Ex Machina 3: Fact v. Fiction

ex machina volume 3 fact v fiction cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Interesting story with a different type of lead hero

Sometimes want to escape politics, possibly hard to grasp for younger readers

Comic Info

Comic Name: Ex Machina

Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan

Artist: Tony Harris

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2006

ex machina #12 cover review tony harris

Ex Machina #12

Reprints Ex Machina #11-16 (July 2005-January 2006).  Mitchell Hundred continues to find being a mayor may be more difficult than being a superhero.  Whether it is deciding to shut down fortunetellers in the city or being summoned to jury duty, Hundred discovers his past might have consequences.  When a robot claiming to be created by the Great Machine begins to enact its own brand of justice, Hundred’s old allies must seek out the truth, and an emergency call from Mitchell’s mother has Mitchell learning that an important aspect of his past might not be true.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina Volume 3:  Fact v. Fiction is a DC Comics series printed under the Wildstorm imprint.  Following Ex Machina Volume 2:  Tag, the series features art by Tony Harris.  The issues in the collection were also collected as part of the Ex Machina Deluxe Edition—Book One and Ex Machina Deluxe Edition—Book Two as well as Ex Machina:  The Complete Series Omnibus.

I loved Brian K. Vaughan’s Y:  The Last Man and though I didn’t buy individual issues, I coveted the collections and would read them as soon as they were released.  Ex Machina is a different story.  I enjoy the telling and the ideas behind Ex Machina, but I only enjoy dipping into it for short stints.

This collection essentially has three stories.  The first story is a standalone where Hundred goes after fortunetellers who are bilking tourists.  The main idea of this story is that Hundred meets a person who claims to have seen the 9-11 attacks before they occurred but only saved one person with her fortune telling.  It is an interesting idea of “would you have believed” if she had gone forward with the truth or would she have been seen as crazy or an accomplice since 9-11 seemed so improbable if you lived through it.

ex machina #16 cover review

Ex Machina #16

The next story has Hundred summoned for jury duty.  He finds himself in a case where the jury gets to be the real threat.  There is some ambiguity if the man Hundred is dealing with also has powers or if he’s just insane.  This is intermixed with Hundred’s allies tracking a robot that is killing people.  There was enough meat to both stories that they could have been fleshed out more.

The final story is a bit of “Hundred’s secret origin”.  It reveals the truth about how Hundred’s father died and what Mitchell decides to do with this information.  It is a good look at how everyone has stuff in their past that they aren’t proud of and some of those things can’t be controlled.  The story is more expanded than the jury story, but also promises to have more resonance.

Ex Machina is a good title, but with hearty social issues mixed in, it can be a heavy series to read.  A lot of comics for me is escapism and the world’s political atmosphere (especially since 9-11) has been rather tense and antagonistic.  Diving into a political comic book is sometimes not what you are looking for.  I do get a lot of Starman from Ex Machina and feel that like Starman, Ex Machina might not age as well as some comics because you have to have experienced the time in which the story takes place to enjoy it.  Ex Machina 3:  Fact v. Fiction is followed by Ex Machina 4:  March to War.

Related Links:

Ex Machina 1:  The First Hundred Days

Ex Machina 2:  Tag

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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