I've never done this before, but I'll be reviewing TWO trades today. Twice the action! Twice the drama! Twice the romance!
You can pay me in food.
Ex Machina vols. 3 (Fact v. Fiction) and 4 (March to War)
by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris and Chris Sprouse
WHAT THEY'RE ABOUT: BKV keeps on pumping out different arcs one by one! In the first one, Mayor Hundred must face the greatest challenge of his life -- jury duty, while a knock-off called "Automaton" tries to fill in the void he left when he was the Great Machine. Then, we explore his history as he meets his baby boomer mom. In the next volume, America declares war on Iraq, and Mayor Hundred has to deal with his own staff participating in protests! Thereafter, we explore a special flashback story to learn more about the Great Machine's archnemesis!
WHAT I LIKED: BKV plays with the stories and mixes fantasy and reality excellently. It's such a unique and candid take on the life of a mayor who happened to be a superhero some odd years ago. Wanna see a mayor give a speech on gay marriage to the public in one page, and then totally use his powers to trace a phone call the next? Then BAM, you're covered!
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I think these two trades were really solid, but some people might think that it's cheesy that the Great Machine's archnemesis basically talks to animals. I think it's pretty inspired, because, when you're a superhero who relies on technology and machinery, the opposite of that would either be Poison Ivy, or a dude who can talk to animals! He even brings up animal rights too!
EXTRAS?: None, for either of them.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Ex Machina is a totally solid series grounded in reality, drawing off of national news and politics, but freshening things up with superheroics. If you're looking for a title that's fresher than spandex superheroes, it's right here.