustrations here. They're photorealistic because he poses real people and works from these photos. I mean, why not get them looking human? And the deep inks and muted colors are perfect. It gives the story a modern steampunk feel. Check it out!

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-03-28 07:35

    Mitchell Hundred, formerly the super hero known as The Great Machine, gets elected mayor of New York. From there, he deals with a blizzard, a controversial painting, a sleazeball trying to blackmail him, and a killer killing snowplow drivers.I can't BELIEVE I didn't pick this up before now! BKV and Tony Harris make a good team. I really liked how the story shifted back and forth from Hundred's mayoral term to his former super hero career. The supporting cast was very well developed. The fact that the Great Machine doesn't wear the standard super hero spandex is also a plus. Hundred's super power, the ability to talk to and control machines, is well done and fairly original.I highly recommend this to fans of Starman and Y The Last Man and I can't wait to pick up the next volume.

  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
    2019-04-01 10:31

    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.Set around the year 2000, Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days concocts a New York city politics-filled drama mixed in with a dose of realistic superhero vigilantism. Writer of countless renown series such as Saga, Y: The Last Man and Paper Girls, Brian K. Vaughan offers us the story of Mitchell Hundred as he randomly lives through a freak accident that presents him with never-before-seen superpowers. This volume collects issues #1-5 and gives us a glimpse into the origin story behind Mitchell Hundred and how he went from being a simple civil engineer to The Great Machine to the Mayor of New York City. Albeit a throwback to the early 2000s, this volume succeeds in capturing the atmosphere and social dilemmas that troubled NYC back in the day. The story also does a wonderful job in presenting readers with a protagonist who’s not exactly special in any way possible and who’s core personality remains genuine and unaltered, even when he’s gifted with powers.Mitchel Hundred is an original and authentic protagonist. His incompetence shines through his thick skull and makes his adventures that much more believable. His sudden ability to talk to machines (including guns) makes him a very intriguing character too. With the help of two of his sidekicks, one who’s an old Russian man who sees in Mitchell a new purpose in life by building him all the cool tech to turn him into The Great Machine, Mr. Hundred also doesn’t particularly spread hope in NYC by becoming the very first superhero. As he slowly realizes the harm that his suit and his action causes as he attempts to do good through social actions, he turns towards running for Mayor of New York City. While under restraints with his new title, he, as well as society, still remember that the man has powers and that there are people out there who don’t want any superhuman running around freely without any consequences for his past actions as The Great Machine.In The First Hundred Days, we’re teased with a bunch of different potential threats that come into play as Mitchell Hundred tries to do his job as Mayor. In this first volume of this political thriller, freedom of speech through artistic expression is one of the main debates raised by the author. Cleverly incorporated and made relevant (especially when you remember that this series was also created around the year 2000), Brian K. Vaughan does an excellent job in exploring the many facets of the problem, as much on a societal than an individual level. This first story arc also delivers its story by interspersing the narrative with two different past narratives. In fact, the volume kicks off with the protagonist telling us he’s about the explain what’s been going on for the past years, and as we get the most “present” narrative, we also get the one that explores the life of Mitchell Hundred as The Great Machine. While sometimes it felt choppy, it still did its job in giving us a good idea of what his life has become.The artwork is also very compelling and has its own colour-correction with a very pale-hued direction. In fact, it felt like every issue explored all three primary colours (red, green and blue) in subtle ways. Apparently, every character was also based on real pictures, and it truly did help in giving each of them a realistic touch. There’s definitely no complaint in that department. Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days gives a wonderful look at a New York City after 9/11 and delves into some interesting topics that were highly pertinent during those years (and to some extent, sometimes still relevant today). Now that every card is laid out on the table, I’m definitely curious to see where the story will go with ideas of gangsters, terrorism and racism being teased here and then. It is only a question of time before we’ll also find out if the new mayor of New York City will have to put on his suit to do things that others can’t.Yours truly,Lashaan | Blogger and Book ReviewerOfficial blog: https://bookidote.com/

  • Sesana
    2019-04-15 06:29

    As far as slightly unconventional superhero stories go, Ex Machina is (so far) one of the more interesting one. Mitchell Hundred starts his career as a superhero in a fairly conventional way. From what we've seen so far in flashbacks, he made the usual, realistic mistakes, and had the usual, realistic results, both positive and negative. The change comes when Hundred decides that he can have more positive impact as mayor than as superhero. It's an interesting setup, and so far, it seems to be working out fairly well. The characters are engaging enough, and the conflicts are ones that it makes sense for the mayor of a major city to deal with. And that's why I enjoyed this collection, and will happily read the rest of the series. That said, I feel like I have to point out that Vaughan does not have a knack for naming his characters. He gives a reason for why Mitchell's last name is Hundred, but it's weak enough that I still feel like it was chosen just to be punny. (If his ancestors decided to take the name of the district they settled in, why would they go with the second half of Brandywine Hundred?) And Journal as a first name? These are, overall, small issues, but still kind of irritating to me.

  • Jerry Bennett
    2019-04-03 05:39

    Still my very favorite work from BKV. I feel like this takes the superhero genre and infuses it with the perfect dose of reality. While definitely not for young readers, it has Vaughn's perfect blend of wit, suspense, and charm, all infused into a thoughtfully told story of using your best talents to save the world, which may not always be superpowers.

  • Licha
    2019-04-15 07:39

    Vol. 1 of 10It was good but for some reason I had no inclination to pick up the book and read it. I don't know if this is too political for my taste. Do I want to waste time and energy on this? Does the fact that I have to push myself to read this trump over the fact that once I'm reading it I'm enjoying the story? Quick catch-up so I remember what this volume is about: Mitch Hundred, mayor of NYC, is dealing with someone killing off the snow plowmen and also dealing with a controversial piece of artwork in the museum. We get glimpses into Mitch's background. He has some kind of accident where he comes into contact with some kind of glowing, nuclear(?) object he and Bradbury (his Secret Service bodyguard/friend) find in the river by one of the NY bridges. This contact gives him some kind of power where he can order machines to obey his will, which comes in handy when he wants to stop a gun from shooting him or when he is too tired to get out of bed and turn on the lights. His friend/mentor Kremlin, creates a superhero suit so that he can fight crime. Something happens that will surely come out in future volumes, that puts an end to his superhero fighting days. He decides to run for mayor instead.

  • Joshua
    2019-03-24 08:26

    I'm not usually a fan of "realistic" superhero comics. Too often, "gritty" and "realistic" means creating dislikable characters and putting them in grim situations in the mistaken idea that this makes the comic "deep," whereas I just find them boring (at best).But Ex Machina is a fairly realistic story of a man given amazing powers who becomes a costumed crimefighter, only to quickly decide he's doing more harm than good as a superhero and could do more good in politics, as mayor of New York City. Although the characters and situations (excluding the costume and superpowers) are realistic, they aren't overwhelming gritty or dark. Mitch Hundred, the main character, is idealistic and enthusiastic (but also sarcastic and impulsive). His superhero sidekicks are equally idealistic in their own ways. But they also have to deal with real situations, complicated politics, and actions with consequences. Ex Machina is fun and fresh, a nice mix of sunlight and shadow, grins and grit. I'm eager to read the rest of the series now and see if it keeps this balance of bright enthusiasm and cynical, political realism.

  • Mike
    2019-04-06 05:51

    Brian K Vaughan is a master of dead-fun dialogue. Y'know, I might even say...nah. Brian Michael Bendis is still my king of "taking the piss out of another character", but Vaughan is a butt-hair second place:And this is a perfect take on "superheroes" - they're reckless, self-indulgent and rarely accountable for their actions. What would happen when one of them tried to do some *real* good, after getting their powers? Compelling are the characters - richly nuanced, flawed, assholes and weirdos, like every Vaughan universe - and the super-typical problems most people are dealing with - that still compel me to keep reading to see how Vaughan talks about them and twists the usual narrative and outcomes. Controversial art, public safety, murder, gay rights, national security - oh, and aliens or some other crazy shit. You know, the usual.Every character is someone I want to hear more from, and see what kind of trouble they get themselves into and out of.

  • Nick
    2019-04-19 04:50

    A radically different approach to the whole superhero concept...a man who suddenly gains great power, already trained in having great responsibility...but who is a better politician than he is a superhero.I couldn't put it down once I started reading it, and will read the other volumes, but it isn't for everyone. Politics, crime and terrorism, minor and major, are the battles waged here, not slugfests against other costumed characters. The story is more pulp noir than superhero, and that works just fine.

  • Rob McMonigal
    2019-04-20 08:39

    I really wish I liked Brian K. Vaughan's "edgy" comics work more. I can't get myself to really like Y: The Last Man, and I can't get myself to like this one, either...Collecting the first five issues of Ex Machina, the basic plot here is that a superhero who got zapped by the Brooklyn Bridge to be able to talk to machines decides to quit and run for mayor. A hero on September 11th--he managed to prevent one of the planes from flying into the Twin Towers, leading to a gratuitous ending shot to the first issue--our hero, Mitchell Hundred, is elected in a landslide.Flashing back between his time as a hero and his first week in office (get it? First HUNDRED Days. Ha, ha, ha.), we learn that Hundred is not allowed to talk about how he got his powers (which I hope will change and is not just Vaughan being lazy) and that not everyone is happy with his change from vigilante to politico.The trouble with this book is that it's trying to be political and does it ham-handedly. Oh My God, a Superhero Prevented Some of Nine Eleven! (Kudos to Marvel for NOT doing that, by the way.) Whatever will he do? Run for office, apparently for altruistic reasons. Puke and gag. Now he has to deal with short-staffed departments, a controversial art exhibit, and a killer bent on keeping the city covered in snow. Maybe it's a supervillain! Maybe it's Terrorists! Maybe our Hero might have to face whoever is doing it?Nope, too much to ask.I'm just not interested in what's going on here. It's not that the characters are bad, it's just they aren't...interesting. If this is Peter Parker Goes to Washington, it doesn't work.Trebby's Take: Maybe this picks up, and I will read Volume 2 (hell, I'll prolly read Vol. 3, because I churn graphic novels faster than Clinton did press secretaries) to find out, but I certainly wouldn't recommend this to anyone, not with so much good stuff out there.

  • Nikki
    2019-03-27 08:27

    This is an interesting take on the superhero genre, with a man randomly granted powers and first attempting to use them as a superhero, ‘The Great Machine’, before giving up on that and turning to politics in order to make a real difference. I’m not a huge fan of the art, but it’s not bad or distracting; there’s just something about it I don’t quite get on with, especially when it comes to faces.There’s really a lot more to this story than can be packed into one volume, and in a way I wanted to skip the preliminaries and learn more. The last section was more engaging, because it really brought feelings into it — the Three Musketeers, split apart by not believing in the same things anymore — whereas the rest I didn’t feel that engaged with.I’m intrigued by the story, but not enough to rush to get the next volume. Maybe if the library has it.Originally posted here.

  • Jedhua
    2019-04-05 09:45

    Book Info: This collection contains Ex Machina issues #1-5.ABSOLUTE RATING: {2.5+/5 stars}STANDARDIZED RATING: <3/5 stars>Mitchell Hundred, the protagonist of Ex Machina, is an ex-superhero (called The Great Machine) turned New York City mayor. He's essentially a telepath, except instead of reading and controlling human minds, he claims dominion over machines and certain compounds. In terms of personality, he's just the typical "regular guy" protagonist. This is something Vaughan has done already with Yorick Brown in Y; think of Mitchell as a less talkative Yorick who doesn't crack as many jokes or try as hard to be funny. The brief flashbacks dispersed throughout the story do little to flesh him out as a character – and are useful only to provide background information and prior events – so Mitchell remains about as much a plain character in issue #1 as he is in issue #5. So far, of the three main characters, Mitchell's old friend Kremlin seems to be the most interesting character of the lot, but there wasn't much opportunity to expand on him or his complex relationship with Mitchell. Fortunately, however, the writing's decent enough to add the beginnings of distinctness and personality to much of the supporting cast.As a whole, the story struck me as *very* realistic for a superhero comic. From what little I've seen of his exploits so far, all of them were fairly uneventful and free of coincidence – pretty much what I'd expect things to be like for The Great Machine if he existed in the real world. In the past segments showing Mitchell's career as an active vigilante, the most rousing stuff you'd see him do is fly an injured firefighter out of a burning building or escort two teenage thrill-seekers off the roof of a moving train. And in the present time, Mitchell's security detail has him so pampered that he can't even take half a second to jam the gun of a petty assailant before being tackled and rushed away to safety. The whole thing feels very down to earth, which might appeal to many readers, but I found it to be at odds with what makes superhero comic books worth reading (at least as it's implemented here). So as a superhero book, Vaughan fails entirely. Though I will concede that he was occasionally able to come up with some smart and fascinating political dilemmas for Mitchell and his Cabinet to face, so it wasn't altogether unbearable.More than action or excitement, the focus here is slightly more directed toward politics and Mitchell's time in office, and it really does speak to how dry this story is that the political aspect of the story has me more engaged than the superhero one. I only say that because political stories very rarely prove to be my cuppa. And as far as comic books go, Transmetropolitan is the only title I still look forward to reading. But even that doesn't entice me all that much, really. One of the only ongoing political yarns that's been able to maintain a high level of interest for me is House of Cards, and that was mainly because of the sweet revenge angle, the deep characters, and its sleek presentation. So not only does Ex Machina lack any of those qualities, it's an unintentionally mundane non-thriller, and it's protagonist is miles away from being even half as iconic/charismatic a lead as either Frank (from HOC) or Spider (from Transmet) is.And why the hell did Vaughan even bother to include a superhero subtext, anyway? You'd think that, as an introductory volume, this would at least have answered that question, but nope! I mean, yeah, we are left with the feeling that there's still a lot left to be revealed about Mitchell's history and why he and his pals left the superhero biz, but it really becomes startling when you consider just how little a part Mitchell's powers play in shaping the important events that transpire here. Instead of exploring the implications of his unique power set, the story is saddled with unstimulating administration and frequent narrative jumps. And sadly, no amount of deft pacing and efficient dialogue was able to compensate for the lack of a worthwhile story to tell in the first place.As for Tony Harris and his fantastic issue covers, please don't be fooled: I assure you, nothing inside the book actually warrants that level of teasing. But the interior work is at least pretty solid, so I had few complaints in the art department. The only thing that really bugged me about it was JD Mettler – the colorist. His style appeared to endow Harris' figures a pale color, and made everything give off a hazy, dream-like glow. It's a distinguishing style to be sure, but I'm still not convinced that the effect it created was appropriate for the story. I guess it just helped give the book it's dull and sleepy tone.[Here's the super-cool cover for issue #2.][Here's one of the interior shots. See how bland this looks? This is essentially what the art looks like throughout the book, and even when we get to see The Great Machine "in action."]At this point, I'm strongly convinced that Vaughan's terribly overrated. I really am. Thing is, although I think he's an above-average writer with some good story ideas, his execution is never quite right. It'll probably be at least another year or so before I get around to Saga, and while I previously had high hopes for it, this, Runaways, and volume 5 of Y: The Last Man showed me that I'd do well to be very skeptical of the hype surrounding it. And it is really sad to see another Vertigo "classic" bite the dust like this – especially one with such a unique and promising premise – but it is what it is, I guess.So while The First Hundred Days features some competent writing and politics, it's still a largely boring book with no central conflict, theme, or goal to get behind, and suffers from an underutilization of its characters and ideas. And as for a book that supposedly set out to – according to the its official description – "uniquely [combine] big city politics and superheroes," it's crazy to think that doing away with the latter wouldn't really have altered things all that much.

  • Chelsea
    2019-04-08 04:49

    3.5. I don't really know how I feel about this book?I love Brian K. Vaughn because he has diverse casts in all of his series and they never feel like he just shoved them there just because. His casts always have more than one woman, in different age ranges and usually he has members of the lgbtqia community. This one doesn't have any of the latter but it's just the first book. So, the plot is interesting. There was a twitter post going around about how Batman could've helped Gotham more by funding more programs for the poor rather than putting on the cowl. It's kinda stupid considering Bruce also donate a lot of the city but the point was, maybe beating criminals into submission isn't a long term solution. This book kinda shows us how that might work. Hundred was "The Great Machine" before the public and the Commissioner convinced him running for Mayor would let him do more good. So now he's forbidden to talk about what he can do and he's a politician. Granted, a more honest one than I'm used to. The story is told in flashbacks which can get a little confusing if you don't remember what year it's supposed to be. Hundred is a pretty interesting character. Journal and Wylie are as well. I don't care for the Commissioner at all, to be honest. I have a question about the controversy surrounding the painting a white artist created using the "N" word. I completely understand why the city is upset but why have the two men of color in the series so ambivalent towards it? I'm not saying all black people would've thought it important enough to stand in the cold and protest but it seemed like Vaughn was trying to make light of the issue? It rubbed me the wrong way because there's a panel in Y: the Last Man where Yourick, a white guy, uses that word in front of 355, a black woman, and it's never questioned. Just seemed like a point he was trying to make and it rubbed me the wrong way. Anyway, I'll probably pick up the next volume because it's an interesting premise but the plot line here was not super, super interesting.

  • Afro Madonna
    2019-03-30 09:34

    I didn't even finish this because the dialogue got to me . Absolute trash in places where it mattered . It made me mad . Nope . Nope . Nope . Fuck this . I don't even care if it gets better . Fuck it .

  • Travis Duke
    2019-04-07 05:30

    Probably my least favorite Vaughan book I have read. It a strange mix of superhero and NYC politics set in 2002-2003 after the twin towers disaster. The NYC politics are pretty factual in terms of names and places but it just feels so odd having a real world setting mixed in with a dude who can talk to machines. I'm sure as future books go on more is explained but book one just didn't hook me in. The art from Tony Harris is really good, super realistic on the human faces which matches the seriousness of the book. Not sure if I will read more in this series.

  • Wendy
    2019-03-23 07:38

    Mitchel Hundred is America's first superhero, created by a freak accident that gives him control over machinery. With the help of his two friends, he dons the identity The Great Machine and takes of the responsibility of saving New York from evil. Only, unlike in the comic books, this -- erm -- comic book quickly points out that super heroes tend to cause more trouble than they think they do, especially for the authorities. Eventually, following 9/11, Hundred takes off his mask to run for mayor of New York, a position where he actually can do some good. A lot of the plot focuses on the daily political problems, including a major one at an art museum that impressed me for not pulling politically correct punches on the subject matter. Add to that a snow storm that cripples the city and the return of The Great Machine's nemesis who is targeting snow plow drivers. I really loved how much information and detail was brought in through only five issues without being overwhelming or verbose.

  • RB
    2019-03-28 11:41

    Brian K. Vaughan's "Ex Machina, Vol. 1" may be a victim of time having gone on and the Bush era having already been explored elsewhere, but it still manages to be one damn enjoyable superhero story. Our protagonists gift is unique and the narrative shifting back and forth works due to the flashbacks not being stretched out. The side cast, while winking at us that yes it's another black sidekick, still has a black side kick alongside a new girl who just so happens to be a knock-out blonde--defying stereotypes is not one of this comics stronger areas even with the blinking at the reader. However, none of this matters too much when you have a solid story that is executed with skill and moves at a swift pace and "Ex Machina" definitely promises to be one of the more enjoyable takes on the superhero tale (interestingly, no spandex for our hero, a good decision).

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-04-20 03:47

    Read this a few years ago after I discovered Brian Vaughn after reading his Y: The Last Man series, and liked it very much but wasn't somehow caught up in it. so hadn't continued it. Thanks to Greg who said it was one of his favorite series, that I should read the whole thing, so I reread this, again liked it very much, again feel like I might not have continued on except he said to hang in there, that the whole arc of the story over several volumes made it worthwhile, so I am going to continue!

  • Callie Rose Tyler
    2019-03-23 07:55

    I don't particularly care for politics in my comics as a general rule, but this might be the exception. The concept feels fresh, a man acquires special powers but kind of sucks at the whole vigilante thing so he decides to make a different by becoming a politician. It was actually a lot more interesting than it sounds. The main character has unique powers and the story moves quick and integrates the present politician with the past vigilante quiet effectively.

  • Yonaily
    2019-04-08 09:41

    The First Hundred Days... I get it now! Pretty late, though. I didn't pay much attention to this one. A political thriller with superhero vibes.... Hell yeah! Sadly, it didn't work for me. I liked Mitchell, but the rest of the characters bored me. .

  • La Biblio Geek
    2019-04-18 11:32

    Ce n'est pas mon comic préféré de Brian K. Vaughan, je me suis parfois un peu perdue dans la chronologie non linéaire. C'est un comic tout de même intéressant et intriguant, malgré sa lourdeur et certain dialogue qui s'étire parfois en longueur. Je n'étais pas fan de la traduction également. Mieux vaut lire la VO.

  • Martin
    2019-04-17 11:40

    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 PilotWe’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 EmergencyA 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.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".Click here for the review of the next volume (Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag)

  • Chad Jordahl
    2019-04-15 03:50

    Intriguing concept, pretty interesting characters. I like the realistic art style, but a lot of the panels are overly posed.

  • Josh
    2019-04-04 08:31

    (Series overview review - 6/14/16) Here is a brief review of the entire series now that I've completed reading it. My original review of Vol. 1 is below.So, "Ex Machina" begins with a wonderful premise that I enjoyed all the way through the series. In addition to the political-superhero dynamics, I loved seeing an everyday guy attempt (often badly) to be a superhero in the modern day. The central storyline of the series is interesting and kept me wanting to know more. The ending of the story, whatever else I felt about it, is emotionally powerful and ties things up in force. My respect of Vaughan and company for an undertaking like this.Negatives: the art has a strange appearance at times, particularly in terms of people's expressions. Vaughan adds some dialogue and plot points that are mature, might put off some readers, and don't always feel necessary other than to provide mature content for its own sake. For much of the series, the different plotlines of each volume feel disconnected from each other, leaving the reading experience a bit lacking. Finally, there are some bold creative choices in the later volumes that take the story in new directions - and whether or not you like those directions will probably depend greatly on personal taste.In all, I can appreciate the experience of reading this series. Vaughan is a powerful storyteller. I certainly have my issues with his work, and with this series, but it is hard to deny the merits of both. If this all sounds like something you might be interested in, give it a try. It takes a few volumes for the series to find its footing, but there are definite strengths here, from the beginning all the way to the end. (Original review of Vol. 1 - 3/30/16) This turned out to be an interesting read. It reminded me vaguely of Watchmen in regards to the way each story combines superheroes with social commentary and a politically driven story. With "Ex Machina" the blend works well, as does the handling of multiple storylines and time periods. It felt a little too blunt in a couple places for my taste and there was some needless profanity that simply didn't seem to fit. But overall, this is the start of a pleasantly complex story with flawed yet engaging characters and real-world context. And an insecure and only moderately competent hero makes for an interesting change of pace. Volume 2 isn't at the top of my to-read list, but I will certainly be continuing the series at some point.

  • Corto Maltese
    2019-04-20 10:37

    Damn! Am I late on this one.I have just recently discovered Brian K. Vaughan as a writer, since I read the first volume of "Y" a while back and wasn't overly impressed by it, even not to the point where I would have been curious about the further development of the story (sue me).I was charmed a lot by the first 3 volumes of "Saga" though and decided to give his other major series a chance."Ex Machina" dragged me in from the first pages. I will not go into the plot (never understood what retelling the plot in a review is good for), but what we have at hand here is a excellently crafted political thriller with a bit of a sf/fantasy element. (As opposed to a mondern superhero book, as many others see this series)Mitchell Hundred is realising pretty fast, that he makes a fool of himself in the spandex role, after he gets his abilities in a way that shout "radioactve spider" to me. (Hence the fantasy tag) Maybe his "origin" is dragged from obscurity in the following volumes, I don't know that (yet). But it doesn't really matter that much too, since the strengh of the book lies in good characterisations, witty dialogues, a fast paced plot, that keeps you turning pages, a profound realistic uderstanding of how politics work and last but not least the stunning artwork. Normaly I'm not too hot on photo-based drawings because of their tentency to the stiff side. In this book however, it compliments the story in a great way. A story, that at the end of the day is pretty much a talking heads story, but doesn't feel like it. But because of the great emphasis on character interaction, the realistic drawings really add to the overall feeling, especially since facial expressions and body language are done fantastically well.The only bad thing I can find is the fact, that it will cost me a bundle to get the other 9 volumes.If they are as good as the start, this could easily become one of my favourite series. (at which point I will have to give "Y" another chance, I think. Damn!)

  • Punk
    2019-04-20 04:51

    Graphic Novel. Mitchell Hundred is a civil engineer turned reluctant hero turned politician. Hundred has the power to control virtually any mechanical device, but his attempts to fight crime often end in property damage or injury and he decides to give up his life as The Great Machine and run for mayor of New York instead.This is set in a post-9/11 New York, and while it's not a huge part of the story, it is part of Hundred's life and there's a moment somewhere near the middle that kind of felt like a punch to the kidney, so be aware that it does come up. Personally, I found Hundred's involvement to be kind of an awful and wonderful "what if."The writing is Brian K. Vaughan doing his job -- People speaking casually! People making jokes! People swearing! -- in short, people sounding like people. He's very good at that. The art...also does its job. It's nothing fancy, but it's not hard on the eyes. It's simple and realistic and I like the way the color palette changes depending on what year it is and what kind of flashback it is.This comic is unusual in that it demands accountability of its superhero and argues that he's making it harder for regular people -- cops, firefighters -- to do their jobs. Superman might knock over an entire building while pursuing one bad guy and it's not a problem; well, it's a problem here, and that introduces an interesting dilemma for our hero and his place in society. So a thumbs up for that. There's also a good showing of women, characters of color, and different body types. Cons: There's a little cheesecake action with one of the female characters, and the climax and subsequent revealing of the villain is underdeveloped, but that was just one storyline out of many, so I'm not too concerned.Four stars. Great writing, good premise; I'm already hunting down the next trades.

  • Jeff
    2019-03-31 03:33

    I found this to be quite enjoyable. So many questions raised and left unanswered (hopefully in the following volumes). Although due to this being an election year the biggest one I had was how did an independent third party candidate win the NYC mayoral election?I found the main character's super power of being able to communicate with complex machines to be fascinating and original (at least to me). At this stage in the superhero game (DC and Marvel aside) it has to be near impossible to think of any superpowers or combination of powers that can be truly unique or at least seem new. This did.I think Vaughan did a great job establishing a realistic political setting and how even a little thing such as an art piece or a snow storm can have huge ramifications on an elected official. I have to say I think I found the mayoral setting more interesting than any of the super hero stuff, but this is done in such a different way (hero realizes he's not much of a hero although his intentions are good) that there are some real possibilities here for something special. Overall, not great, but very, very good with plenty of room to develop into greatness.And yes, I'll agree with a fellow reviewer that some of the profanity seemed to be added in just for the sake of making it feel more adult.

  • Greg Handley
    2019-04-16 06:49

    Having a hard time getting into this story. The characters don't come across as likeable or intriguing. The dialogue is ridiculous and is hard to take seriously. Half-way through and I'm having a hard time finding the redeeming value. Everything seems a little obnoxious in this thus far, from facial expressions, all of the situations, the dialogue, and the premise.Where as with different comics you have an understanding of an idea the character stands for which you know to take serious as it is the bedrock of the fictional character; ie. Captain Americas morals, Batman's vengance/dark side/vigilante justice with a line he won't cross, etc. I'm having a difficult time identifying what that idea to take serious is in this series, and since I'm not intrigued by much else other than a few bits of art, I don't plan on reading future issues to find out what the idea is which grounds this story and gives it depth. Thus far it doesn't amount to much and lacks direction.Again, only half way through Vol. 1 to be fair.