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Tony Harris Brian K. Vaughan
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Ex Machina Tome 1: Les Premiers Cent Jours (Ex Machina #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  7,572 ratings  ·  339 reviews
When a strange accident gives cvil engineer Mitchell Hundred amazing powers, he becomes America's first living, breathing, super-hero. Eventually tiring of risking his life merely to help maintain the status quo, Mitch retires from masked cime-fighting and runs for Mayor of New York City, winning by a landslide. And that's when his real adventure begins...

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Published (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Patrick
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
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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 1.0
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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..
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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
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Wendy
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Paul
Excellent start. Promises to be another fantastic series from Brian K. Vaughan.
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
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
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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
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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
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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
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Paige
Hmmmmm... I'm not sure of what I should make of this series yet. This story is all about a guy who touched a strange green glow-y thing (Is it alien? Is it a top secret government prototype? We don't know yet) and it gives him the powers to be able to control all machines. He becomes a superhero and it's the most realistic portrayal of how a superhero would be received. After 9/11, yes the 9/11, he decides that he could do more good if he ran for mayor and stopped being the Great Machine. It's a ...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
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Katie (Books and Katie)
Review:

Not as good as his Saga series.
Kyle
I expected a lot more from Vaughn.
Matej
The first volume of Ex Machina collects the first five issues of the monthly series that were originally published in 2004.
The story is an interesting mix between superhero comic and political drama, and even though the concept is intriguing, the political drama part is a bit boring at times. There were a few more things I didn't care for, like the conclusion and the reveal of the villain who seemed a bit motivationless, but there were some hilarious dialogues that mostly made up for it.
The art
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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)
Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag (Ex Machina, #2) Ex Machina, Vol. 6: Power Down (Ex Machina, #6)

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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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