International Bon Vivant and Raconteur (nick_kaufmann) wrote,
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur

Ex Machina

My friend Mark lent me the first two trade collections of Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris' Ex Machina. I'm a big fan of Vaughan's Y: The Last Man, and I'd heard good things about this series as well, so I was eager to give it a go.

Ex Machina is about Mitchell Hundred, the world's only superhero (his costume is clunky and idiotic, and he's given himself the ridiculous name The Great Machine), who saves one of the towers on 9/11 and gets elected mayor of New York City. Now, instead of fighting crime and saving falling window washers, he has to deal with political issues like gay marriage and controversial, publicly funded art. It's a brilliant idea, and Vaughan utilizes much of the same sarcastic wit he brought to Y: The Last Man, especially when he focuses on how New York City would actually react to a superhero ("Crazed Wingman Shuts Down Subway for Eleven Hours!" exclaims one headline after the Great Machine uses his powers to save some kids on the tracks).

I like it a lot, but it's not quite as compelling as Y: The Last Man. Where I was always eager to find out what would happen to Yorick and his friends next, with Ex Machina I feel little such compulsion. I think the problem lies in the fact that all the political stuff is only mildly interesting, sort of in the way The West Wing is only mildly interesting (or maybe I'm biased -- that show has been dead to me for years). I'll happily continue reading Ex Machina if my friend lends me more collections, because it is good, but I'm not chomping at the bit for more the way I am with Y: The Last Man.

Mark also lent me four issues of Warren Ellis' Fell, which I'll be diving into soon. I like Ellis' work. And today my friend Mary, co-owner of Rocketship, my local comic shop, lent me three issues of Steve Niles' Aleister Arcane.

It's the official Week of Comics!
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