Jul 27, 2009

Ex Machina Vol. 1 Comic Book Review

image from DCcomics.com
cover art by Tony Harris

Ex Machina Volume 1: The First Hundred Days tells the story of Mitchell Hundred, who after a tragic boating accident that gives him the power to speak to machines, becomes the incredible Machine Man! And yet, this isn't really a crime fighting, super heroics kind of story. That's just the back story to Mitchell Hundred's life. When not telling stories of Hundred's life through flashbacks, in the current day, he goes under the guise of Mayor of New York City. Read how Hundred makes this life-altering transition from jet-pack flying to office order dictating! It may not be super powered, diabolical villains threatening the world's existence in every page, but it's very engaging with its story and dialog. In the first hundred days of Hundred's reign as mayor, he is faced with a snow-plower strike, an overly-controversial artist, and a serial killer that he's not allowed to stop by force.

The art and story really are the strong points of this graphic novel. There isn't a lot of KICK-PUNCH-POW! But there's plenty of social issues covered, so you feel smart for reading it. According to various websites, and I report this with a grain of salt, New Line Cinema picked up the rights to make a movie out of Ex Machina, with main writer Brian K. Vaughan writing the screenplay, but this was announced in 2005, so is likely stuck in development hell along with the third installment of Mortal Kombat and millions of other movies.

Overall: Depending on what your criteria in a graphic novel/comic book are to find it enjoyable, it'd hard to say if I'd suggest this for everyone. To anyone looking to feel smart for doing something typically mind-rotting, or someone who's just an overall fan of the art medium itself, I say pick this up. It's very well acclaimed yet you'd still be ahead of the curb for liking something before Hollywood gets its fingers on it and turns it into something gaudy. But if you need constant fight scenes and over dramatasizing, this might not be for you. Because of this, I'd give this graphic novel 4 *'s, but the ending definitely leaves you wanting more, so at some point I'm hoping to pick up Volume 2.

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