Ex Machina, Vol. 10: Term Limits (Ex Machina, #10)
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Ex Machina, Vol. 10: Term Limits (Ex Machina #10)

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,165 ratings  ·  115 reviews
The shocking last storyline leading up to the issue #50 series finale! Mayor Hundred must navigate the most challenging hot-button issue of his career, while a powerful new archenemy reveals a terrifying plan that's been in the works since the very first issue of EX MACHINA!

Will Mitchell Hundred's new archenemy, a dogged reporter with powers far beyond those of the Great...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by WildStorm (first published November 23rd 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Kemper
Wow. I didn’t see that coming.

Brian K. Vaughan wrote a powerful ending to his comic series Y: The Last Man, and he came up with an ending that was just as devastating in it’s own way for Ex Machina.

Vaughan fused superhero comics and politics with a hardcore sci-fi plot for this series. Mitchell Hundred was a New York civil engineer who was injured by the explosion of a mysterious device that left him with the ability to talk to machines. After a brief and mostly unsuccessful attempt to be the w...more
Sarah
This volume brought my overall review of the series from four stars down to three. It still had the Ex Machina hallmarks: Whedonesque humor amid the solemnity, intelligent politics, great dialogue, great art. Sadly, it took a turn I objected to and will attempt to hide for spoilers. (view spoiler)...more
'kris Pung
10 trades in 6 days was a bit of a slog but the nuts ending totally made the journey worthwhile. Also call me insensitive but I didn’t think all the 9/11 references aged very well. Lastly he is supposed to be a Civil Engineer but pretty much every one of his references to his past work refers to Structural Engineering projects (come on BKV let’s get our facts straight).
Andrew
[minor spoilers]
'Ex Machina' is one of the few comic book series where I have dutifully collected each and every issue, and I have to say the ending was a major disappointment. It felt jarring, out of tone with the overall story, and frankly, fucking lame. I know the author was going for a rope-a-dope 'bad' ending, and I'm fine with those, but this one was weak. Another disappointing angle is that apparently artist Tony Harris couldn't keep up (suddenly), so there are random panels by another ar...more
Sam Quixote
Mitchell Hundred, aka the Great Machine, is coming to the end of his final term as Mayor of New York City and a former reporter turned evil supervillain thanks to an accident similar to Hundred's which turned him into the Great Machine, is threatening to turn the city into a death zone with her powers. It's up to Hundred to stop the villain, restore the city to peace, and set things up for his successor so that New York continues to have a mayor and a hero with a eye to civic duty.

Brian Vaughan...more
Steven Withrow
One day I’m going to write an essay about how and why science fictional concepts in movies and comics (and most novels) only too rarely achieve the status of “ideas.”

But first I’ll say that, despite its many flaws (stiff postures and expressions, some wonky dialogue, and an irksome and illogical ending), I enjoyed reading EX MACHINA from start to near-finish.

The main trouble I have with this series--and this is true of most “serious” SF comics, even those by Grant Morrison and Alan Moore--is it...more
Josiah
Ex Machina is not what you think. It's so much more and so much more distressing. I finished the ending last night and was still pondering what was actually going on. I find the transitions between scenes sometimes distract from whatever conclusion we reached in the previous scene.

And the ending. It's grim. It's just not grim if you don't think about it too hard. That is, when finished it last night my thought was "well gee, for all the people that died along the way, that wasn't too bad."

No. It...more
Martin
In the previous volume (Ex Machina, Vol. 9: Ring Out the Old), Bradbury struck Suzanne with the White Box, which breaks and leaves fragments inside her head. Suzanne thereby acquired the ability of the White Box, which is essentially Mind Control. Mitchell found out his intended purpose and is aware there is a new - albeit unknown to him - player on the field. What will he do? The stage is set for the last story arc of the series, and let me tell you: it's quite a ride!


"Pro-Life"

With the help of...more
ingenue
Well, that's 10 volumes of my life I'll never get back.

Seriously, between this and the end to Y The Last Man? Which is the same goddam dramallama ending copypasted with rubber cement and the blood of kittens? How about Pride of Baghdad, could you throw in a coda with the charred kitten corpses being eaten by rats?

Don't ever make creator-owned comics in my direction again, Vaughan, I don't want to know you. You are disinvited from the special secret magic comic treehouse, you are banned from this...more
Daryl Nash
The last half of the Ex Machina series feels to me like it lost its way. And unfortunately it doesn't really grow from where it began--if anything, it seems to shrink into deconstructionist cliche the farther along it goes. But it's all wrapped up in an exciting package, the plot stays interesting and the dialogue is snappy, you may not notice that the characters are starting to lose their souls, becoming puppets for a theme. I still rated the entire series highly because the ride was fun and of...more
Michael Brown
After finishing it, I think "Ex Machina" is a mediocre concept made much, much better by the talent that brought it to life. Excellent artist Tony Harris uses a unique approach: he uses "models" (friends and co-workers, I would guess) carefully and specifically posed both live and in photos, on which he bases the characters, and in some cases entire panels. So we get facial expressions and bodily poses that are astonishing in their reflection of reality, of how people really LOOK. Every page is...more
Aildiin
This gets a slightly lower rating from me as I feel the ending wasn't as good as lets say the one in Y the last man from the same author.
Still I have to say this was an impressive comic and the quality stayed fairly constant through the whole run.
I would highly recommend this, especially to people that want to read comics with more substance and less super heroes fist fights...
Jeremy
I read Y: The Last Man, and then I read this. I enjoyed this more, it felt less serialized, I liked the characters more. It ended in a way I somewhat expected, in that it left me slightly more depressed than when I had started reading it. It hits you right in the feels.

Book 10, more than any other book, moves through time periods/character evolution MUCH more than previous books. I don't know if that was intentional, or it was planned based on the published time line of the books. But the main...more
Chris Hamburger
I am only posting this review in the first and last volumes.

Ex Machina was a delicious story of a superhero, turned Mayor of the busiest city in the world. New York City. It is more a look at the American political machine at the most basic and local level.

It has a serious twist of an ending, certainly not what you'd expect from a comic book Hero story.

There are bits of crime fighting from Mayor Hundred's earlier superhero days but they are used as spring boards and backdrops to shed light on...more
Frank
Now that was a wow of an ending. The story arc with the Big Bad gets wrapped up cleanly enough. There's a lot of talk of alternate universes, but no definitive explanations. I don't necessarily mind this, as that always seemed like an awkward plot device anyway.

But then the story continues, as Hundred steps down from being mayor and heads to Washington. But what happens to him? Not story-wise, but as a person? All I'll say is that I did not see the resolutions with his two closest friends--Bradb...more
Jake
Well, holy shit, I can honestly say I didn't see any of this ending coming. If Vaughan was going for the weird and the wild, he got it. Ultimately satisfying for the most part, mostly because it sticks to realism (or as much as it can in this sci-fi craziness). Even the seriously fucking insane seems to work here, as it's matched by a willing interest to tell a story that matters, even if in a parallel world of sorts. It doesn't wrap up everything prettily as if going for the mainstream to fall...more
Craig
Well, I guess that was a good ending. Not the slam-bang one I was hoping for, but it fits with the rest of the series.
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
David Schaafsma
If you haven't read this last volume, don't read this review. Finished all ten volumes (only one of them reread), in like two weeks, and I think my overall average and maybe my view of the whole series is something like a 4, though these last two volumes were terrific, and the ending, well, I agree with most reviewers whose reviews of this volume I read or skimmed, and think this was a surprising ending, even disturbing, but not implausible. He tells us what he thinks about typical happy comic b...more
Emmett Spain
With 50 issues, Brian K. Vaughan's mash-up of superhero stories with West Wing-style politic settings and arguments comes to an end. It wasn't the end I expected.

In the build up, things had been building toward a climax of epic proportions. The stage was set. I was ready for things to kick off as promised, only they didn't. What I got was what I wasn't expecting - a story that ended with a retrospective issue covering the end of Mitchell Hundred's final days in office, and the days that came aft...more
Lesli
Gah! I cannot believe the ending. ARGH! Clearly, I was hoping for a slightly better (read: happier. Not that I was expecting unicorns and rainbows) end. One GR reviewer says "...ending with an image of John McCain like the final shot of any horror movie where the camera pans down to reveal they didn't destroy all the eggs! It's almost exactly that cheesy." I have to agree. Also, the ending is bitter. (view spoiler)...more
Scott Foley
Few conclusions have been as utterly satisfying as Ex Machina: Term Limits.

Ex Machina has always been one of those titles that demanded both patience and commitment. With its myriad flashbacks, labyrinth plotlines, and complicated subject matter, it often required several readings. I assure you, in this tenth and final volume, your dedication is rewarded in full. Vaughan not only answers the series' major mysteries, but he also grants a sense of finality to virtually every major character in thi...more
Fill Marc
Finishing the very last volume of Ex Machina means I have now read all of Brian K. Vaughan's creator-owned comic book series. I've really become a fan of Vaughan's writing and I'm disappointed that he's left the comic book medium for Film and Television. Overall I really enjoyed this title for its twisty plot lines and distinct characters as well as its relevance to recent historical events and political issues. The superhero scenario mixed with real world politics and actually occurring events...more
David Hewitt
4 stars (with one reservation) for this volume, and a high 3 for the series as a whole. The last two volumes were, to my mind, by far the best. There were strong payoffs to almost-forgotten threads and a solid climax to the story as a whole. But at the very end (no spoilers here, not to worry), I get the sense that Vaughan, the writer, wanted above all for the story to be dark and gritty and shocking, and what gets lost is character consistency, for the sake of a bad-ass twist. The climax of...more
Richard Barnes
NB - This is a review of all 10 volumes, not just this one.

Vaughan is a great comic story-teller - superb characters with great dialogue. The whole thing is an intrigiuing premise, just enough superheroics to balance with the harder politics. Harris's art works briliantly - he isn't drawing a bunch of characters, he's creating some excellent actors.

The book works in great shades of grey - to achieve the good things, is it necessary to do some bad things? It's an interesting response to 9/11 - th...more
Robert Beveridge
Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina, vol. 10: Term Limits (Wildstorm, 2011)

Man, talk about a downbeat ending. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but it exacerbates the feeling that Vaughan was rushed into closing this series out; there are a few threads mentioned in earlier volumes that get token mentions here in the interest of tying up loose ends, but they feel like they should have been...major plot points, you know? A couple of characters make sudden, shocking, and most importantly completel...more
Neil
After working my way through some of the other later volumes, most notably numbers 7 and 8, which I don't think added to the overall plot or showed us that much about the main character, Vaughan has brought the series to a puzzling and distressing end--an end that is satisfying nonetheless. This series actually ends up being even darker than I imagined at first, and the series' engagement with issues of "national security" seems much more complicated. (view spoiler)...more
Jeffrey
After having read a fair bit of his work I can honestly say that when given a chance to bring a story to a natural conclusion Brian K. Vaughan knows how to finish a story. He did a great job of it with Y The Last Man, and he did a great job of it with Ex Machina. This volume was a perfect conclusion for the series, and he brought the story to an elegant conclusion.

Most would say that the sign of a good book is that when it is over you want more. In the case of Vaughan's work I think that being...more
Ryan Mishap
Oops! I missed sixteen issues because the library only has the deluxe editions (up to issue #29) and this one which collects the last of them. That's okay, I figured it out from context what had happened before. I don't know if it is a spoiler or not but this is also one of my theories on superheroes: in the end, most superheroes reinforce what in the United States is a conservative worldview; that the ideas of due process, community engagement and decision making, inclusiveness and the rights o...more
Vaman
Vaughn embraces his destiny, out-meta-ing Morrison and it's one of my favorite moments ever. Why not have your fake-Super Hero, who's likely your best friend at this point talk you off the ledge? Most couldn't get away with this because their SuperHeroes are real and suck. Fake Mayor Hundred acts with more blood than the rest of the canon combined. After all, he could only save one tower. Comics are the American mythos, don't get it twisted. Red Skull was practically made by Eisenhower's ghost....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 Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles (Y: The Last Man, #2) Y: The Last Man, Vol. 5: Ring of Truth (Y: The Last Man, #5) Y: The Last Man, Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons (Y: The Last Man, #8)

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