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Ex Machina TP Vol 04 March To War (Ex Machina (Collections)) [Paperback]

Tony Harris , Chris Sprouse , Brian K. Vaughan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

29 Nov 2006 Ex Machina (Collections) (Book 4)
Written by Brian K. Vaughan Art by Tony Harris & Tom Feister and Chris Sprouse & Karl Story Cover by Tony Harris A shocking tragedy strikes an Iraq War protest in downtown Manhattan in this collection featuring EX MACHINA #17-20! Plus, in the 2-part "Life and Death," superstar artist Chris Sprouse illustrates an adventure from Mayor Hundred's super-heroic past from EX MACHINA SPECIAL #1-2! Advance-solicited; on sale November 29 - 144 pg, FC, $12.99 US - MATURE READERS

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Ex Machina TP Vol 04 March To War (Ex Machina (Collections)) + Ex Machina TP Vol 05 Smoke Smoke (Ex Machina (Collections)) + Ex Machina TP Vol 03 Fact V Fiction (Ex Machina (Collections))
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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (29 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401209971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401209971
  • Product Dimensions: 25.8 x 16.8 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"If millionaire playboys and nerdy highschoolers can be superheroes, why not the mayor of New York? ... Terrifically intriguing."

About the Author

Brian K. Vaughan has previously written episodes of Swamp Thing and The Hood mini-series. His current work includes Runaways and Y: The Last Man. Tony Harris' artwork credits include Starman, Aquaman, Iron Man, JSA, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and Daredevil. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Library Binding
This contains two stories. The first, March to War, allows Vaughan to use his talent to elegantly introduce global politics into the mix. This is an excellent story that reminds you that in conflicts there are very few winners.

The second story, Life and Death, reveals the character of Pherson that we have heard so much about. Unfortunately this arrival is telegraphed before the story setting any impact up to fail. The story is too short and resolves the episode too neatly sabotaging future potential. This is an opportunity lost and quite a contrast to the superb lead story.

The art - or rather the colouring - is fantastic. Absolutely fantastic, with bold choices being made. The tonal washes go into overdrive and despite having a very unnatural feel they work superbly. There are some panels that use alternating colours for the two sides of a phone call that really pop out.

This is the best of stories, this is the worst of stories, but the art guarantees it a Thumbs Up!
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Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
This contains two stories. The first, March to War, allows Vaughan to use his talent to elegantly introduce global politics into the mix. This is an excellent story that reminds you that in conflicts there are very few winners.

The second story, Life and Death, reveals the character of Pherson that we have heard so much about. Unfortunately this arrival is telegraphed before the story setting any impact up to fail. The story is too short and resolves the episode too neatly sabotaging future potential. This is an opportunity lost and quite a contrast to the superb lead story.

The art - or rather the colouring - is fantastic. Absolutely fantastic, with bold choices being made. The tonal washes go into overdrive and despite having a very unnatural feel they work superbly. There are some panels that use alternating colours for the two sides of a phone call that really pop out.

This is the best of stories, this is the worst of stories, but the art guarantees it a Thumbs Up!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War and War 6 Dec 2006
By Andrew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ex Machina seems like it can do no wrong, and is constantly improving. In the fourth volume of Brian K. Vaughan's political superhero tale, Mayor Mitchell Hundred has to deal with controversy over a protest over the Iraqi war. After he gave the protestors a marching license, he immediately became the target of conservative backlash. However, none of that really matters after someone releases ricin gas at the protest, killing and injuring many demonstrators, and landing a friend of Hundred's in the hospital.

Hundred and Angotti work closely together to find the person who released the gas, and though we don't see too many flashbacks to Hundred's days as the Great Machine, we see a new side to Hundred and Angotti's relationship.

The second story is the two-issue special that introduces Hundred's old nemesis, Jack Pherson. While doing a radio show, Mitch is reminded of his final showdown with Pherson, and we learn his origins. Pherson was a sound technician who was working with someone who wanted to replicate Hundred's ability and market it. A freak accident caused Pherson to gain the ability to talk to animals, much the same way Hundred talks to machines.

Having Pherson communicate with animals is, in my opinion, the perfect mirror to Hundred's ability to talk to machines. Each represents one extreme side of human consciousness; machines are cold, calculating, and logical, while animals are instinctual and wild.

The political stories and superhero events are expertly intertwined; Vaughan is able to masterfully blend these two genres and create something unique. Ex Machina is always great, and this volume is no exception.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best volume yet 31 Jan 2007
By D. Ortman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book has never been able to fully engage me, yet I always pick up the trades. While the writing has never really sold me, there has always been obvious potential and the art by Tony Harris is very nice. So even if the book has failed to live up to expectations set by others, it is still better than a large number of other books that I buy (I'm not a very hard guy to sell a comic book to), so I continue to support the book.

This volume experienced a noticeable and substantial improvement - particularly over the third volume (which I didn't care for). There are essentially two stories in this trade. The first deals with Mayor Hundred trying to support the rights of protesters of the Iraqi war while at the same time trying to keep them safe from terrorist themed attacks. I thought Vaughn did a fine job of playing with the balance between these two sometimes conflicting goals (political freedom and physical security) without sinking to the use of clichés.

The second story gives us some back story on Hundred's nemesis. This portion of the trade was not as strong as the prior story arc, but still did an excellent job of tying together Hundred's super-hero exploits with his subsequent political career.

Either the book spiked in quality, or I'm just finally coming around - but I really enjoyed this trade paperback. I hope the next volume continues in the same direction.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bouncing Back 25 Feb 2007
By Tufnel1780 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After a disappointing volume 3 'Ex Machina' is back in top form with Volume 4 'The March to War'. The Iraq war was a subject that Vaughan would have to tackle eventually in this series and here he does it with a fine even-handed approach.

One of Mayor Hundred's staff resigns to participate in an anti-war demonstration and Hundred is left to figure out how to provide security for the city while not trampling on the rights of free speech of the protestors. The ending of this story leaves Hundred at his most disheartened about his ability to change the world through public service.

A second story that includes the 'Ex Machina' special flashes back to Hundred as he is campaigning for the Mayor's office. In an interview he is asked about the death penalty which prompts a flashback to a fight with a super villian who Hundred is locked in a battle to the death with. Both stories together make for the best trade so far for this series and a must read for fans of intellegent and sophisticated comics.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Tale of Mayor Mitchell Hundred Continues 25 Dec 2008
By Pat Shand - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The volume includes the four part "March to War" story arc and a two-parter called "Life or Death." Overall, it's a not as gripping a read as the last few volumes, but it's still good throughout. Brian K. Vaughan is undoubtedly one of the best writers in comics today, and he takes big brave risks here, centering the first four issues in this volume on an almost strictly political matter that only slightly ties into Mitchell Hundred's life as the superhero the Great Machine. Vaughan has a Whedonesque ability to keep the plot insanely interesting without deviating from the character driven structure all of his stories have. What I wasn't as pleased with this time around was the art. Tony Harris is a wonderful artist and has provided some great, realistic work with this title, which is very appropriate given the subject matter. But in this volume, everything seems very stiff--there is no movement to the characters, and they're often posed in gestures that I could never see happening in a real conversation.

Guest artist Chris Sprouse fills in for Harris on the "Life or Death" two-parter, which is by and large a "Great Machine" story, framed only by a few pages of Mitchell Hundred's current life as the Mayor. The flashback, cleverly lead into by Hundred buckling under the question if some criminals deserve to die, reveals the mysterious Pherson, the arch-enemy of the Great Machine. He's creepy, working both as a realistic villain that is believable in the Ex Machina world and also as a comic book villain, both from his powers and his character design. I wish they had a bit more time to play with the dynamic between the two characters, but the two-parter did function as an introduction to Pherson, who, knowing Brian K. Vaughan, will probably be popping up in later volumes, despite evidence to the contrary.

All in all, volume four of "Ex Machina" is a good read that is a bit weaker early on than the rest of the books. The art needed a bit more life and the story needed a bit more of that Brian K. Vaughan quirk, but the "Life or Death" two-parter was great enough to earn the book a solid...

7/10
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four regular issues and two 'specials' 8 Dec 2007
By K. W. Schreiter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This fourth trade paperback collects issues #17-20 and a two 'special' issues of Vaughan and Harris' acclaimed series. The excellent first four issues focus on the 2003 runup to the US invasion of Iraq as a ricin attack during an anti-war rally fells a key character. Vaughan explores the controversial modern tradeoff between security and liberty. The Ex Machina Specials were less enjoyable, featuring a villain that can communicate with animals like Hundred can with machines. These two issues also feature a different team of artists. This volume is still worthy of five stars as the previous three have set a high standard.
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