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

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  7,122 ratings  ·  328 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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Sesana
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
Dan Schwent
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
Joshua
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
Trebro
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
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
Corto Maltese
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
Jacquelyn
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
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
Wendy Browne
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
Amanda
Apr 08, 2008 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
David Schaafsma
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
Amy Rae
The roommate's been trying to get me to read Ex Machina for years now--pretty much since I first started Y: The Last Man, I think. It's taken me long enough, but I'm finally here and reading the darned thing, and I'm enjoying it!

This TPB's kind of slow start, especially compared to Y; with Yorick, I wanted more immediately, and with Mitchell, I'm willing to go a little slower. But I love the idea so far. (I've been describing it as "Superman meets The West Wing" to people at work, lol.) And seve
...more
Jose
Sorprendente premisa la de éste cómic, en el que predominan las tramas sociales, rociadas por destellos de ci-fi, al menos de momento.

Mitchell Hundred, alcalde de Nueva York y anteriormente conocido como La Gran Máquina, es el único superhéroe del mundo. Tras lo que parece un accidente, el señor Hundred es capaz de entrar en contacto con cualquier tipo de tecnología. Es decir, la tecnología le obedece.

La historia está narrada con ayuda de saltos en el tiempo. El guionista usa esta situación para
...more
Nick
I'm an avid Vaughan fan. Absolutely love Y: The Last Man and Saga. So of course, I picked up Ex Machina.

Overall, pretty interesting. Vaughan is a brilliant writer; he's very creative, very witty. Dialogues are wonderful with him. His concepts are always great. So like always, this story was intriguing. A man with abilities to talk to machines, making them do whatever he wants. However, he's retired from being a super-hero of sorts and is now a mayor. So it's different from most super-heroes sto
...more
Kaethe
I loved it. Vaughan is the most appealing writer of graphic novels to me. His stories suck me in immediately. And there's humor, too, if you love jokes like talking about how someone is the only real superhero ever outside of comic books, in a comic book.
Frank
Unable to wait for the next volume of Saga, I am diving into Brian K. Vaughan's earlier series, Ex Machina. Quick overview: Mitchell Hundred gets exposed to some (possibly alien) tech and develops the ability to communicate with machines. Classic superhero stuff. Twist is this happens right before 9/11 and he is able to stop the second plane from hitting the Twin Towers and is subsequently elected mayor of NYC. Politics ensue.

Smart, different story with Vaughan's standard top-notch writing. Firs
...more
Katie (Books and Katie)
Review:

Not as good as his Saga series.
Kyle
Aug 20, 2013 Kyle rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013, adult
I expected a lot more from Vaughn.
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
Greg Handley
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
Robin Duple
The first trade paperback in the Ex Machina series, this volume touches on the beginnings of the superhero and politician Mitchell Hundred (AKA The Great Machine) in a non-chronological style reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino films.

I will admit that I don't read a lot of superhero comics, but having read some recent issues of both Batman and Captain America comics, it seems that Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris are in touch with the balanced emphasis on complexity of plot and @ss-kicking that mo
...more
Nicole Bunge
It's an interesting premise: World's first (accidental) superhero decides to give it up and run for Mayor of New York... which he (obviously) wins because, well, after giving up being "The Great Machine" and announcing his candidacy for mayor... 9/11 happens- and he stops the 2nd tower from getting destroyed.

All this is told in a series of flashbacks, which is both effective and... confusing at times. It's the curse of the first volume of a series, there are a lot of WTF? moments that I'm sure
...more
Neil
Ex Machina is Vaughan's soapbox for political and social commentary, but that doesn't do anything to negate the brilliance of this series. This first volume is a stunning intro to our real world, populated by a just enough "strange" to make this a science fiction story and not just a modern political thriller. Vaughan's dialogue is quick and cutting and reads like firecrackers. His characters are deep on every level, Mitchel, Ivan, Bradbury... Angotti, Wylie, Journal... each has a key role and v ...more
Sara
Mitchell Hundred was involved in a freak accident that left him with powers. So far, we know that he can control machines but I suspect that more powers will manifest themselves over time. He becomes The Great Machine and tries to save people. Though he is successful, not many people stand behind him and after 9/11, he stops. Instead he becomes Mayor of New York. This volume follows the trials he faces with an artist, serial killer, snow storm and public opinion. Much of this volume revolves aro ...more
Nicki
Ex Machina is about a man who acquires superpowers (i.e. he can communicate with machines) after a mysterious incident on a boat in the Hudson River. He later renounces superhero life so he can run for mayor of New York City.

Two years ago I read Y: The Last Man also by Brian Vaughan. Having read that series and now getting a glimpse into this one, it seems that Vaughan likes to grapple with real world issues in alternate reality settings. Those settings are just real enough so that the message
...more
Hank
It seems like a lot to name a character just for a joke title to a graphic novel, but so what? The story is good enough, but for anyone who even casually follows uberlocal politics can find a lot of enjoyment out of the administrative squabbling and headache.

So the premise is that a guy, Mitchell(?) Hundred becomes a superhero (in a world devoid of them) with the power to command mechanical and electrical objects, ranging from a gun to a telecom. He is elected mayor of NYC after a brief stint a
...more
Pandem
Okay, so superheroes-in-politics isn't exactly a new idea. Obscure DC heroine Firehawk is a senator in her alter ego, Lex Luthor was President of the US for a while, and even Captain America seriously considered running for President.

But Brian K. Vaughan gives the idea a great new spin.

Ex Machina is the story of Mitchell Hundred, who, after an accident with an artifact of unknown origin gifted him with the ability to talk to and hear machines, became the hero The Great Machine (hence the title)-
...more
George
Mitchell Hundred is a civil engineer in New York City. One night he’s called out to investigate a glowing thingy under the Brooklyn Bridge. When Mitchell touches said glowing thingy, it blows off half his face and gives him the ability to talk to his toaster. Well, not just his toaster – all machines. Mitchell decides to become a superhero – he builds a jetpack and flies around New York City like The Rocketeer, minus the good looking girl, fighting petty crime and leaving chaos and traffic pileu ...more
Craig Williams
Brian K. Vaughan is one of those comic writers that is a legend-in-the-making. Although he already enjoys some acclaim, and has moved on to writing for TV shows like Lost, I still feel like he isn't as much a household name as Brian Michael Bendis, or Geoff Johns. Still, with work like Y: The Last Man, Runaways, and Ex Machina, it's only a matter of time before Vaughn's star shines. Ex Machina is a tightly written story about what happens if a superhero becomes the mayor of New York City. The ch ...more
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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 Saga #1 Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles (Y: The Last Man, #2) Saga, Volume 2

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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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“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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