Ex Machina: Term Limits Review
In the conversation of comics, politics come up more often than you might think. ‘Ex Machina’ by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) is superb. It mixes steampunk modernism with politics from a heavily researched, independent POV…
In the conversation of comics, politics come up more often than you might think. That doesnt mean its an entirely welcomed topic. Sure, theres once do-gooder Harvey Dent, former district attorney and all-around a law and order kind of guy. Theres Obama and Spidey, sharing a historic fist bump, and Lex Luthor running the country from Washington. There’s perhaps a fine line between the way a superhero handles public image and secret identity and the delicate, sometimes discrete work of civil service. Ex Machina breaches that line. The tenth volume, Term Limits, is its conclusion.
For anyone whos seen Tony Harris art on Starman, the man marries steam punk and sci-fi and makes it look damn good. His unique style, the product of vintage and modern, is no less spectacular on the pages of Ex Machina, in which a reporter named Suzanne Padilla tramples on those close to the ex-costumed avenger and now-city mayor Mitchell Hundred, hoping to get her hands on the opener. The mysterious device, a ray-gun of sorts, opened a portal to a hell dimension the last time Hundred, outfitted in goggles and a protective suit, fired it as the hero Great Machine. Padilla wants it for her own gain, and packing powers similar to Hundred’s, she has a good chance of bending the world to her will. Hundred is the only one with the means to stop her before more blood is spilled: by climbing into the suit he was warned never to wear again.
Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) is superb. His writing on Term Limits is emotional yet hard, graceful yet rough, believable yet extraordinary. If the book’s events don’t shock you, its vision of hell will.