Ex Machina, Vol. 4: March to War
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From School Library Journal Grade 10 Up—Mitch Hundred, aka the Great Machine, saved the second tower from falling on 9/11 by communicating directly with the airplane heading toward it. His heroics convinced the citizens of New York to elect him mayor, and March to War opens with Mayor Hundred dealing with unrest in the city. Political cartoons display him as a caped superhero unable to handle the daily needs of the city, and a protest against the war in Iraq has it divided. Advisors warn him not to approve the protest, and staff member Journal Moore resigns because her boyfriend is a veteran and she wants to support him by attending it. As predicted, chaos ensues, sarin gas is thrown into the crowd, four die immediately, and dozens more are rushed to the hospital, including Journal Moore. In an effort to regain his political clout and to find out who hurt her, Hundred initiates mandatory searches at every subway station. Even this may not prove enough to stop the terrorists and the mayor may revive his alter ego in order to save New York once again. The graphics seem a mix of World War II-era propaganda posters and edgy graphic novels like Sin City. With the exception of a few characters with superpowers, this is one of the most realistic comics available. With advanced political content and some raunchy language, it's most appropriate for older teens.—Sarah Krygier, Solano County Library, Fairfield, CA Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Read more From Booklist One of the most successful attempts to set a superhero into a "real world" milieu, Ex Machina follows New York mayor Mitchell Hundred, who parlayed a brief career as a costumed crime fighter into a political career. In this collection, an apparent terrorist attack kills four people at a rally protesting the Iraq war. As anti-Muslim violence rends the city, Hundred is forced to use his power to control machines to track down the perpetrators. Despite the series' high-concept premise and plot-driven nature, its most notable aspects are Vaughan's compelling characterizations and adroit dialogue, aided immeasurably by the ramped-up realism of Tony Harris' artwork. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved Read more