Tuesday 16 March 2010

Review: Ex Machina #48

This was the best comic I read last week, which in a week where an issue of Criminal came out is really saying something. And the reason it was the best comic I read last week, and possibly the best comic I've read so far this year, was a sequence towards the end of the issue to do with the death of a character, which I am now going to totally spoil. You have been warned.

So Mitchell Hundred, the Mayor of New York and former superhero, has just been informed his mother has been murdered. He's shocked, obviously, but then in true comics form a determined expression comes over his face, and he strides out of the room in a purposeful fashion, and you just know that he's going to track down the killer and deliver some cold hard vengeance. Cut to the final page of the comic, and in a full-page splash we see Mitchell in a toilet cubicle, crumpled on the floor by the toilet bowl, sobbing his heart out.

It's a brilliant subversion of expectations and not something you see in comics very often. It's also a timely reminder of how Ex Machina has been one of the most consistently excellent comics of the last ten years, as it heads towards it's fiftieth and final issue. We may not see its like again. Kudos to Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris.

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