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Ex Machina #14

Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2005
By: Michael Deeley



Writer: Brian K. Vaughn
Artists: Tony Harris (p), Tom Feister (i)

Pub: DC Comics/Wildstorm
Price: $2.99

A juror named Benson has taken another juror hostage. He’s demanding Mayor Hundred use his powers to heal him. Benson claims he has the power to talk to machines like Hundred, but not to the same degree or control. He wants Hundred to heal him. Meanwhile, Kremlin and Bradbury learn someone from Hundred’s past has become the Automaton.

I’ve run out of things to say about this comic. Art? Tony Harris creates a lush, living world; possibly surpassing his work on Starman. And Starman looked fantastic? Feister lends definition, weight, and subtlety to everything he inks. Great care and thought went into every line he placed. The man’s an artist. The coloring of JD Mettler can NOT be ignored. The sepia-like tones on the flashbacks, the gradations of light and darkness, the little stains that show a building’s age; it’s all those little details that create a sense of reality. Not fantasy-reality.

Vaughn is becoming the other writer whose work is fun to read aloud. (The first being James Robinson.) How can you not love lines like, “Bullets are for assholes,” and “It takes science-fiction weapon to fight science-fiction man.” I also like how the cast is growing naturally, with relationships building and evolving slowly and naturally. For a hero with power over machines, this is a very organic book.

So why rate this less that perfect? The last line is taken from Planetary #3. Hey, if you’re going to rip off, rip off the best. But Vaughn’s too good for that.



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