Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ex Machina #16

Ex Machina #16 - Comic of the DayIn my last post I sang my praise for Brian K. Vaughan (if you consider rap a form of singing), but now I would like to briefly write about what continues to keep me interested in his Ex Machina series.

Ex Machina #16 is a fine example of how Brian K. Vaughan takes a fine science fiction idea like being able to talk to mechanisms from blenders to guns, and makes that fantastic idea the third most interesting thing about this comic of the day. Issue #16 focuses on family and the things that keep them together and apart. BKV has created a character in Mitchell Hundred that can do amazing things. Hundred had been gifted by a freak accident which gave him powers, and that part of the story is what drives the comic book on the surface, yet BKV has developed a supporting cast of friends, co-workers and family that keep my interest.

BKV uses a story telling feature in Ex Machina which jumps the reader back in time and then forward again. Using moments in Hundred's past to define his actions or thoughts in the future is a tool which is seen in BKV's work such as the little known television show Lost. Themes such as "the past repeating itself" and "learning from one's past" are ways to explore a character's experiences and emotions without having a narrative. Basically, BKV uses the exact opposite style of writing as Jeph Loeb: main character narrative (Loeb's Marvel color books and Batman books).

What defines a BKV book? Well, his comic books are basically science fiction for people who do not like comic books. His books are about developing characters and relationships first. If you can achieve a realistic take on your books players, the plot will take care of itself.

Pick up a Brian K. Vaughan book today.

No comments: