Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughn
reviewed by Grady
Posted by at March 5, 2010 01:59 PM
Ex Machina takes the classic superhero story in an inventive new direction. The series' protagonist, Mitchell Hundred, is a former superhero turned Mayor of New York City. In the first book of the series, he is faced with a blizzard as well as a murderer killing snow plowmen, shutting down the city's school system and a controversial painting stirring political opinions of him. The story moves between past and present, revealing Hundred's power to control machinery and his conflict with his police commissioner. Hundred is shown as a flawed, complex person, as any superhero should be portrayed as. As a mayor he is plagued with problems that are too big for a superhero and the contrast of this is made in the alternation between past and present. I thought that it was an interesting comparison drawn between the rolls of superhero and mayor as both are responsible for entire cities and both are held to the criticism of the public. The story shows that an absence of snow plowmen could do as much damage to a city as any super villain. Ex Machina also criticizes American youth, showing the evolution of a young artist through her works as she degenerates and a young boy who kills people to get back at bullies who picked on him. Vaughn paints an honest picture of New York that pulls the reader in. I recommend Ex Machina as a nice alternative to the usual crime fighting superhero comic.