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''Ex Machina'' was created by Creator/BrianKVaughan, the Eisner Award-winning brain behind series such as ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan'' and ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' and drawn by Tony Harris. It depicts the life of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who gained the ability to communicate with machines. He used his powers to become the world's first and only SuperHero, "The Great Machine". After using his powers to prevent the fall of the second tower in the 9/11 attacks, Mitchell has since retired from the role and is currently the mayor of New York City. The series contains the events of his term in office, with frequent {{flashback}}s to his superhero days.

The series wrapped up with the planned 50 issues in 2010.

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!!This comic book series provides examples of:

* AnotherDimension: [[spoiler: Source of Mitchell's powers]]
* AlternateHistory:
** The second tower didn't go down.
** Also, midway through the series it's revealed that [[spoiler: other universes exist, with technological {{Eldritch Abomination}}s systematically conquering them. One alternate universe is described as being a place where the Cold War never ended, the "son of Reagan" became president instead of George W. Bush, but ''Series/AmericanIdol'' and TheOtherWiki still exist. That universe is later revealed to have been subsequently conquered, with an allusion made to the extermination of its native human population]].
* {{Asexuality}}: One interpretation about why Hundred doesn't pursue anyone of either gender.
* AuthorAvatar: Both Vaughan and Harris appear as themselves in "Ruthless." Doubles as LeaningOnTheFourthWall.
* AuthorFilibuster: While most of Hundred's outspoken political views might or might not actually be shared by Vaughan, it's clear that the lengthy subplot involving Hundred's legalization of gay marriage is based on Vaughan's actual beliefs, and it's pretty easy to hear Vaughan speaking through his character.
* BatSignal: Poked at when Angotti puts a gear symbol on a searchlight, but Mitchell doesn't see it.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: A fortune teller tells Mitchell he will become the Great Machine again. He also receives a vision from God telling him he will be President of the United States.
* BigApplesauce
* BlessedWithSuck: Mitchell's power manifests itself as being able to command machines, and also to "listen" to them. He can't turn it off and lives in New York City, so the noise is constant. Also, his power comes from [[spoiler:extradimensional invaders who want to eradicate humanity]].
* BodyguardCrush: [[spoiler:The final issue reveals that Bradbury has been in love with Mitchell]].
* BroughtDownToNormal: The blackout.
* ChekhovsGun: The Failsafe, [[spoiler:the White Box]]
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:Suzanne Padilla]]
* ChestInsignia: And also possible leitmotif, a gear.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: Hundred's green speech commands machines. [[spoiler: There's also the "Violet" animals, and the "White" people.]]
* ComesGreatResponsibility: Subverted. Mitchell tries to help people by ''not'' using his powers.
* TheCommissionerGordon: Mitchell tries to establish a police alliance. It doesn't work out so well. It's not the first time this former comic-book geek wasn't more GenreSavvy.
* CompanionCube: The fireman killer treats his vacuum cleaner, which he [[ADateWithRosiePalms attaches to his penis]], as a lover.
* CompellingVoice: Mitchell's, Pherson's and [[spoiler:Suzanne's]] powers.
* ConvenientMisfire: Just as Mitchell is telling his mother that the gun he confiscated from the local hick sheriff wasn't loaded, it goes off. It drives her point home.
* CosmicHorrorStory: [[spoiler:The invaders from the other dimension seen in Hundred's dream are basically cosmic horrors, though it's unclear whether this is just a nightmare or a real vision]].
* DifferentWorldDifferentMovies: One of the first clues that the green devise is from another dimension is when it sends a broadcast of a Beatles song that never existed. There is, however, a lot of crossover with some other dimensions
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:It's implied in the final issue that Hundred rigged his own election to get elected. He then turns his back on Bradbury and kills Kremlin to protect his political career. The sudden descent into villainy in our seemingly idealistic hero is a major downer. There's also the ambiguous threat of whether the extra-dimensional invaders will try again]].
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Mitchell's dreams. Few of them are pleasant.
* EmptyShell: [[spoiler: Mitchell at the end. He's Lonely At The Top as the Vice Presidential candidate, has driven off or otherwise lost everyone who was close to him, committed murder, and is haunted by the thought that the invaders will try again]].
* EnemyOfMyEnemy: Jack Phearson tries to use this logic to recruit the commissioner to help him fight Hundred. It doesn't work.
* EvilMeScaresMe: [[spoiler:Hundred is confronted in a dream by evil versions of himself from other dimensions]].
* FaceHeelTurn: In the very end, [[spoiler:Hundred coldly turns his back on Bradbury and straight-up murders Kremlin to protect his political career]].
* FailureKnight
** [[spoiler: How Mitchell feels about only diverting one of the 767 on Sept 11.]]
** [[spoiler: How Mitchell feels about not being able to save his handler and wife from the effects of the superpower shard.]]
** How Mitchell feels about a lot of things, including his career as a superhero.
* FallenHero: [[spoiler:Hundred turns into one in the final issue. After a whole series of heroism and trying to do the right thing, it's revealed that Hundred wasn't as clean as he presented himself, and by the end he's just another ruthless politician doing bad things to further his career]].
* {{Flashback}}: Mitchell tells the story of his time as mayor as a flashback, so his flashbacks to his time as the Great Machine are flashbacks within flashbacks.
* GilliganCut: Used frequently. In one instance, Hundred is described as a gentle soul. The next panel has Hundred angrily swearing about someone.
* {{Gorn}}: Lots of characters both minor and major die horribly gruesome deaths, and the artist is not shy about showing them off.
* GovernmentProcedural: Much of Mitchell's day-to-day life is political minutiae, minutiae well executed according to the editors of Law and the Multiverse.
* TheHandler: An NSA cryptologist is assigned to be Mitchell's handler as his powers are regarded as a national secret. [[spoiler: It doesn't work out well.]][[spoiler: Who knew keeping an [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum alien]] [[LostTechnology artifact]] and source of Mitchell's powers would cause insanity? To be fair, his handler was also adversely affected about the Sept 11 attacks and blames Mitch for not stopping the Pentagon attack.]]
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: [[spoiler:Asked by Mitchell to Kremlin regarding Suzanne's files]].
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Mitchell and Bradbury. [[spoiler:Until it's subverted in the final issue, when Bradbury reveals that he's been in love with Mitchell the whole time]].
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: Hundred asserts this as his reason for not wanting to kill Pherson. Kremlin strongly disagrees wioth the trope.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Mitchell
* JuryDuty: Mitchell gets a summons at one point. While he could get out of it with ease, he figures doing his civic duty will get some good press. [[spoiler: True to his luck, it turns into a hostage situation.]]
* KryptoniteRing: Mitchell invented two, and gives one apiece to Kremlin and Bradbury. [[spoiler: They're both duds.]]
* LampshadeHanging: "Ruthless".
* LastOfHisKind: Implied, but not confirmed.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: {{Author Avatar}}s of Vaughan and Harris appear as comic book makers applying to tell The Great Machine's story. Harris's alter-ego starts doodling the two of them, suggesting that they appear as side-characters in the comic book, but Vaughan's alter-ego nixes the idea, saying that he doesn't want to get into that [[LampshadeHanging fourth wall]] stuff like Creator/GrantMorrison.
* LikeRealityUnlessNoted: Mitchell saving the ''second'' tower is the big reveal at the end of the first issue.
* MarriedToTheJob: Interpreted in-universe as a TransparentCloset for Hundred.
* MeaningfulName: Mitchell describes his last name, "Hundred" as an "integer." It's displayed as "100" when spoken by members of the other dimension. The number, composed only of binary digits, fits with Mitchell's technological theme.
* MundaneUtility: Frequently. Mitchell describes using his powers to change TV channels while holding the remote as a "new low in sloth."
* OldMaster: Kremlin
* OnlySixFaces: It's pretty clear that Harris draws from personally staged photographs of real-life models. Because he uses those models' faces as bases, and re-uses models, many characters look very similar. For example, the random junkie in "Fact or Fiction" happens to look exactly like a younger, brown-haired Kremlin.
* PowerTrio: Kremlin, Bradbury and Mitchell.
* PsychicNosebleed: Mitchell suffers these if he overexerts himself. It happened while redirecting the second plane, and when he had to communicate with the police from across town.
* RealityEnsues: While the Police Commissioner is walking from her gym, the Great Machine grabs her and takes her to a rooftop to talk. She reaches inside the bag and he says he could make her gun jam. Then she pulls out a baton. He has enough time for an OhCrap before she hits him in the head.
* SecretIdentity: Mitchell went public when he ran for mayor. However, most of his abilities are still secret, as a matter of national security.
* ShownTheirWork: Vaughan, as a matter of style, peppers his dialogue with quotes and references to a wide variety of subjects, from popular to very obscure. He also goes out of his way to debunk a number of urban legends and common misconceptions. The obscurity of his references is occasionally lampshades.
* ShoutOut:
** In a moment of LeaningOnTheFourthWall, Vaughn's AuthorAvatar states that he doesn't want to include an AuthorAvatar like Creator/GrantMorrison does.
** Mitchell gives Journal the title of "Special Advisor on Youth Affairs". This happens to be the same title that Walter F. Starbuck held as part of the [[RichardNixon Nixon]] administration in the novel ''Literature/{{Jailbird}}'' by Creator/KurtVonnegut, and BKV is known to be a fan of Vonnegut's work.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Constantly played with throughout the series, before hitting hard on [[spoiler:the cynical side of things in the ending.]]
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: [[spoiler:Jack Pherson, as the wielder of the "Purple"]].
* SpringtimeForHitler The Lincoln Painting in the first arc.
* StalkerWithACrush / VillainousCrush: Trouble.
* StalkerWithoutACrush: Kremlin sees the Great Machine as Mitchell's true calling, and resents him trading it for being "just another cog". As the series progresses, his obsession grows to the point that he [[spoiler: tries to sabotage Mitchell's career]], all out of the belief that he knows what's best for Mitchell better than Mitchell himself.
* StraightGay: [[spoiler: Bradbury]]
* StrawmanPolitical: Notable in its aversion. As with Vaughan's other work, such as ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan'', no point of view is reduced to a strawman. While Mitchell expresses strong support of his own agenda, it's interesting that some topics, such as school vouchers, receive such a spirited argument against Mitchell's views that the character doesn't always seem to be speaking Vaughan's personal beliefs.
* SurrogateSoliloquy: At first the fireman killer seems to be telling his philosophy to a lover, until it's revealed that he's speaking to the vacuum cleaner that he uses to masturbate.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: Parodied in Mitchell's training exercise. The fight scene is filled with expository dialogue and {{Bond One Liner}}s. Afterwards, Kremlin chastises Mitchell for taking the time to spout witticisms rather than finish the fight.
* TechnicalPacifist: Mitchell
* TechnologyLevels: Played with. Mitchell takes an arrow from a would-be assassin, [[WhatAnIdiot after trying unsuccessfully to "jam" it]]. His powers apparently have limits.
* {{Technopath}} Mitchell
* ToastedBuns: At least Mitchell has friends with fire extinguishers
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: It's shown that machines have no qualms about lying to Mitchell, especially about the presence of any hypothetical bullets in any hypothetical chambers.
* UltimateEvil: [[spoiler: The Makers]]
* UnwinnableTrainingSimulation
* TheWarOnTerror: Alluded to. Mitchell states that he is "strong on defense," which, in spite of his liberal social views, estranges him from the Democratic party.
* VicePresidentWho: [[spoiler:Mitchell, at the end of the series.]]
* WeekendInventor: Mitchell.
* WhamEpisode: The last issue, in which [[spoiler:Mitchell's character takes a sharp turn into villainy, and the threat of the Makers is implied to still be present]].
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