Ex Machina: The First Hundred Days - Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, Tom Feister

Vaughan is also the writer of the Y: The Last Man series, and it seems he has a knack for interesting premises. This one's about a superhero-turned mayor. Mitchell Hundred was a civil engineer in New York City when some sort of weird gadget under the Brooklyn Bridge blew up in his face, giving him the ability to communicate with machines. At the urging of an old friend of his, he made a costume and started his life as a masked vigilante—causing more trouble than good.

Eventually, though, he hangs up his helmet, outs himself, and runs for mayor. This book jumps back and forth between his first hundred days in office and flashbacks about his early days as The Great Machine. Mayor Hundred has his hands full: there's a blizzard in NYC and somebody's been killing off snowplow drivers; in the meantime, the Brooklyn Museum of Art has opened an exhibit with a highly controversial piece.

I wanted to like the book, because Hundred's powers are intriguing and I wanted to find out more about them, but the constant jumps back and forth in time were disorienting. It also felt like conflicts were introduced and then resolved very quickly, rushing to get things wrapped up by the end of each issue. As a result, there's not enough time for tension to build.

Since most of the story doesn't involve The Great Machine's flying costume, the art is a little more realistic than typical superhero comics and was obviously done with photo references (a fact confirmed by the extras section in the back). But the models seem to exaggerate facial expressions and gestures, so the book ends up feeling a little bit pantomimed.

I think I'll probably pass on future volumes, at least for now.

Fed to jonathan's brain | May 19, 2007 | Comments (0)


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