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Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days (Ex Machina #1)

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3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,679 Ratings  ·  401 Reviews
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 a ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Wildstorm Signature (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Patrick
Dec 29, 2014 Patrick rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

Read a graphic novel.

3.5 stars

I 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,
...more
Dan Schwent
May 21, 2009 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
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 tha
...more
Sesana
Mar 04, 2014 Sesana rated it really liked it
Shelves: superhumans, comics
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 wo ...more
Licha
Jul 08, 2015 Licha rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, series
Vol. 1 of 10

It 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 o
...more
Joshua
May 05, 2008 Joshua rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
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 Cit
...more
Nikki
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
...more
Trebro
Nov 30, 2007 Trebro rated it it was ok
Shelves: tradepaperbacks
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 th
...more
Nick
Jun 11, 2008 Nick rated it really liked it
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 j
...more
Jedhua
Book Info: This collection contains Ex Machina issues #1-5.


{2.5/5 stars}

I think Vaughan's overrated. I really do. 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, both this and volume 5 of Y: The Last Man showed me that I'd do well to be very skeptical of the hype surrounding it.

Mitchell Hundred, the pr
...more
Wendy
Jun 12, 2013 Wendy rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics-manga
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 ...more
Corto Maltese
Jun 16, 2014 Corto Maltese rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
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 retelli
...more
Callie Rose Tyler
Aug 10, 2015 Callie Rose Tyler rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
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.
Josh
Mar 31, 2016 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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 engag ...more
ily (trk spoilers)
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. .
Greg Handley
Jan 12, 2013 Greg Handley rated it it was ok
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
...more
Martin
Jan 13, 2013 Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
...more
Jacquelyn
Dec 06, 2012 Jacquelyn rated it liked it
Shelves: belong-to-adam
You know you're in a Brian K. Vaughan comic when the character names are picked off a bookshelf or keyboard (in Y: Hero, Yorick, Ampersand--in Ex Machina: Hundred, Bradbury, Journal(?)), something crazy happened but the main male character accepts it with a shrug, and peripheral characters are vaguely stereotypical.

A glowing green device goes boom in engineer Mitchell Hundred's face, and suddenly he can hear, talk to, and control machines. Radios, recorders, electrical panels, guns, jet-packs..
...more
Caroline
Oct 07, 2008 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This is a re-read. I might love it even better the second time around. I remember I read the first four volumes basically in one sitting, last year. Kind of wish I could do that again.

Cutting and pasting my review from when I first read it: I have a thing for heroes who are also politicians. It seems to get me every time. Mitchell Hundred, the protagonist of this series, is like a weird love child of Tony Stark and Jed Bartlett, with a working class/Bohemian background thrown in. The series has
...more
Punk
Jan 17, 2009 Punk rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
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
...more
Amanda
Apr 08, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it
Recommended to Amanda by: Neil Spitovsky
Like many stories before it, Ex Machina is set in an alternate New York. In this New York, the mayor, Mitchcell Hundred, has the power to control machines -- guns, phones, radios, etc. -- a gift bestowed upon him by an accident with a mysterious green substance on the Brooklyn Bridge. Newly elected after a brief stint of superheroism which seems to have included saving one of the towers on 9/11, Mayor Hundred struggles not only with his superpowers, which the NSA has forbidden him to use, but re ...more
Robert
May 20, 2015 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
What happens when you cross John Hancock with Magneto and The Rocketeer? You get something like Mitchell Hundred aka The Great Machine. Endowed with super abilities after touching a mysterious glowing device attached to the Brooklyn Bridge, Mitchell Hundred became The Great Machine! Able to manipulate mechanical and electrical devices by thought and word, and fly like a jet with rocket pack strapped to his back, The Great Machine becomes "The World's First Super Hero!" (Sort of.)
Samm
Mar 13, 2016 Samm rated it it was ok
I didn't like how this jumped around so much.
Fizzgig76
May 25, 2015 Fizzgig76 rated it really liked it
Reprints Ex Machina #1-5 (August 2004-December 2004). The mayor of New York City faces tons of challenges as part of running one of the biggest cities on Earth and has to deal with problems from snow plow drivers to controversial art. New York City however picked a hero…literally. Mitchell Hundred was previously known as The Great Machine, but now The Great Machine is running the Big Apple. Mitchell is finding that being a superhero might have been easier than being a mayor.

Written by Brian K. V
...more
Paul
Jan 20, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it
Excellent start. Promises to be another fantastic series from Brian K. Vaughan.
David Schaafsma
Feb 16, 2016 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
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!
Sarah
After reading the absolutely amazing Saga series written by Brian K. Vaughan, a friend recommended that I check out this earlier series. Once again, I am delighted to see a cast of strong women characters, and not just strong in the sense of "look how high my boobs are pushed up by my ridiculous pecs." These women not only have brains and tenacity, they have, gasp, personalities... that vary. It's an unfortunate commentary on our society and the graphic industry that this should be such a shock ...more
Matko
Mar 08, 2016 Matko rated it liked it
Right now, in the background of my room, Gill Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson and Midnight Band are playing their seminal song from “The First Minute of a New Day”. Song is called “Ain’t no such thig as Superman” and it coincides nicely with opening lines of Brian K. Vaughan’s “Ex Machina” – but real heroes are just a fiction we create. They don’t exist outside of comic books. It’s not exactly an opening line, it’s more of a third or fourth line, but nevertheless it serves as an appropriate introduct ...more
Christopher
Another Valentine Day present.

A lot of comics in the early 2000's struggled with the fact that 9/11 brought comic-book destruction to America's first city. If we're going to see skyscrapers descend into piles of rubble on the news parts of our brains expect to see Superman fighting Bizzaro in the mix or at least Will Smith shooting down aliens. So we have this story, where there's one (struggling) superhero in NYC and he does at least mitigate the disaster.

And for his trouble he gets to be mayor
...more
Gemma Thomson
Much better than I was expecting, having previously and mistakenly tried to dive into this series probably much later on than book one.

"Ex Machina" is something like a cross between the Dark Knight trilogy of films, and "The Rocketeer" in tone. Its protagonist is actually a retired superhero, still dealing with the repercussions of powers granted to him by an unknown force or entity. The events take place in an alternate present, in which the attack on New York's World Trade Centre took a differ
...more
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  • Gotham Central, Vol. 1: In the Line of Duty
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  • Astro City, Vol. 2: Confession
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Ex Machina (10 books)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag (Ex Machina, #2)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 3: Fact v. Fiction  (Ex Machina, #3)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 4: March to War (Ex Machina, #4)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 5: Smoke, Smoke (Ex Machina, #5)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 6: Power Down (Ex Machina, #6)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 7: Ex Cathedra (Ex Machina, #7)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 8: Dirty Tricks (Ex Machina, #8)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 9: Ring Out the Old (Ex Machina, #9)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 10: Term Limits (Ex Machina, #10)

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“Christ, I walk through an inferno unscatched, then singe my ass on the flight back."

[...]

"You guys are the ... the heart and brain of the Great Machine."

"Yeah? Then you're the inflamed anus."

"You're not the brain, by the way.”
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“Everything good in New York used to be something awful, I guess."

"And everything awful used to be something good.”
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More quotes…