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

Ex Machina, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
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If this continues like I hope, this could be a very interesting series. If not, it could be West Wing meets Batman, and that's not bad either. As I say, it's always difficult to give an outright judgement on a series from just the first book, but I believe this has a lot to say. The first book is very much a thematic mission statement. It says, "Why do we need heroes? Why can't we solve our own problems? Why the individual, not the collective?" If it pursues this theme and trees it, I think this could be something worth reading.

The main character is Mitchell Hundred who mysteriously gains the power to talk to machines. He calls himself "The Great Machine" and punches the second 9/11 plane out the school. Cool, no? So why does he give up adventuring to become Mayor of New York City? Why would you give up that level of glory for what is a pretty miserable municipal job? He seems unable to convince people, even his nearest and dearest, that the only way to effect real change is collectively, through government and organisation. In this alternative post-9/11 world, he sees the problem as too much glory-seeking heroism (at whatever the cost) and not enough collective negotiation and developing of consensus. Now you really are talking science fiction!

But honestly, it's good. And it has enough West Wing-esque subplots and enough Batmanesque kick-assery that the theme doesn't get laboured and it remains a story with entertaining punch. Fingers crossed it continues.
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