Nicki's Reviews > Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days

Ex Machina, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
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Jul 02, 10

bookshelves: 2010, graphic-novels
Read in June, 2010

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 still emerges and doesn’t get muddled in the implausibility. The Last Man explored issues surrounding gender while Ex Machina seems to be plunging into politics.

The protagonist in Ex Machina, Mitchell Hundred, is not quite as likable or resonant as Y’s Yorick. I haven’t yet figured out yet if I want to root for Hundred, is it's unclear at this point whether or not he's well intentioned. The dialogue is good, but again, not as quick and witty as in The Last Man.

I hate to keep making comparisons but this volume was also not quite as gripping as when I read the first installment of Y. That one I finished while dinner was in the oven and promptly scarfed down my meal, raced out to the store to buy Vol. 2, and finished it the same night. With that said, Ex Machina has enough intrigue to compel me to continue on with the series, even if not with the same sense of urgency.

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