Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan

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“It may look like a comic, but it’s really a tragedy.”

— Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days

    Set around the year 2000, Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days concocts a New York city politics-filled drama mixed in with a dose of realistic superhero vigilantism. Writer of countless renown series such as Saga, Y: The Last Man and Paper Girls, Brian K. Vaughan offers us the story of Mitchell Hundred as he randomly lives through a freak accident that presents him with never-before-seen superpowers. This volume collects issues #1-5 and gives us a glimpse into the origin story behind Mitchell Hundred and how he went from being a simple civil engineer to The Great Machine to the Mayor of New York City. Albeit a throwback to the early 2000s, this volume succeeds in capturing the atmosphere and social dilemmas that troubled NYC back in the day. The story also does a wonderful job in presenting readers with a protagonist who’s not exactly special in any way possible and who’s core personality remains genuine and unaltered, even when he’s gifted with powers.

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    Mitchel Hundred is an original and authentic protagonist. His incompetence shines through his thick skull and makes his adventures that much more believable. His sudden ability to talk to machines (including guns) makes him a very intriguing character too. With the help of two of his sidekicks, one who’s an old Russian man who sees in Mitchell a new purpose in life by building him all the cool tech to turn him into The Great Machine, Mr. Hundred also doesn’t particularly spread hope in NYC by becoming the very first superhero. As he slowly realizes the harm that his suit and his action causes as he attempts to do good through social actions, he turns towards running for Mayor of New York City. While under restraints with his new title, he, as well as society, still remember that the man has powers and that there are people out there who don’t want any superhuman running around freely without any consequences for his past actions as The Great Machine.

    In The First Hundred Days, we’re teased with a bunch of different potential threats that come into play as Mitchell Hundred tries to do his job as Mayor. In this first volume of this political thriller, freedom of speech through artistic expression is one of the main debates raised by the author. Cleverly incorporated and made relevant (especially when you remember that this series was also created around the year 2000), Brian K. Vaughan does an excellent job in exploring the many facets of the problem, as much on a societal than an individual level. This first story arc also delivers its story by interspersing the narrative with two different past narratives. In fact, the volume kicks off with the protagonist telling us he’s about the explain what’s been going on for the past years, and as we get the most “present” narrative, we also get the one that explores the life of Mitchell Hundred as The Great Machine. While sometimes it felt choppy, it still did its job in giving us a good idea of what his life has become.

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    The artwork is also very compelling and has its own colour-correction with a very pale-hued direction. In fact, it felt like every issue explored all three primary colours (red, green and blue) in subtle ways. Apparently, every character was also based on real pictures, and it truly did help in giving each of them a realistic touch. There’s definitely no complaint in that department. Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days gives a wonderful look at a New York City after 9/11 and delves into some interesting topics that were highly pertinent during those years (and to some extent, sometimes still relevant today). Now that every card is laid out on the table, I’m definitely curious to see where the story will go with ideas of gangsters, terrorism and racism being teased here and then. It is only a question of time before we’ll also find out if the new mayor of New York City will have to put on his suit to do things that others can’t.

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Are you interested in Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days?
How about you read this comic for yourself!
You can purchase your copy @Amazon Canada or @Chapters Indigo now!

Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days came out January 1st 2005!

Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below and follow us for more content!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆/

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29 comments

    • I understand the disappointment hahah That movie was pretty awesome. The director of it is going to be releasing his next movie soon which will be an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s novel Annihilation though. 😀 Maybe a series you’d want to try out before the movie comes out? hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  • Wow, I love the art and colors! Definitely made the whole thing all the more appealing 😊
    I’m glad the characters are also realistic, especially the main one. If you can’t relate to them, then your experience just won’t be very good.
    Excellent review, Lashaan! I personally hadn’t heard of this series before, only of the author of course. I still want to read Saga but had not been in the mood for it or had the time… 😕

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s always a plus to have great artwork go with great ideas! 😀 Thank you, Sophie. And man…. Someone out to swap that Snot Girl series with Saga for you. Immediately. Hahahahah Saga is just so entertaining! Makes me want to catch up with the later volumes that I haven’t read yet now. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely! I’m incredibly vain when it comes to comics – the art needs to appeal to me, otherwise you can forget about it 😂
        I actually bought Saga’s first volume for my boyfriend on his birthday hahaha (I think we both knew this would be a present for the two of us, though LOL)
        He read it and enjoyed it but didn’t tell me much as I wanted to remain completely clueless before I got to it myself. So it’s only a matter of time before I read it 🙂
        Snotgirl was actually something he wanted too (big Scott Pilgrim fan) so I got it for him for Christmas, I think. Didn’t like it much so I picked it up out of curiosity (the art was so cute!). I’m still unsure how I feel about it, but I can’t help but want to read more and find out what the heck is going on!! So I keep on reading. Plus, again, the art is just so adorable I kind of want to eat it 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hahaah buying each other things you can both profit from! I see whatchu doin’. 😀 Glad to hear he didn’t spoil it though. This is one series you just got to dive in blind and see all the surprises it has for you!

          Sounds like someone’s hooked for all the good and the bad the series will deliver! 😛 Hopefully the later volumes will be truly amazing hahah You’re making me want to try it out just to see how it is for myself! 😛

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hehehe 😛 Nah, if he’d spoiled me I would have throttled him (he knows how I am when it comes to spoilers – ain’t nobody spoiling this girl if she can help it!!)
            Hahahaha I knooooow. What’s wrong with me? I think I have this weird fascinating for bad art sometimes. The Room is a great example of that xD
            Though Snotgirl is not bad, per se. Just not for everyone. The suspense is killing me and the author’s just taking his sweet time… Ugh xD
            Hahaha I would love to hear your thoughts on it, for sure! 😛

            Liked by 1 person

  • Great review for this Lashaan. 🙂 The First Hundred Days sounds like a really unique concept and even though I’m not a massive fan of graphic novels (I very very rarely pick them up) I can’t deny being a little intrigued in this one. It sounds like an interesting story with a well-developed protagonist and the fact that it has a four star rating from you makes me believe it really is as great as it seems. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Beth! You should totally try and add some graphic novels here and there in between your YA novels! You’ll read through them so fast and gain so much from them too. I’m sure there’s something out there that’ll intrigue you a lot too. This was definitely a great beginning to a series, and the author is known for quite a lot of series that are well-loved by the community.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve heard about this title over the years (and if I remember correctly kept popping up in ‘Chuck’ along with ‘Y-the Last Man’?) and something that I’ve been interested in checking out, even more so after reading your reliably insightful review good sir!

    If only I could make time between all the DC and Marvel stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not surprised that you’ve heard of it! Hopefully you do find time at some point to try out series from other publishers, especially Image Comics, for example. Indie comics are definitely amazing in their own rights. But I’d always prioritize my Batman/superhero comics over them though hahah

      Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately, nop. The movie isn’t based on anything but a famous philosophy theory related to artificial intelligence. I’m glad to hear you’re a fan of Saga though!!! Ex Machina as well as Y the Last Man aren’t exactly similar to Saga, but are similar to each other in their approach of certain political/social themes. You could also check out his other series called Paper Girls. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I heard great things about that one too! 😀 Thanks for reading, Asia!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I tried Y the Last Man and thought I was ok, but didn’t like it enough to continue. I have heard raves for paper girls, that a good one for me to try too. I’m just so lazy when it comes to series of any sort.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I understand hahah I love STARTING series, but I’ve come to realize that it also makes me super BAD at FINISHING them since I always end up trying the first book of different series hahaha

          Like

  • Hmm, I’ve been interested in Saga in a general distanced sort of way that I feel toward comics but this is intriguing… the art does have power in it I can see from your photos!! Very good review Lashaan, I’m intrigued… Being able to talk to machines is so fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

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