Ex Machina series discussion (spoilers)

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compound

Well-Known Member
Because I couldn't find any relevant thread. Admin: please merge if redundant.

I was honestly a little surprised to find that nobody had bothered to start an official timeline for this non-linear series on Vaughn's personal message board.

I'm considering putting a chronology together, for the benefit of readers playing catch-up, or who'd like to makes speculations based on events that have already been established.

If I do, I'll be sure to link to it here, for reference.

In the meantime, would anybody like to get the engine running (to use an apt metaphor)?
 
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Bass

Nexus of the World
I've got the first two trades and it's enjoyable... but frankly, I prefer Y the Last Man. And in my opinion, they're far too similar in structure or at least in aesthetics. They don't feel... different enough.

But it's fun though.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
Bass: I've been getting Ex Machina in singles -- I love the cliff-hanger suspense between issues! Just a quick question: does the second volume include the one-issue story about the fortune-teller?

Also, I can understand the structural similarities with Y, especially with the constant flashbacks and achronological storytelling. But aesthetically?

Guerra and Harris have pretty distinct art styles, methinks. There's a more animated quality to Y, whereas I find Ex Machina an example of near-photo-realism done right.

I was a bit let down by the identity of the culprit in Tags -- there was enough motivation (assuming the glyph was amplifying her real emotions, rather than outright possessing her to do Evil Things), but the whole "blame the wife" aspect felt a little too Identity Crisis. And the single issues were released alongside Disassembled (more or less), so I was kinda burned out on the "chick goes nuts; destruction ensues" plotting.

Also, the ending of the first arc too closesly resembled the conclusion of Bendis' first volume of
Powers
-- it was just some crazy kid at fault.

But then again, I ought to expect as much from a series titled Ex Machina.

Still, for all my gripes about the whodunnit aspects, the characterization is always top-notch, and Vaughn compellingly explores a number of socio-political issues in complex, interesting ways, without ever coming across too preachy or didactic.
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
By aesthetically, what I meant was - we have a snappy, witty, erudite white lead, bolstered by a friendly but stern black sidekick and pretty much everyone in the story is completely designed to support the lead in the series.

I'm not saying that Ex Machina is bad, but it makes me have more respect for writers like Alan Moore who are capable of producing multiple series simultaneously but make each title feel unique and different.

Ex Machina actually reminds me a lot Rocketeer.

As for the who dunnits, I agree, they're lack luster. The second trade ended with the Tags storyline.

Y, on the other hand, is a think more effective. I've just started "Safeword" and am really, really into it. Very exciting.
 

MoS

Well-Known Member
Lol, and I prefer Ex Machina to Y: TLM, mostly because I like the character of Mitchell Hundred. For a a liberal, he's often a conservative jerk (or vice-versa). I find the lead character of Y:TLM to be... whiny (at least in the first trade) - of course, he kinda has a good reason to be whiny. Plus, the amateur magician schtick annoys me. But the characters in Ex Machina really draw me in, they are all pretty well-rounded and given the chance to be human and breathe, rather than just to be sidekicks.

I like Vaughan's dialog (in ALL of his books), I like his plots for the most part (a few have been repetitive), I like Tony Harris' ultra-real art, and Ex Machina is definitely one of my favorite books out there. If it has a flaw, I'd say that there isn't a single, overall big plot - the book feels like it's just going from situation to situation, yet the feel of the premise is that there should be something bigger in store. There may yet be, of course, but I don't sense it building.
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
It is possible The West Wing pissed me off so much I'm taking some of my grudge out on poor Ex Machina. :wink:
 

MoS

Well-Known Member
Bass said:
It is possible The West Wing pissed me off so much I'm taking some of my grudge out on poor Ex Machina.
Lol, see, the advantages of never watching TV. The Cranky Engineer-Economist (aka Steve) watches House because he likes cranky curmudgeons (takes one to know...) but if not for that, the TV would stay off for weeks on end. A friend just sent me a DVD collection (Carnivale and Dead Like Me from HBO and the anime series Planetes) so now I have something to watch.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
Speaking of cool TV programs, does anybody else think Jason Bateman from Arrested Development would make an excellent Mitchell Hundred in a live-action version of the series?
 

MoS

Well-Known Member
compound said:
Speaking of cool TV programs, does anybody else think Jason Bateman from Arrested Development would make an excellent Mitchell Hundred in a live-action version of the series?
Well, you may have a chance to find out, because Ex Machina has been tapped for the film thing in 2007 through New Line Cinema. I don't believe Vaughan is writing the script (I'd read someone else was, that may have changed by now).
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
Hmm...

I agree that Y and this are rather similar. However, I like the character of Hundred much better than Yorrick. The art is what really makes this book shine, and the story is just okay at the moment.

But it's a cool idea, and I love The Great Machine.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
compound said:
Because I couldn't find any relevant thread. Admin: please merge if redundant.

I was honestly a little surprised to find that nobody had bothered to start an official timeline for this non-linear series on Vaughn's personal message board.

I'm considering putting a chronology together, for the benefit of readers playing catch-up, or who'd like to makes speculations based on events that have already been established.

If I do, I'll be sure to link to it here, for reference.

In the meantime, would anybody like to get the engine running (to use an apt metaphor)?
There's one here: http://www.bkv.tv/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4284
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
compound said:
Holy crap! The timeline was posted just a few hours after I began this thread. Now there's an interesting coinky-dink.

Thanx x 1 000 000 for the heads-up! :D
I'm sure you could do a 'tidier' one. :wink:
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
compound said:
Speaking of cool TV programs, does anybody else think Jason Bateman from Arrested Development would make an excellent Mitchell Hundred in a live-action version of the series?
I absolutely disagree. But that's mostly because I find that Jason Bateman's voice doesn't ring in my head as being charismatic or 'annoyingly likeable' enough for the character that I read on the comic page.
 

Fuzzy Birds

Well-Known Member
Just read First Hundred Days and Tag, and I enjoyed them immensely. Consider this one on my monthly pull list as of right now.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
ProjectX2 said:
What issue was the latest out?
#15 was released on October 12. It's the first of a two-part arc titled "Off The Grid", which finds Mayor Hundred taking a sudden break from his regular work schedule to help out his mother. (Because you can't be a real B. K. Vaughn protagonist unless you have some kind of major unresolved issues with your parents ;))
 
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compound

Well-Known Member
ProjectX2 said:
So, anyone read #16?
My Christmas shopping drained my budget, so it's still being reserved for me, at my LCS.

However, if somebody else would care to post a spoiler summary, I would really appreciate it.

Here's something that I'm sure has been asked on the BKV board, although I can't be bothered to look it up.

Do Hundred's powers operate in the same way as the Drummer (from Warren Ellis' Planetary), but they just have different methods for using them? Both of them can more or less "talk to" machines, and communicate with them. Is it the same processes at work, when they use their abilities?
 

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