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Ex Machina #2

Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Tony Harris and Tom Feister

Publisher: Wildstorm Comics

After last issue's big final page revelation I must confess I thought this issue would detail the the most critical step in our lead character's journey from misunderstood public menance/hero, to the mayor of the city, but now that I think about it, the story is probably best left in the reader's imaginations, as the single photo of his actions on that day speaks volumes about the event, and Brian K. Vaughan does a nice job of selling the idea that our lead character is made uncomfortable by being constantly reminded of that day. Instead this issue takes a moment to introduce us to a supporting cast member who turned from one of his more ardent opponents to an ally, though we see she still has some issues with our hero, and seems determined to keep dogging him about his promise to keep his powers on the shelf.

I also have to say it'll be refreshing to see a female supporting player in the cast who won't be filling the role of the romantic interest, as this issue reveals she's married, and given the Great Machine's actions on the fateful day changed her hostile attitude toward him, one has to believe she's committed to the relationship with her husband. The issue than uses it's second half to play with the idea that in spite of being one of the largest cities in the world New York City still gets a bee in it's bonnet when it comes to the same issues that plague the smaller cities, like tax dollars being used to support an art exhibit that is sure to spark a raging controversy, and the idea that New York motorists complain about the fact that the city streets will occasionally be inundated by snow, and not be instantly cleared. The events of the last page are also nicely ominous, as one could see how this could spark a much larger event.

Tony Harris is a great artist when it comes capturing the look of the real world, and this makes him the ideal artist for this book, as this is not a series that is likely to be offering up much in the way of super-powered action. However, the art does a fantastic job showing us the Great Machine's first encounter with the Commissioner, and the wince inducing moment where she nails him with her billy-club. In fact one of the best aspects of the Great Machine is the slapdash nature of the Great Machine's costume, as it looks like something an average Joe would come up with. The art also does a great job conveying the emotions as I loved the expressions on his face when he's shown the potentially controversy generating painting.



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