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Ex Machina, Vol. 3: Fact v. Fiction (Ex Machina #3)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  3,935 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Mayor Mitchell Hundred makes a difficult decision about his own future, becoming part of a shocking trial complicated by the unexpected arrival of an all-new superhero. At the trial's end, the Mayor leaves New York City for the first time since his election to embark on a strange adventure! This third volume of the critically acclaimedseries reprints issues #11-16. Written ...more
Published (first published April 1st 2006)
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Graphic Novel. Still good! Mayor Hundred orders a nonsensical crackdown on storefront fortune tellers (Egg MacGuffin anyone?), reports for jury duty, meets a new costumed crusader, and reunites with his mom. Art good! Writing...ah, Brian K. Vaughan, I am sensing your weakness. It starts with "C." Rhymes with schnontinuity? There's no hint of the artifact, and absolutely no followthrough on either this volume's costumed crusader or last volume's repeated assassination attempts, or...whatever went ...more
Vol. 3 of 10

Each installemt still deals with political issue of the week but it is getting better as it progresses. My excitement to read them? Meh, still not reaching for the next volume before I even finish the current one.

Mitch: You said dad was a saint. You said he was Atticus Finch!
Mom: He was, nine days out of ten. But maybe Atticus used to beat HIS wife. Thirty chapters of good deeds never tells you a
man's whole story.

Recap to remind myself. ****Warning: possible spoilers ahead**
Okay, seriously, I'm not a Brian K. Vaughan stalker, but it's fascinating watching him progress as an author as I tear through years of his work. In this third volume in the Ex Machina series, the storyline keeps the same mix of political issues, crime mystery, and scifi powers, but digs deeper into Hundred's personal life and gets a bit meta with the comic-book-come-to-life meme. Some interesting questions about who has a right to be a vigilante arise, as is common in modern hero stories, but ...more
I read the first 5 volumes in one session. Another interesting concept from Brian Vaughan that starts strong and peters out. After reading all of Y: the last man, Pride of Baghdad, several volumes of Runaways, the first volume of Saga and these 5 volumes, I've now realized that his repeating societal themes and plot devices and gender tropes are never gonna float my boat. So meh, and I don't have to do that again.
Political plot on jury duty and Gulf War Syndrome; Hero plot on vigilantism and father origin issues.
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
(1) Fortune Favors
In this stand-alone issue,Mitchell visits a fortune teller and… nothing much happens.

(2) Fact Vs. Fiction
A new super-hero is sighted in NYC – the Automaton, who claims to have been created by ‘the engineer’ and will continue to operate until his ‘return’. The police commissioner suspects Mitchell, but the mayor denies any involvement. He then tasks Bradbury to find out who this mystery person is. Meanwhile, Mitchell serves jury duty and has to deal with a hostage situation in t
Tyler Hill
My Vaughan-a-thon continues with this volume of Ex Machina.

Overall, this volume seems a little scatter-shot and unfocused, but in a way that -for whatever reason- feels a little more forgivable than the last volume. Possibly because they cover so much ground here, and possibly because the politics don't seem a clunky this issue. Probably the main reason this volume seems a little scattered is that it is actually two separate storylines.

The first involves Mayor Hundred serving on jury duty, and
Installment three is often about the time when the novelty or curiosity that gets you through the first couple of stories starts to wear out around the edges, and the problems with a concept or treatment of said concept begin to show through. The difficult third album, if you will.

I was a little worried that that might be the case for Ex Machina, which is based around a premise that seems almost too cute to actually work. This 3rd book in the series stood up pretty well, though, and a lot of the
Harold Ogle
The next volume in the very adult series, this third book disappointed me a bit. There are two discrete story arcs here, and neither really advanced the plot that I find particularly compelling: the true nature of Mitchell Hundred's powers. So that was frustrating. It's still a page-turner with the weirdly drawn-from-photographs artwork, but the stories, self-contained as they were (one is about a vigilante copycat of The Machine, and the other is about Mitchell finding out some unpleasant facts ...more
Craig Williams
I struggled on whether or not to give this book 3 or 4 stars, but eventually settled on three because this volume just wasn't as interesting as the previous two. It may be because this volume isn't a whole story arc, so much as it is a series of vignettes: one about Mayor Hundred's decision to crack down on phoney psychics (which was rather silly and sort of pointless); another one about an impostor fighting crime using a personae and technology similar to Hundred's, back when he was a superhero ...more
Jason McKinney
I'm a little surprised that the reviews for this aren't more overwhelmingly positive; I actually thought this one might be the best of the series, so far. Vaughn continues to thrill with his clever plotting and I actually might be liking this better than Y: The Last Man at this point ... maybe. There IS an issue with continuity at times, as plot points are sometimes introduced and then quickly swept under the rug, but that's really only a minor quibble.
I thought vol 3 wasn't as good as vol 3. Several stories are started but not resolved -- the robot interloper just sort of fizzles to a conclusion. I like the introduction of Ray (lawyer and former childhood friend), and the jury duty scenes are well done (tho I'm unclear if that storyline is over or not). But the flashback of Mrs Hundred feels oddly truncated. Still, a decent read but not as compelling to me.
East Bay J
In this episode, Mayor Hundred gets jury duty! Hilarious. Of course it doesn’t turn out to be hilarious at all. The flashbacks keep getting more interesting and the plot has definitely thickened. In Ex Machina: Fact Vs. Fiction, we are introduced to Hundred’s mom and there is a Great Machine imposter on the loose. I didn’t think I would like the political aspects of this series but they are actually interesting and lend a lot to the story. I guess obviously so, considering the main character is ...more
Bryce Holt
In the same sense that I enjoyed his other series, Y:The Last Man, Vaughan is proving that politics (when layered with a touch of superpowers and an abundance of crazy, mischievous characters) can make a better story than I ever would have imagined. What is, by most standards, a fairly simple story (normal man is instilled with special ability by accident, rises to power, dabbles in former life while trying to maintain control of new identity), the political squabbles and infighting is really we ...more
Brian K. Vaughan, need I explain more? Ex Machina is written by a talented writer and sketched by an equally talented artist. The story is wonderful, albeit at times a slog; the characters are also rich, and complicated beings. The arcs feel a little contrived, and felt forced to move the plot along, but overall Ex Machina was still a lovely, lovely read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam Smith
Solid volume, but it doesn't stand up to the first two. The storylines are a little hackneyed, but the overall feel of the series is intact. I look forward to more volumes, but I really hope that the original mystique comes back. The mystery of the mayor's powers is still out there, and that's what I'm really looking forward to eventually reading about.
Nadine Jones
This series keeps bulldozing ahead. Mitchell inexplicably decides to shut down NYC fortune tellers (we never learn why, but I'm sure there's a reason), we don't see any more of the alien symbol, but we do delve a bit more into Mitchell's past, and his mother makes an appearance!
Slightly unpleasant moments here, where Hundred compares going to a psychic to being raped, then runs away from a crazy feminist, but overall, this series is still going good. Hundred is confronted by some questions about his powers he's never thought to ask, and realises what it's like being the law hunting vigilantes instead of being the vigilante. The emotional life of the comic is somewhat wanting. His mother reveals that instead of his dad being some kind of hero, he in fact beat her mercil ...more
Fool me thrice, shame on me. I finally figured out who the mysterious character was BEFORE the big reveal this time.

Another solid volume, although a slightly smaller feel than the previous two volumes.
Ex Machina is my least favorite Vaughn comic, it feels a little dated and weirdly disjointed but I'm still enjoying it quite a lot. It's just not quite as universally mind blowing as Y or Saga.
Stephen Theaker
A lot of people noticed that Lost's dramatic return to its very, very best came after Brian K. Vaughan joined the writing team. Whether the two events were connected as cause and effect is impossible for anyone not working on the programme to know for sure, but the strength and confidence of the serialised storytelling in this book (and in Y: the Last Man and Runaways) certainly suggests as much.

I enjoyed this story of a second-rate superhero turned mayor so much that I almost regretted Vaughan
Properly a 3.5 stars, rounded up because I'm feeling generous. Three stars wouldn't be because of any faults of this book itself, but rather that it lacks the same sense of scale its predecessor had.

Vaughan switches track a bit in this volume - instead of one long story, it's a collection of shorter pieces all roughly connected with the thematic threads of legacy and truth. In some ways it almost felt like a throwback to the days when trade collections weren't an industry standard, and publisher
The storyline about a copycat hero in the city is really just a cover for exploring Hundred's past. Excellent scenes with his estranged mother.
Stewart Tame
This series continues to delight. I'd no idea that politicians are just as likely to be called for jury duty as anyone else. Liking this series.
Mayor Mitchell Hundred is called for jury duty. Ignoring his staff's suggestion to get out of it, Mayor Hundred finds himself sitting in on a criminal case. But the real excitement happens when one of the other jurors has other plans for the Mayor in mind. The B plot of this volume find Kremlin and Brayburn skulking around trying to find out how gave the Automaton the weapons that are reminiscent of Mayor Mitchell's old tools. Finally, we find out more about Hundred's mother and father in a stor ...more
Andrew Huey
This series is coming along nicely. Still consistently enjoyable.
I'm definitely going to read the rest of it.
Third volume and I'm still totally sold and blown away. Why isn't this series praised like Preacher?
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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. 2: Tag (Ex Machina, #2)
  • 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)
Unmanned (Y: The Last Man #1) Saga, Volume 1 Saga, Volume 2 Saga #1 Saga, Volume 3

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