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

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  6,392 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
This second volume of Eisner Award-winner(Best Writer, Best New Series) Brian K. Vaughan's Ex Machina collects the TAG story arch. Plus, learn how much the National Security Agency had on the career of the Great Machine. What forced Mayor Hundred to make one of the most controversial decisions in the history of New York politics. This volume features an introduction by the ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Wildstorm Signature (first published September 1st 2005)
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Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
I liked this volume much more than the first volume and found it to have a much more cohesive and thrilling story arc. This volume flip flops between past and present as some of Mitchell's past and his accident (which resulted in him being able to mysteriously communicate with machines) come to light. After his accident, Mitchell Hundred is left with only a mysterious tag from the bomb that caused it. This tag displays a weird green symbol, resembling a Chinese character, that nobody seems to f ...more
Jul 09, 2015 Licha rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, series
Vol 2 of 10.

I hope this doesn't turn into a "tackle the political issue of the week" series.

Recap to remind myself what this volume was about. ****Possible spoilers ahead****:

--Jackson from the NSA (National Security Agency) becomes fast friends with Mitch after being assgined to help decipher the piece of shrapnel Mitch found in the river when he had the accident that gave him the power to command all machines. Jakcson, his child, wife and dog are found murdered, both Jackson and his dog evisc
Mar 12, 2016 RB rated it really liked it
Brian K. Vaughan's "Ex Machina" only gets stronger in its second volume where we go to the past to understand our protagonist while dealing with a string of deaths associated with a person, maybe a monster, and we see as people go mad gazing at an unknown symbol in the subway, a try at a romantic relationship, some rumination's on what it means to be human, how to inflict correct policy changes, and a lot more. For me, while not quite on the level intellectually or aesthetically, "Ex Machina" is ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
Aug 10, 2015 Callie Rose Tyler rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Alright, I'm locked in, this second volume sealed the deal. I absolutely have to know what happens next.

This is one of the most original stories that I have ever read. Politics mixed with strange superpowers and a realistic setting.

I am a little put off by some of the heavy-handed political viewpoints, mostly because I don't really see how they move the story along. At times it boarders didactic and feels like filler but I guess it can't all be slicing people in half and mystical Kurt Cobain me
Aug 14, 2007 Ernie rated it really liked it
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.
Diese unangekündigten Flashbacks nerven mich ein bisschen, aber sonst entwickelt sich die Story ganz gut.
Apr 18, 2015 Paige rated it liked it
I'm giving this 3 stars for the plot twist, but overall it wasn't as great as Vol. 1. It's really interesting, because the main issue in this book is that Mayor Hundred is officiating a wedding ceremony between two men and there was a lot of arguments about the constitution and how it was effect his career to publicly be in support of gay marriage. It's interesting because it's finally a nonissue in the US. And to read this days after the Supreme Court ruling was illuminating. Overall Brian K. V ...more
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
Jan 15, 2011 J. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Once, I read the first volume of this series and thought it was ok, but not up to my usually-high expectations for Vaughan. I don't know what was wrong with me--this series is really fantastic. Vaughan manages to do 3 stories simultaneously: the West Wing-style political story (in this episode: gay marriage!), the superhero fallout story (in this episode: a maniac killer in the subway), and the flashbacks (in this episode, Hundred works for the NSA or the CIA or something). Anyway, I blazed thro ...more
مصطفي سليمان

يعني كمية الملو فاقت التوقعات

حشو مبالغ فيه
تداخلات ما بين الواقع السياسي
ولك كتير مالهوش اي لزمة
يعني كنت بفوت صفحة بحثي اشوف هفهم ولا لا
ولا اي شئ

العدو المرة دي برده ليه جذور قديمة
بوشم أخضر
وبيسبب كوارث
الشكوك تحوم حول الشخص الخطأ
وف النهاية نهاية ساذجة للغاية

مش عارف الصراحة كنت متوقع افضل
Jun 06, 2017 Leanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, comics
This is great sci-fi, but also I love the backdrop of local politics and regular issues that affect real people. It sort of reminds me of the feeling I got from Parks and Recreation: it's rare for anyone to try to make local politics exciting, but inspiring to see people being passionate about something real (and not just saving the universe from a giant alien, etc.)
Mar 02, 2017 Cody rated it really liked it
Vol. 2 improved upon the first (which makes sense considering how much legwork the opening volume has to do). Really enjoying the intersection of superheroes/politics--extremely my jam. We're given a bit more characterization for Hundred and the secondary characters are filling out nicely. It's a testament to Vaughn's writing that I'm just as invested in Hundred's staffers as the main plot. Really looking forward to seeing what the glyphs are all about.
May 31, 2015 Fizzgig76 rated it really liked it
Reprints Ex Machina #6-10 (January 2005-June 2005). There is a killer loose in the city and the killer has ties to Hundred’s origin as symbols from the device that gave him power begin to pop-up…and drive people mad. Hundred is also dealing with political problems. The school system is struggling and Hundred has decided to take on the fight of gay marriage by deciding to wed the brother of his Deputy Mayor Wylie. Hundred might not even make it to the ceremony as he finds himself the target of th ...more
Feb 21, 2017 Adrian rated it really liked it
I feel like this volume was better than the first one. I still enjoy Brian K. Vaughan’s graphic novels so maybe I’m a little biased on why I like this. This book brings up some interesting political things that were controversial when the book took place (2001/2002), controversial when the book came out (2005), and slightly still controversial today (2017). But, they really get going on the mystery that created the ‘great machine’ which I have a feeling will spill over into the next few volumes.
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
Mar 24, 2013 DB rated it liked it
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
Jan 05, 2011 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Stephen Theaker
Jul 13, 2008 Stephen Theaker rated it really liked it
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
Nov 28, 2012 Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
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
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
Tyler Hill
May 31, 2011 Tyler Hill rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
Jimmy Williams
Dec 12, 2013 Jimmy Williams rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 17, 2009 Punk rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
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
Nov 01, 2016 Mouse rated it liked it

Let's see what hot political issues should I read about in the newspaper today? Public schools vs. private schools, gay marriage, liberal vs. conservative views? Hmmm?
Oh wait, I'm reading a f**king comic book and I'm trying to get away from that s**t!
What's the deal with this book being the political debate of the week here?!

Even without all the political blah blah, the story is still pretty interesting. Keeping track of the story jumping back and forth is challenging to do though. Things get p
Jeffrey Jelmeland
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
Jun 11, 2010 Rob rated it liked it
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
Noah Appelbaum
Dec 15, 2016 Noah Appelbaum rated it really liked it
A lot of other reviews of this series I have seen seem to harp on how "dated" this book is, but I feel like that's a weird criticism. I remember the period of time during which this was written, and it feels pretty spot on. Sure, Vaughan's ham-foisted political polemics are eye-rolly, but it's like two pages out of what is otherwise a great comic. I think this has perhaps suffered from sitting in a liminal uncanny valley of time, and now we're maybe moving past that point (or back into the point ...more
Jun 14, 2016 Jeff rated it it was amazing
This is more like it. While the issue surrounding gay marriage seems out of touch with today I had to go back and realize that this was first published 11 years ago. More controversial (in my opinion) is Vaughan's rewriting (to a degree) of the events of Sept. 11th. I can only imagine that some readers would take offense to what Vaughan has done here, but I have to give him credit for making that kind of creative risk. The superhero mystery this time around is much more interesting and definitel ...more
Craig Williams
May 16, 2010 Craig Williams rated it it was amazing
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
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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 about Brian K. Vaughan...

Other Books in the Series

Ex Machina (10 books)
  • Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days (Ex Machina, #1)
  • 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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“Ray: What else did they get rid of, truth, justice and the American way?
Leto jr.: Nah, truth ended when they shot M.L.K.. The American way died over in Vietnam.
Mitch: And Justice?
Leto jr.: Shit, man, there’s no justice.... There’s just us.”
More quotes…