The Comic Queen

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Ex Machina #1 Review

Here's just one review for this week -- expect a few more "short takes" in the next few days.

Ex Machina #1
Wildstorm Signature/DC Comics
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Pencils: Tony Harris
Inks: Tom Feister
Colorist: JD Mettler

Understatement of the day: Brian K. Vaughan is a great writer. Statement of the day: Ex Machina is going to be a great comic.

To be honest, this book wasn’t on my radar at all. The title didn’t grab me, the cover wouldn’t have grabbed me on a stand, and in fact I haven’t been really drawn to any Wildstorm comic.

But early reviews from The Fourth Rail and Broken Frontier convinced me to give this a try. That and hearing Vaughan was the writer. I’ve really enjoyed the other work I’ve read by him: Y: The Last Man and Runaways being what I’ve read so far. His style is very accessible – he’s got a wonderful sense of pacing, and his dialogue is some of the truest out there.

So, I managed to snag the last copy my comic book store had of Ex Machina #1 (if you’re in Bellingham, check out Cosmic Comics – nice place to get comics) and read it last night.

The story revolves around Mitchell Hundred, who through an accident has the ability to communicate with machines. Sounds like a set up for a superhero book, huh? Nope – far, far from it. Hundred says on the second page as part of the "introduction" if you will: "Everyone was scared back then, and when folks are scared, they want to be surrounded by heroes. But real heroes are just a fiction we create. They don’t exist outside of comic books. … Anyway, this is the story of my four years in office, from the beginning of 2002 through godforsaken 2005. It may look like a comic, but it’s really a tragedy."

The story is well told and illustrated, jumping through points in Hundred’s life to give the reader some backstory. Vaughan sets the bar high for first issues in all of his work, and this book is no exception. I imagine there will be few people who picked up issue #1 that won’t be grabbing #2 next month.

Bottom line: A


  • At 7:21 AM, June 20, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good call on Ex Machina. Like you, I wasn't completely sold on it, at first. I waited until last week to put it on my pull list and boy am I glad I did. I have now decided I will pick up everything Brian K. does. I have to go back and get the Runaways trades now. And it was sure nice seeing Tony Harris art again. I don't think I've got anything he drew since his Starman days.



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