Like writer Brian K. Vaughan’s other big series, Y The Last Man, this final volume of Ex Machina has a pretty downbeat ending. After tackling a super-villainess intent on unleashing hellish creatures from another dimension upon the Earth – creatures that look as out of place as they should do in this series – New York Mayor Mitchell Hundred, formerly a super-hero known as the Big Machine, takes drastic, shocking steps in order to further his political ambitions and protect the world from further other-dimensional attacks.
I only own one volume in this series – volume eight, which I bought in a charity shop for £2.99 – but I’ve read them all and I wish I did own them all. The basic idea behind the series is great – a super-hero gets elected mayor of New York after stopping that second plane from hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11 – and it’s been a consistently witty and intelligent read, with great art by Tony Harris. It’s not a series I’ve always found that exciting or even memorable – one of the reasons I wish I owned all the other volumes in this series is so that I could remind myself what happened in some of the earlier volumes – but it has always been a very good series. It’s definitely something I would like to re-read at some point, and it’s something I like to think I might buy in some fancy format if I ever find myself with some spare cash.
This particular volume collects Ex Machina issues 45-50 and has a (Titan Books) cover price of £10.99, but you can get it for under £8.00 from the likes of Amazon and the Book Depository. Alternatively, you could do what I did – with this volume and most of the other volumes in the series – and get a copy out of your local library, while there are still a few libraries left open.