Renegade Rack: Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition Book 4

Ex Machina
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Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition Book 4

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Previously, on Ex Machina…

Mayor Hundred has had to deal with questions about past drug use, a firefighter killing people, his arch nemesis speaking to animals, someone from what might be a parallel world giving ominous warnings and all kinds of political intrigue. Now, Mitch has to deal with a woman who is obsessed with him, an old friend who wants to stab him in the back and the Republican National Convention coming to New York City.

Review

This book started to lose me at the start, and honestly, this is why graphic novel collections might be better for these kind of stories than weekly comics. I might have been tempted to stop reading the comics, or at least not been as enthusiastic about picking up the next issues, but wow did things pick up towards the end.

We start off with a deter from the politics to religion when Mitch finds out that the Pope wants to meet with him. This leads into a trip to Rome where Mitch learns that the Pope’s astronomer set up the meeting because he believes that Mitch is the antichrist. Meanwhile, someone has gotten their hands on a device that can allow them to hack into Mitch’s head and try to force him to kill The Pope.

In the middle of this, there is a scene where The Great Machine’s arch nemesis Pherson sends a gorilla to kill two kids that Mitch is trying to save. The resolution to this incident is never seen. There is another instance where The Great Machine tries to retrieve a pedophile kept safe by a religious organization, and we never see the resolution. This was part of what caused me to get frustrated with these stories – plus the entire religious debate. Mitch also has a nightmare about skeletons in his closet, which will come back to haunt him in real life in the final book in the series.

It was while he was with the Pope that he had a vision and God told him he would become President.

After this, we get a standalone story that tells us the back story of Angotti. This included another appearance by Pherson.

Next up was a tale of racism, where the ghost of a Native American tells Mitch that he needs help and it turns out that he was one of the slaves that helped build New York who was not buried with his own people.


Finally, after all this, we head into the big storyline of this book. The Republican National Convention is coming to New York City with George W. Bush running for reelection and they want Mayor Hundred to give a speech. However, a crazy woman who is making a public spectacle of herself while protesting the arrival of Bush might sabotage it. As it turns out, this woman had a run-in with The Great Machine in the past and is angry that he gave up the role.

We also see the first time that he unmasked for the public, most of which was unimpressed and thought it was to promote a movie. Much like the earlier scenes in the book that goes nowhere, there is a one-page look at the traveler from the last book as he talks to the Great Machine about the people “moving sideways.” The set-up for the end is also here with Kremlin getting the information that will destroy Mitch’s political career and giving it to the reporter than Mitch once dated.

The final issue in this collection allows Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris to pull a Grant Morrison meta-moment. The two star in this issue as they are meeting with Mayor Hundred to try to convince him to let them tell his story in a comic book series. They even mention Grant Morrison (remember the Animal Man run) in the story. This issue is a great finale for this edition as Hundred and Vaughan talk about the effect of 9/11 on the people of New York City.

Next Week’s Preview

Next week, the story of Ex Machina all comes to an end.

As always, if you have any ideas for books you want to see reviewed in the Renegade Rack or you are an independent comic book creator with a book you would like considered, feel free to get in touch with me either in the comments or drop me an email.

Until next week, keep reading.


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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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