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Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag Paperback – October 1, 2005


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Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag + Ex Machina, Vol. 3: Fact v. Fiction + Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: WildStorm (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401206263
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401206260
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 6.7 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. What would you do if a mysterious explosion left you with the ability to control machines? Become mayor of New York, of course. Mitchell Hundred gave up crimefighting years ago, and now fights evil with a pen and a mayoral seal. His mysterious power still comes in handy, though, especially when he can make the paparazzis' cameras jam or the neighbor's air conditioner stop rattling. But ever since his attempt to help fend off the September 11th attacks forced him to reveal his secret identity, things have gotten terribly complicated for Hundred. In this second volume we see him struggling with a political firestorm ignited by his open support of gay marriage at the same time that a mysterious presence is terrorizing New York's subways, leaving behind the horribly mutilated bodies of dogs and humans. Beside each gruesome discovery is a glyph linked to the explosion that gave Hundred his power. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) and Harris (Starman series) have a created a compelling and completely original hero in Mitch Hundred. Ex Machina is half X-Files, half West Wing and 100% genius. The dialogue sparkles, the art beautifully conveys both Vaughan's horror and his humor, and the plot twists will have readers on the edge of their seats. For any fan of contemporary comics, Ex Machina is the series to read. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up In this fast-paced and often sexy collection of previously published individual comics, a former superhero runs for and wins the mayoralty of New York City. Mitchell Hundred, who as Mr. Hundred could speak to machines, is now the boyish young mayor dealing with a series of gruesome subway stabbings. Besides that, he is planning to officiate at the wedding of two men, and his glamorous young staffers are warning him that it will make him unpopular in the polls. To deflect that, he takes a voluptuous columnist up on her dinner-date offer. Otherwise, he spends his time alone in a hovel apartment, dressing up in what must be the ugliest superhero costume ever, trying to sort out the subway killings. There are writing gaps here; it seems as though the monthly comics don't flow together as one book as well as they should. But the action delivers, and when it comes it's bold and leaves readers with a sense of awe. Also, the incipient love affair between the mayor and the columnist is appealing. Most early new series need to shake out the kinks, and this one seems headed nowhere but up. Strong language makes the book most appropriate for public libraries. John Leighton, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Brian K. Vaughan is the Eisner Award-winning writer of Y: THE LAST MAN, EX MACHINA, RUNAWAYS, and PRIDE OF BAGHDAD. His newest work, with artist/co-creator Fiona Staples, is SAGA, an ongoing sci-fi/fantasy series from Image Comics that The Onion's A.V. Club called, "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make." Vaughan lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a writer and producer on various film and tv projects, including three seasons on the hit series LOST.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I hope Vaughan realizes what he has here, because something this good might not come around again for a long time.
Owen Hunter
The story itself was quite good, intertwining between a murder mystery, mysterious signs showing up in the subway relating to Mayor Hundred, and politics.
Paul Polonskiy
TAG is the second volume of the there's-no-other-way-to-put-it BEST super-hero comic on the market today, EX MACHINA.
James L. Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Owen Hunter on October 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Wow. If you've ever read any of the more cereberal comics that have been published over the past couple of decades, this one has the potential to be one of the best ever made.

The premise is fantastic, and long overdue. In a slightly altered future, a civil engineer named Mitchell Hundred finds a device under the Brooklyn bridge that malfunctions, giving him the ability to speak with machinery. With the prodding of an idealist friend, he takes up a costume and fights crime under the moniker, 'The Great Machine'. Jump forward, and due to his preventing the second world trade center tower's destruction, he has managed to win his bid for election as mayor of New York city.

But though the premise is great, it is not what makes this a great comic. Vaughan proved his chops with his previous comic, but the setting of it did seem to restrict him as a writer. Ex Machina could have easily played out its hook, but the characters are so brilliantly realized that you fast forget why you picked it up and start loving it for entirely different reasons.

Hundred himself is fantastic as an unlikely mayor of New York. And what makes him so interesting is that he is not the man for the job, and Vaughan realizes this. Hundred is a wonderfully naive politician, tackling problems that others wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. He leans on his staff constantly, despite the fact that they are heavily devided on every political issue. He wants to use the power of office to help people, but the beginning of the series shows him getting a hard lesson in the desires of the public. And though he continues to overcome the problems that have come his way, the reader can sense something even more dangerous on the horizon, be it political or paranormal.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on May 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
In the next five issues of Ex Machina, Brian K. Vaughan's story of a superhero-turned-mayor of New York City, Mitchell Hundred's administration has to contend with more hotbed political issues as well as some "unnatural" occurreneces that are connected to the device that gave Hundred his powers.

After a brief, and fairly unsuccessful, stint as the superhero The Great Machine, Hundred hung up his tights and jetpack and became New York City's mayor. A strange device gave him the ability to "communicate" with machines, but while he tries to put that life behind him in his new political career, Hundred can't seem to get away from his old life.

Hundred's political career is put in jeopardy when he decides to not only endorse, but perform a gay marriage between the brother of his Deputy Mayor and his conservative boyfriend. If that weren't enough, a mysterious symbol that was found on the device that gave Hundred his powers has been showing up throughout the city, and it is having dire effects on people who stare at it for too long. Along the way, we see flashbacks of Hundred's life during his campaign and we see his history with the NSA.

While the explanation for events at the end was a little confusing, this is still a solid collection. Vaughan can't seem to go wrong as there is nothing by him that I've read that I haven't liked. Runaways, Y: The Last Man, Ultimate X-Men, and this have all been great reads.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. W. Schreiter VINE VOICE on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This second trade paperback met my lofty expections with its outstanding plot, characters and artwork. Fulfills the hype and highly recommended. I'm eagerly awaiting Volume 3 and tempted to buy the individual issues until then.
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Format: Paperback
So I ventured into the second volume of the Ex Machina and, man, this book was good! Just alone Mr. Vaughan's views on politics and then add in some hints about where his powers came from and the crazed maniac killer butchering people in the subways, man, this book is good! Add on Harris' artwork, which is just getting even better, and his amazing attention to detail, and great capturing of people's expressions and reactions, man, this book is good! Vaughan's writing is tight and fun and revolting and inspiring and, man, this book is good!

Basically, man, this book is good!
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By Niugui Cilantron on May 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Collects issues 6-10

In this volume, Mitch verbally supports school vouchers (without accomplishing anything) and gay marriage (by marrying a firefighter to a log cabin Republican, even though said marriage will probably get revoked by the NY State Supreme Court.) Mitch and Suzanne go on a date.

In other news, an odd symbol which was on shrapnel from the device which gave Mitch his powers is being spray painted across NY, causing people to do strange, violent, homicidal things (consequently, there's more gore in this book than the last one). Another piece of shrapnel causes new songs from dead rock stars to play on a certain radio station. What does it all mean? Stay tuned (sorry).
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Format: Paperback
This is such a perfect blend of story and art with a terrific amount of politics and recent history to almost make you forget you're reading a comic book. The flashes to and from the present were done so well. My only slight complaint was this collection was too short. But, maybe that's just because I want more of a good thing.
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By sunshine sc on October 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story really starts to get juicy in this second volume. While the first volume laid the foundation of who our characters are and their backgrounds; in this volume, our hero/mayor finds himself facing moral and ethical dilemmas. Vowing to not use his powers in his position as mayor, our hero is left to handle a series of murders rapidly occurring throughout the city, which law enforcement, either cannot solve, or are covering up.
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