cyberghostface: (Jack)
[personal profile] cyberghostface

Here we are with the next installment of superhero turned mayor Mitchell Hundred.

As a heads up, this arc gets really gory at times.

Scans under the cut... )
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[personal profile] cyberghostface

In light of discussions concerning superhero comics mixing with politics, here's a comic that's about a former superhero who becomes mayor of New York. It debuted in 2004 and ran for fifty regular issues plus four 'specials'. These comics were published around the same time as Vaughan's 'Runaways' (more or less) which should give you an idea of his versatility as a writer.

Warning for racism and suicide

Scans under the cut... )
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
Each month, my book group reads a book and talks about it. I won;t say what the book was this month, because I’m going to talk instead about the spoiler in it.

It’s a 400+ page book, where, in the last five pages, the author says “Nah, this is all made up; the character actually died on page 22 and you’ve been reading an imaginary story ever since then.”

One of the guys in the group was fizzing, because he had invested so much into the book and the characters and their stories and being told that it wasn’t “real” just felt insulting. I’ve had the same experience with fiction in the past, even knowing that the “real story is still just a piece of fiction.

If you could add the same bit to the end of A Tale of Two Cities, with the final page being “P.S. none of this actually happened - C.D.” and it wouldn’t change the text. Films end with a standard disclaimer that This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental, and we accept that. But when it’s included as an explicit part of the text? People get unhappy.

Canon and retcons with Brian K. Vaughan* )

This made me think about the retcon and the “Elseworlds” or “What if?” in comic books. Why does it matter if a creators says that a story “isn’t real” or “didn’t happen” when none of it is real and none of it happened? The non-canon stories still exist on your shelves, ready to be enjoyed. A lot of the Star Wars EU is now “not canon”; is that important to readers’ enjoyment of the books/comics/games?

I have a feeling that I know what the answer to the question does continuity matter would be, so I'll ask instead "Why does continuity matter?"
cyberghostface: (Doc Ock)
[personal profile] cyberghostface
Ex Machina is IMO a great series, an interesting combination of superheroics and politics. For the most part I think the series is consistently good... with one exception.

This comes from the second Ex Machina special. I'm only posting two pages from this just in case anyone else wants to post stuff from the series at a later date. FWIW the following isn't a huge spoiler but it does reveal what was a 'cryptic background reference' for the beginning of the series.

Warning for some gore (heck that goes for the rest of the series -- I wouldn't say its up on the level of Garth Ennis, but when it gets gory it gets gory).

Scans under the cut... )
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
It's hallowe'en, so lots of dressing up and cosplay etc. However, I'd much rather just post some of Ex Machina Special #3
Masquerade )

I need to reread this book. I've forgotten how good it was.
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
I've been thinking about Ex Machina recently. Part of it is because I'm mainlining my girlfriend's trades of Y The Last Man (I'm only just finished Girl on Girl, so please no spoilers) and finding that it's jolly excellent. It's very BKV, which is... well, duh, but he does have a distinct voice for his own characters. A number of the women in Y could show up in Ex Machina and not be out of place.

The other reason is that, like all good science fiction writers, BKV predicted the future with New York state's gay marriage laws.

I'm not sure that there's a writer on the go just now who could write about social and moral issues in the same way that BKV does. It's never preachy, it's never the case of "This character says it, so their viewpoint is the right one", it's just a discussion of lots of different ideas and values. His books feel like the smartest books I've read. His characters seem real, like actual people (And I'm impressed at the range of characters to come into play in Y) with their own fears and hopes. And the dialogue is real too. I don't meant to say that it's, like, Bendis real, you know. I do mean to say that it sounds a lot more like things that could conceivably come out of people's mouths than most every other book.

Here's a clip from The First Hundred Days, where text )

Later, Hundred takes Suzanne out for dinner )
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
This is slightly a double dunter*, hitting the notes for both a didactic/message book and an alternate universe book. Ex Machina is, as the finale was at pains to point out, its own alternate universe and there's no "right" way for the characters to be. Like we saw with the wedding issue, Ex Machina is full of ideas. Usually when it's talking about political ideas it doesn't put them forward as The Best Way to do things. In Smoke Smoke, Hundred's stance on relaxing drug laws is countered by his aides' and the issues are just talked out. It's a series that consistently credits its readers with more than a modicum of intelligence and political awareness

This is from the Special #4, Grassroots and introduces us to the Gardener, who's a one off character. Like Pherson before him and The White after him, Gardener for his powers indirectly from the neighbours through the Great Machine.

This was a discount store, not it's turned into a cornfield )
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
I mentioned in my Queer and Country post that I intended to post some LGBTQ Ex Machina. This isn't originally the set of scans that I was thinking of (that would be FBI Agent Warren), but it's definitely an even bigger moment.

Hundred's officiated a wedding the night before (his 19th of his three months of office. "I've married more people than Elizabeth Taylor") but it's for a man who donated $65m to renovate athletic fields.
Weds will role )
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
As New Female Characters week continues, I bring the best new superhero to hit NYC - Trouble. Buy her arc Dirty Tricks.

Also, if you will be triggered by 9-11 and women being punched in the face, don't look at this.

From Origin )

If you're coming to this late and wondering what all of the comments are about... I've edited this post to make it less offensive.
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
We begin with apologies to EJ Thribb (17)

So. Farewell then
Ex Machina
Eisner Winner

It would seem that
You have ended

But is it an end?
Or just a pause?
Because our stories don't end

And is it THE end?
Or just AN end?

Just one
Among the branes in the bulk.

And, have the contribution of Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris for New York Magazine's What if 9/11 never happened? )

And two pages from #11, the beginning of the Fact vs. Fiction arc. "Heartbreaking" or "breathtaking" is the word I'd use to describe this.PLEASE )
arbre_rieur: (DC Nation)
[personal profile] arbre_rieur
Four pages from EX MACHINA #50...

(As you might recall, the above panel was from the beginning of issue #1.)

Tragedy )
arbre_rieur: (DC Nation)
[personal profile] arbre_rieur
Four pages from Ex Machina #49, the conclusion of the "Pro-Life" story arc. It's the penultimate issue of the series and as you might expect, some answers are revealed.

Read more... )

creator: brian k. vaughan, title: ex machina, creator: tony harris, publisher: wildstorm
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
Ex Machina #49 hit today. The penultimate of what I have been saying for ages is the best thing on the metaphorical newsstands.

This issue has many things going on, but the first thing that made me shout out loud was the return of a favourite character )

Talk Radio

Mar. 14th, 2010 08:30 pm
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
So, Ex Machina #48 hit this week and It Was Good. As with each issue of Ex Machina, it forced me to go back to read older issues, like Ex Machina Special #2

This is thick with foreshadowing. Or maybe misdirection )
[identity profile]
As you may have heard, Ex Machina is ending soon. As you'd expect, things are really starting to build to a head as the conclusion gets nearer and nearer.

title: ex machina, creator: brian k. vaughan, creator: tony harris, publisher: wildstorm


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