One Mad Dog

[Ex Machina, Book 1 – Deluxe Edition – HC) – (Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris)
March 3, 2011, 8:47 am
Filed under: 8 Stars, Brian K Vaughan, Ex Machina, Tony Harris

This glossy Hardcover book collects “Ex Machina” #1 to #11.  It is a story of civil engineer who encounters some alien technology which allows him able to talk to machines. He then spends some time trying to be a superhero before eventually embarking upon a political career where he ends up the mayor of  new York.  Its hard to classify ExMachina, it is part superhero book, part political soap opera, part X-Files, Part CSI and part crime thriller. Fortunately the book merges all these genres in a rather satisfying way.

I am not normally a fan of books that jump backwards and forwards in time and “Ex Machina” does this an awful lot. Brian K. Vaughan has done a really good job of keeping the story flow going and I didn’t find the timeline to be an issue especially as each change has a very clear date posting.  Book 1 deals with some pretty dangerous subjects such as same sex marriage or the 9/11 incident which may turn some readers off but I really think it helped to give the book a sense of realism.    I really enjoyed the concept of the Alien artifact and what it appears to be doing to people and I cant wait to read the next book.

The artwork and coloring is good throughout and it is pretty violent in places.  I was surprised at how little bonus material there was but it does pack the story in with 11 issues. “Ex Machina, Book 1 Deluxe Edition” is a fascinating book that is well worth a read. [ISBN-13: 978-1401218140]. 8/10

[Pride of Baghdad] – (Brian K Vaughan, Niko Henrichon)
April 27, 2010, 3:49 am
Filed under: 5 stars, Brian K Vaughan, Niko Henrichon
If you read the reviews on the back cover you would expect this to be one of the greatest comic books ever written but I found it to be quite unsatisfying. The story feels very one dimensional without any subtle counterplots to keep your interest and it is also very short. I have nothing against animal stories, try the work of William Horwood for some excellent examples of the genre, but this just feels like Disney with shock value to me. It even has the formulaic Disney cute cub character. On the other hand the artwork is a pleasure to behold. Every page is filled with glorious images and a very atmospheric color palette. Ultimately this book is very pretty to look at but it nothing special to read. If you like Disney movies but would like to see some more gore then this may be the book for you. [ISBN-13: 978-1401203153]. 5/10.