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Ex Machina #44

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009
By: Jon Judy

Brian K. Vaughn
Tony Harris
Wildstorm / DC
ďRing Out the OldĒ (conclusion)

Let me get right to the point, and then if youíre bored enough to keep reading, well, thatís your problem. I think most Ex Machina fans will really enjoy this issue, and would rate it a half-bullet or bullet higher than Iíve rated it. My objections, slight as they are, are entirely subjective.

In this issue, Vaughn and company wrap up the current arc while, more importantly, moving the larger story of the series forward in some significant ways. In other words, we start to get some reveals on Mayor Hundredís origin, and as a consequence some hints as to where the series will go from here.

I think itís something most fans will enjoy, and indeed would eventually come to demand. Sooner or later, to put it in modern parlance, you have to let the audience in on all of the islandís secrets, and they should be satisfying and make sense. For me, however, the issue of Hundredís origin is a non-issue. I just donít care how he got his powers as itís purely a MacGuffin, just something to get some likable, interesting characters into intriguing situations. The more time we spend exploring those origins, the less time we have to explore those characters. Further, this is a prominent reminder that the series is speeding to its inevitable conclusion, something Iím just not looking forward to. Itís like the first time you read Lord of the Rings. At first, you enjoy it, but itís so long that you also perceive it as a chore to be finished, something to be overcome. As you progress, youíre excited to finally be nearing the end. About halfway through Return of the King, however, it sinks in: Every page brings you closer to the time when youíll never get to read about these characters in the same way ever again. You can re-read these books, but you canít go home.

We learn a lot more about Hundred in this issue, but I already knew everything I needed to know: Iím going to miss him terribly.



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