Reviews: Ex Machina

The end didn't justify the means

Ex Machina is a political drama mixed in with sci fi action. The characters have distinct voices and personalities. The art is neat and always visually appealing, and realistic, as the artist used live models and props to accurately draw everything. The arcs and changes from past and present are clear and add more to this alternate world. It's episodic but carries a larger arc of Hundred's mayoral run. The arcs and individual episodes all are memorable and interesting.

The writing is pretty strong... At times.

There could've been a better balance of the underlying story of Hundred's powers. It could've been shown a bit earlier instead of being shoehorned in at the last 4 issues. Sure there were a couple hints in the middle, but the whole bit at the end added to its jarring quality.

Which leads me to the major gripe I have with the series: the sudden downer ending. At the beginning I was promised a tragedy, in which our main character causes his own downfall with a fatal flaw—but instead I got a sudden change in morality. It left a sour feeling in my stomach. I closed the last page thinking, "Really? That's it?" Because this really came out of left field. I wish Vaughn could've planned the series out a bit better so Hundred's supposed decline was better thought out and implemented. The most interesting characters were brushed aside and they weren't given much closure, especially Bradbury. Suzanne Padilla showed up at the beginning and end, just as a plot device rather than as a person (sure she had a couple good scenes, but this is overall). Other characters were also just plot devices. I have no problem with that, but in the end they felt artificial.

I believe the series could be made better as a TV Show, expanding more of the characters and amplifying the plots, and perhaps make it a real tragedy rather than a tragedy at the very end.

But overall it's earned its worth of checking out. Just take the ending with a pinch of salt.
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