Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Símbolo
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Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Símbolo (Ex Machina #2)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  4,544 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Retired super-hero and current New York City Mayor Mitchell Hundred makes the most controversial decision of his political career. As the mayor's administration deals with the fallout, a supernatural terror stalks the subways beneath Manhattan. What connection does thsi mysterious new threat have to do with Hundred's past as the heroic Great machine? This second volume of...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published November 2011 by Panini (first published September 1st 2005)
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Ernie
The second volume improves immensely on the first. Mitchell Hundred really gains some much needed characterization and there is a lot more delving into what his powers can do as opposed to the first.
Sarah
It's interesting reading this older series from Brian K. Vaughan, the writer of the amazing Saga series. There are a lot of similarities between the two, but in Ex Machina the soapbox tends to be a bit more obvious, the flashback transitions less nuanced, and the storyline a bit more formulaic. In each volume thus far there's a major present tense political event (marriage equality in this one), a mysterious sci-fi event tied to Hundred's powers, and a flashback or two that provide both backst...more
Jimmy Williams
Grown man topics is something you gotta deal with, No matter how many super powers you love it ain’t gonna equal up to this real shit....

Let me just start by saying this is the best “Graphic Novel” I have ever read. I wouldn’t even call this a comic. I know that there is a difference between a comic and a graphic novel but I’ve also seen the terms use interchangeably but this piece of work is too great to be called anything else. I read “Y The Last Man” so I was a fan of Brian K Vaughn (Although...more
Stephen Theaker
I'm reading these out of order as I get them from the library (thank you Birmingham Libraries and your online reservation system - it's like a completely free version of Amazon), so I came to this having only read volume three, Fact v. Fiction. I'm usually fairly precious about reading things in order - it's a luxury of having had enough money to buy the things I want. But since making my boring vow to not buy any new books I've had to reappraise my way of going about things. It doesn't work out...more
Martin
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 sur...more
Tyler Hill
While this issue was definitely denser and got more into the meat-and-potatoes of what this series is, I found that I didn't enjoy it as much as I did the first one. Most likely, this was because the two storylines never really seem to come together in a meaningful way, creating the feeling that we are flipping back and forth between two similar, but unrelated TV shows. The first (and arguably main) storyline involves a series of grisly murders and suicides that are somehow related to mysterious...more
Ryan
Part of me thinks I should just bypass the first volume of graphic novel series, because it seems that they're always just about setting up the premise, and the real meat of the story starts in the second volume. That's definitely the case here, where Vaughan really starts to meld the two aspects of his story (the superhero comics aspect and the political aspect).

Mitchell Hundred, current NYC mayor and former superhero, has a problem. After the tragedy of September 11th, he promised the firefigh...more
Reenie
All writers have their writing tics, and Brian Vaughan's rather well-known one is a tendency for all his characters, all the time, to be dropping random factoids like dandruff. As tics go, I'm quite easy on this one (being very fond both of random factoids and of assaulting innocent bystanders with them at any opportunity), but it can start to grate even on me. Luckily, if BKV can't actually stop himself from spilling out the encyclopedia, he at least is pretty good at building characters for wh...more
Harold Ogle
This is a fine continuation of Vaughan's first volume, advancing both stories (past and present) of Mitchell Hundred (formerly "The Machine") in a similar chronologically-jumping way to what he used in the first volume. In this one, Hundred continues to work as mayor in one timeline (the present) while phasing out of being a superhero and then starting to run for mayor in the other (the past).

The geek in me would love to imagine that comics somehow influence history, and that the mayor of San F...more
Jesse
What can I say, this series just keeps getting better. Brian K Vaughan is my new hero, up there with Gaiman, Moore, and Ellis. This guy and Bill Willingham are the two biggest things in comics right now in my opinion. And let me not forget to mention the beautiful art of Tony Harris, without which this whole series wouldn't be nearly as awesome as it is. This team is like music to my eyes and brain. This is a super-powered kind of West Wing that I love to read and feel really has something to sa...more
Punk
Graphic Novel. Mitchell Hundred, ex-superhero mayor of New York City, stirs up a same-sex marriage controversy, has several attempts made on his life, and learns more about the artifact that gave him his powers.

This series continues to be good. We've got the start of what looks like a mytharc -- mysterious symbols!...other stuff! -- and some background on Hundred's life as The Great Machine and his campaign for mayor. The writing has a sense of humor and the dialogue all sounds real. The art is...more
DB
A little better than the first installment, but... ok, so as a super-hero comic, there's little original here. The hero is a familiar amalgam from origin to powers. Pretty sure he's not the first hero to be put in an elected office, either. So we're left with voice and plot to compel. Vaughn's voice suits comics well and is easy to digest. It's not a far stretch from Y. However, in Y, when the dialog veers into political and societal debate (which it does often), it works, because the characters...more
Jason Mckinney
I really like this series. It's not as good as Vaughn's Y: The Last Man, but really, what is? This second book isn't quite up there with the first one in the series, although it entertains with its continuing combination of NYC politics and superhero goings-on. It also has what might become a pretty interesting romantic angle in the form of a relationship between Mayor Hundred and a savvy reporter.
Jeffrey
Ok, I wasn't exactly impressed with the first volume, but I decided to give the next one a shot. End result, I am glad that I did. The book isn't even remotely close to your standard super hero book, but instead explores an interesting "what if?" scenario of somebody with heroic type powers becoming a public official and tackling social issues of the day. In some ways this is very similar to other works by the same author and I suspect that this is a writing technique that he freely employs with...more
Rob
Like the first, this volume of Ex Machina mixes two plotlines, one about Mayor Hundred's past and mysterious powers and one about the political trials he faces as mayor of New York. The former is a good deal more successful than the latter, even if it doesn't provide a whole lot of answers. I'll admit to being intruiged as to the source of Hundred's powers and what will happen next. On the other hand, the gay marriage plotline doesn't seem to serve any purpose other than a soapbox, which is appr...more
Stewart Tame
Really liking this series. Among other topics, the subject of gay marriage is touched upon. I thought Vaughan handled it really well, at least from the political end of things. As before, we get bits and pieces of the pre-mayoral days handed out to us as necessary. I'm keen to see where this is all going.
Craig Williams
The story of former superhero turned mayor of NYC, Mitchell Hundred, continues in this rather gristly, but very entertaining, volume. I love how seamlessly the story jumps from past to present, ala Lost. The questions surrounding how Mayor Hundred received his powers are certainly becoming more interesting, especially considering that the source of his powers may not be altogether benevolent. I mean, a mysterious force that can compel someone to murder their family, and other innocent people, is...more
Rick
Well... better than the first volume, but still feels a bit unpolished. I'm sure that a lot of the open, unexplained things (such as the painted symbols, some of Hundred's activities before his mayorship, etc.) will eventually come to play a part in the story, but it's hard to go with the main thrust of this volume when you get no real explanation or even an inkling of one for why the antagonist does what she does. Yes, it has to do with the symbols and token, but let's explore that. I'm sure it...more
J
The adventures of Mayor Hundred continue. I like the flashback style of filling in details from this story’s past. I think it works really well for this book. The mysterious source of Hundred’s power continues to wreak havoc in his life and the lives of those around him. Vaughan paces the action and the information in a fun, suspenseful way. The plot twists are surprising. And the way Hundred uses his power are always cool. It’s a cool power! You could turn off car alarms that wake you up, shut...more
Frank
Vaughan is building a very believable world with a mix of mundane politics and supernatural action. Mayor Hundred is turning into a character you want to follow throughout the series.
Cristina
Muito melhor que o primeiro. Política, moralidade, super heróis, mutilações e Kurt Cobain a compôr músicas na afterlife ?! LINDO !
Jake
This series just took on a whole new path. It's not a surprise or a twist. It's just not what I was expecting, and I'm very curious/excited to see how it goes. It made me feel pretty weird to know it could be so humble in its humanity and so wild in its weird.
John Opalenik
Not as good as Y: The Last Man, or Saga, but definitely still the quality that you'd come to expect from Brian K Vaughan.
Jdetrick
More great stuff from this series, and now it's tackling actual political issues, making it that much more interesting.
Elizabeth
Okay, so this volume is a bit more West Wing meets Batman than the first. But that's fine. Volume 1 was all mission statement. This volume more just points at shit and goes, "How does that work?" For example it hints at (more than unravels) the mysterious origins of Hundred's powers, and how no one knows what it is, how it works, where it comes from or what kind of consequences it might have. Up until this point everybody's just been "Yay! He punched a plane out the sky!" Meanwhile there's a sub...more
'kris Pung
The volume started a bit slow but had one hell of a cliffhanger.
Neil
Take the only superhero (and a relatively incompetent one at that) and put him in the political arena, get him elected Mayor of New York, then let the politics and deeply scary plot start to run. Vaughan really hits his stride in this collection, addressing everything from gay marriage to the psychological effects of 9/11 to alien possessed mass murderers. Humorous and creepily scary, sensitive and provocative... this series, all drawn by the inimitable TOny Harris, is a must read for any fan of...more
Matt
i gave four stars to this because meghan and i were making fun of josh for his various ratings for different trades of the same series...and because i was really, really excited from ex machina #1. still, good sophomore trade, vaughan cleverly finds ways to work his main character into superheroic situations while simultaneously selling Mayor Hundred as a completely plausible superhero. Anyone who thinks gays shouldn't be married are mean! check out "gay kids in the hall" on youtube for further...more
Felipe
Superheroes. Politics. Gay Marriage.

When Mayor Hundred is asked to perform a controversial gay marriage, will he keep his promise of marrying any first responders, or will he cave to the pressure and back down?

This was a great arc that defines Mitchell Hundred's beliefs, and includes some great ideas about gay marriage that the real world should take note of.

Absolutely loving this series, just have to make sure to check the date as I start each segment so that I don't mix up the timeline.
M
Returning for his second volume, Mitchell Hundred faces a threat from his past while fighting a different war in the present. As Mayor Hundred prepares to preside over the wedding ceremony of two gay men - one being a firefighter from the 9/11 tragedy - a mysterious butcher is carving up animals and people in the sewers. As fun as the twist was, I am still enjoying seeing the former superhero finagle his way out of political death traps than the traditional costumed ones.
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Born in Cleveland in 1976, Brian K. Vaughan is the Eisner, Harvey, and Shuster Award-winning writer and co-creator of the critically acclaimed comics series Y: The Last Man, Runaways, and Ex Machina (picked as one of the ten best works of fiction of 2005 by Entertainment Weekly).

Recently named "Writer of the Year" by Wizard Magazine, and one of the “top ten comic writers of all time” by Comic Boo...more
More about Brian K. Vaughan...
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned (Y: The Last Man, #1) Saga, Volume 1 Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles (Y: The Last Man, #2) Y: The Last Man, Vol. 5: Ring of Truth (Y: The Last Man, #5) Y: The Last Man, Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons (Y: The Last Man, #8)

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