For the last few volumes of Ex Machina, every review I’ve written whines about where the series is going, how it feels like Vaughan is treading water and while that doesn’t make for a bad comic (all of the stories are entertaining enough), I personally just want the main story of his powers, where they come from and what they mean. Well it looks as though we may start getting those answers. In fact, we start getting more answers and clues in this very book! Sure they’re cryptic and give us nothing concrete yet, but I’m hooked!
Hundred also makes a statement about not running for a second term which might be Vaughan’s way of saying that he’s starting to tie things up and wind the series down now. Now, it could just be the end of him as mayor of New York and the start of a new direction for the story much like Willingham did with Fables, but only time will tell on that one.
The book also has a cute opener where in the first issue, our writer and Tony Harris the artist meet their creation Mayor Hundred as they go to a job interview for the privilege of chronically the Great Machine into sequential panels. This brings all kinds of humorous moments and was a fresh start for the book, the ninth in the series. And any time you’re nine books into a series, a bit of fresh and new, funny or clever is going to be a nice addition. Hopefully Vaughan is going to give this series the ending it deserves only said in a slightly snotty voice due to some of his other wrap ups that didn’t quite “get there”. Still, picking on a writer that may only deliver a seven for his ending instead of the nine he usually musters is something only a picky critic would do. Oh, wait, I am a picky critic! Viva la Machina!