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

Ex Machina, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
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's review
Nov 30, 2007

it was ok

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 the first issue--our hero, Mitchell Hundred, is elected in a landslide.

Flashing back between his time as a hero and his first week in office (get it? First HUNDRED Days. Ha, ha, ha.), we learn that Hundred is not allowed to talk about how he got his powers (which I hope will change and is not just Vaughan being lazy) and that not everyone is happy with his change from vigilante to politico.

The trouble with this book is that it's trying to be political and does it ham-handedly. Oh My God, a Superhero Prevented Some of Nine Eleven! (Kudos to Marvel for NOT doing that, by the way.) Whatever will he do? Run for office, apparently for altruistic reasons. Puke and gag. Now he has to deal with short-staffed departments, a controversial art exhibit, and a killer bent on keeping the city covered in snow. Maybe it's a supervillain! Maybe it's Terrorists! Maybe our Hero might have to face whoever is doing it?

Nope, too much to ask.

I'm just not interested in what's going on here. It's not that the characters are bad, it's just they aren't...interesting. If this is Peter Parker Goes to Washington, it doesn't work.

Trebby's Take: Maybe this picks up, and I will read Volume 2 (hell, I'll prolly read Vol. 3, because I churn graphic novels faster than Clinton did press secretaries) to find out, but I certainly wouldn't recommend this to anyone, not with so much good stuff out there.
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