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Ex Machina #7

Posted: Thursday, December 23, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Tag, Chapter Two"

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Tony Harris (p), Tom Feister with Tony Harris (i)

Publisher: Wildstorm Comics

Plot:
As Hundred considers taking a public position on the issue of same sex marriage issue by performing a ceremony between two gay men, we see his advisors are quick to point out that this might not be a good idea. Meanwhile the mysterious images that were etched in the object that gave Hundred his powers are starting to show up all over the city, but the effects they have of the people who study them are less than pleasant.

Comments:
The same-sex marriage issue doesn't really get off the ground in this issue, as in spite of the conversation that Hundred has with his people about his intention take a stance on the issue by performing a marriage ceremony, the simple fact of the matter is that he has yet to make his position public knowledge, so this issue is little more than back room chest thumping on Hundred's part, while his handlers makes various cases against his starting off in the deep end of the pool. However, since it's pretty obvious that any politician would be strongly advised by his handlers to avoid taking such a decisive stance on such a hotly debated subject, the simple fact of the matter is that up until the point where Hundred's position becomes public knowledge, this plot thread is little more than an interesting idea that's waiting to be unleashed. However, if, and when he does make his stand on the issue, there are some interesting side ideas that will pop up, as Hundred's new lady friend is sure to question whether his sudden interest in a relationship with her is driven largely by his desire not to be seen as an in the closet homosexual pushing an agenda. As for the secondary plots the book opens with a solid little bit of action as we see the mystery object that gave Hundred his powers is being pursued by various governments of the world, and in addition to be another fun display of Hundred's powers, one is left of wonder how many players are in the hunt for the secret behind Hundred's powers. The sequence in the subway car also had a nice ominous vibe to it.

First off I have to give credit of any artist who is able to make me look away from the page, and Tony Harris' delivery of the scene in the subway car was a delightfully disturbing image that perfectly sells the idea that perhaps the source of Hundred's power has a decidedly darker side to it. The art also does some nice work on its big action sequence, as Hundred's apartment comes under attack by a pair of German operatives, and his efforts to protect himself are deftly conveyed by the art, with the taser attack being particularly impressive. The art also does some lovely work when it comes to the facial expressions of the characters, from Journal's expression after she suggests the public might think Hundred is batting for the other team, to the sheer terror on the woman's face as her friend becomes a human pen holder. I also rather enjoyed the rather stately final page shot of Hundred.



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