When I read the first volume of Ex Machina, I wasn’t very impressed. The story just failed to grab me, which was a pity since I like the author so much. But it got reasonably good reviews in the comments, plus my graphic novel buddy liked it, so I proceeded apace, which pace is more akin to a crawl these days, but I digress. The important part is that I’ve read the second volume, Tag, and now I’m sold.
It still has all of the high-level (and very occasionally, the nitty-gritty) politics of running New York City that Mayor Mitchell Hundred has to deal with, that I found simultaneously so well-written and so non-involving last time. But instead of a somewhat lifeless origin story holding the politics together, they threw in a solid plot with far-reaching ramifications that I’m excited about seeing further investigated, and the moreso since this is the same author as the superb Y: The Last Man series. He’s pretty well proven his ability to have a destination in mind for his world-spanning mysteries, which would be my only remaining concern at this point, the art having been solid. (Well, I could take or leave the faces, but everything else is dandy.) The mystery in question, interspersed among Hundred’s dating life and dealings with school vouchers and gay marriage, goes to the heart of his power over machines. Because whatever it was that gave him those powers appears to be cropping up in other places in New York now, and affecting other people in dire and possibly diabolical ways. Mysterious!