8:28 AM 10/29/06 · Taking advantage of the massive sale going on at Tower Records I did something I don't normally do. I'm not a big fan of buying comics that I've not read before when they're bound into collected editions. A little familiarity helps but then it was 25% off so why not? I bought the first 3 trade paperbacks of Ex Machina; The First Hundred Days, Tag, & Fact v. Fiction. It basically pops all over the place with flashbacks from as far back as the main characters childhood, to his short lived superhero career, to the present.
He called himself "The Great Machine". Odd names in a superhero character are not that unusual excepting that this guy's particular world is devoid of his kind. He's more than a little bit of a fluke. Having found an artifact that gave him his abilities on contact, the guy's a technopath...able to communicate with any machine and command them. That and he initially had visions of some interestingly advanced technology that he had the man that practically raised him build for him.
It's just that he did one thing I don't normally see in my typical choice heroes. After Semptember 11th, which is a touchy enough topic I'm kinda surprised this series went there, he gave up on his costumed identity, made it public, and ran for Mayor of New York. Won by a veritable landslide...
...the fact that on 9/11 he managed to talk one of the planes that was going to crash into the Towers into landing at a local airfield instead probably didn't hurt. That's right, in this series one of the Towers is still standing.
That and this is one of the best comic series I've ever read. It's an interesting blend of political maneuvering and super powers, which the character has sworn not to do any more vigilante work but he still very much has his abilities.
The book's put out by Wildstorm Comics, which is owned by DC Comics; was very amused by Mitchell Hundred, his real name, being in comic shops as a kid and talking about Superman and the Justice League. If you like political wrangling, if you like this kind of genre, you've gotta read this series! This is the best stuff I've read in print in a long time...
...well, print with drawings anyway. I've been reading some James Patterson recently, Alex Cross series, but that's an entirely other kind of brilliance.