Ex Machina
Fact v. Fiction

Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Tony Harris
Titan Books
RRP 7.99
ISBN 1 84576 253 3
Available 21 July 2006

Mayor Mitchell Hundred makes a difficult decision about his own future, becoming part of a shocking trial complicated by the unexpected arrival of an all-new superhero. At the trial's end, the Mayor leaves New York City for the first time since his election to embark on a strange adventure...

Fact v. Fiction is the latest addition to the Ex Machina series of graphic novels, reprinting issues #11-16 of the comic book series.

In this collection not only is Hundred still coming to terms with the fact that he couldn't save more lives during the Twin Towers attacks of September 11, but he also has to deal with a hostage situation, and track down and unmask a mysterious vigilante who is running around the place.

Tony Harris's artwork really helps to sell Brian K. Vaughan's story - which is pretty dark, although not void of humour.

To my mind the most entertaining element of this tale was the segment with the hostage situation. Here Mayor Hundred has to convince a man that he can cure him from his "illness". Apparently the man can also speak to machines, or rather influence them with a single thought. While most of us would relish the fact that traffic lights turned to green as we approach them, he's a little freaked out.

At the end of the day this is a pretty enjoyable collection. One for those looking for a new breed of hero.

Nick Smithson

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