Read Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag by Brian K. Vaughan Tony Harris Tom Feister J.D. Mettler Online


This second volume of Eisner Award-winner(Best Writer, Best New Series) Brian K. Vaughan's Ex Machina collects the TAG story arch. Plus, learn how much the National Security Agency had on the career of the Great Machine. What forced Mayor Hundred to make one of the most controversial decisions in the history of New York politics. This volume features an introduction by theThis second volume of Eisner Award-winner(Best Writer, Best New Series) Brian K. Vaughan's Ex Machina collects the TAG story arch. Plus, learn how much the National Security Agency had on the career of the Great Machine. What forced Mayor Hundred to make one of the most controversial decisions in the history of New York politics. This volume features an introduction by the Wachowski brothers and an all new cover by Eisner Award-winning artist Tony Harris...

Title : Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781401206260
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 128 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag Reviews

  • Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
    2018-12-27 07:12

    I liked this volume much more thanthe first volume and found it to have a much more cohesive and thrilling story arc. This volume flip flops between past and present as some of Mitchell's past and his accident (which resulted in him being able to mysteriously communicate with machines) come to light. After his accident, Mitchell Hundred is left with only a mysterious tag from the bomb that caused it. This tag displays a weird green symbol, resembling a Chinese character, that nobody seems to figure out. Jackson Georges, agent of a secret code-breaking branch of the NSA, pays Mitchell a visit in 2001 right after he reveals his true identity to the public (Mitchell used his new found superpower to create an alter-ego superhero he dubs "The Great Machine."). Together they try to crack the code of Mitchell's accident, using the tag as their only clue. Unfortunately, Mitchell has decided at this point to run for Mayor of New York City, spending more time campaigning than playing with puzzles. It is also unfortunate, that only a few months later, 9/11 happens and Mitchell must again don his mask and saves one of the towers. Jackson resents him for not saving everyone and turns into a paranoid recluse, more concerned with conspiracy-theories than his job or his family.We switch to the present, where the mysterious symbol is popping up on subway walls that also seem to double for myserious deaths and suicides in the city. Mitchell keeps it on his radar, but is also politician-izing by deciding to officiate the gay wedding of a NYC firefighter and his partner, years before it is legal ore recognized. When the victims of the subway attacks are found to be Jackson, his family, and his dog, Mitchell gets thrust into the center of it all again.I thought the blending of action and politics would be clunky, but Vaughn weaves these story arcs together seamlessly. The action is gory and fun and I enjoyed the politics as well. Mitchell is still the "good guy," never committing to any political party and sticking to his own moral compass (if ONLY this could happen in real life). He fights evil as The Great Machine, as remnants of his past still greet him daily, but he also fights his own political battles as mayor. I loved the blending of the two as two very separate sides of Mitchell and the two lives he leads and find it very well done.There still could be a bit more action for my taste, but nevertheless this was an entertaining and fun read. I also was slightly disappointed that more questions were left unanswered about the mysterious symbol and Mitchell's past, but there are 8 more volumes, so I guess all in due time. I also miss Kremlin from the first volume who was my favorite character. A lot. But I'll stop griping now because I did enjoy this and my gripes won't prohibit me from enjoying more. It doesn't hurt that I picture a young Harrison Ford, a'la Jack Ryan, as Mitchell.And there seems to be a bit of a romance blooming between Mitchell and a somewhat annoying reporter. I hope this is not the case as Suzanne, the reporter, reminds me a little of But time shall tell. I'm looking forward to the next volume.4 stars

  • Donovan
    2019-01-20 07:03

    What a ride! BKV cranks up the graphic violence and mystery in volume two. Mystery in two ways: what is the symbol that gave The Great Machine his powers, and why is it making people go crazy?Also in volume two, BKV comments on gay marriage and expands his thematic commentary on 9/11. Did he have to? No. But I appreciate his boldness and progressivism in addressing these subjects. Again, the artwork is amazing. It's like Sean Phillips if colored by Matt Hollingsworth. Tony Harris provides surgically clean lines, Tom Feister dramatic inks, and JD Mettler deep but somehow arbitrary colors. The artwork feels like A Scanner Darkly it's so crazy. My only complaint: I hate The Great Machine's costume. It's the dumbest, dorkiest thing I've ever seen. It's like bondage leather meets steampunk meets sky diving. I just hope this was intentional (and satirical) because it's terrible.

  • Mike
    2018-12-29 07:02

    I always love Vaughan's sense of humourAnd even better, his potty mouth:We're all adults here - and the ones who aren't, aren't exactly hearing this kind of language for the first time from funny books. Vaughan plays with our expectations of someone writing politics into their stories, so that we never entirely know where he stands, and it's both mature and infuriating at the same time:In a way this series has the same workmanlike feeling of reading Gotham Central. Both series written by great writers, both great tales that include encapsulated main stories that end in each trade collection and slow-burn superplots that trickle throughout the series.

  • Aldo Haegemans
    2019-01-10 12:07

    Much better then the first volume. This would'v been a much better first volume. I'm glad i sticked with it, if it was the same as the first volume i might have given up. But then again I bought 8 volumes for a bargain.

  • Licha
    2019-01-18 06:16

    Vol 2 of 10.I hope this doesn't turn into a "tackle the political issue of the week" series. Recap to remind myself what this volume was about. ****Possible spoilers ahead****:--Jackson from the NSA (National Security Agency) becomes fast friends with Mitch after being assgined to help decipher the piece of shrapnel Mitch found in the river when he had the accident that gave him the power to command all machines. Jakcson, his child, wife and dog are found murdered, both Jackson and his dog eviscerated and hung inside the NY tunnel.--There's a romance blooming between Mitch and a journalist who is always hot on his trail for the latest scoop.--Issues tackled: public school vs, private school; gay marriage; the found piece of shrapnel and the symbols printed on it are making people go mad.So far it is still enjoyable to read, but this problem-of-the-week per volume is going to get old real fast if that's where this series is heading.The drawings are ok, but I'm not a big fan of the dead-pan stares of pretty much every character. I'm also not sure whether Mitch is suspposed to be attractive or not (I'm sure as the main character he is supposed to be) because his face changes noticeably from panel to panel.

  • RB
    2019-01-15 05:15

    Brian K. Vaughan's "Ex Machina" only gets stronger in its second volume where we go to the past to understand our protagonist while dealing with a string of deaths associated with a person, maybe a monster, and we see as people go mad gazing at an unknown symbol in the subway, a try at a romantic relationship, some rumination's on what it means to be human, how to inflict correct policy changes, and a lot more. For me, while not quite on the level intellectually or aesthetically, "Ex Machina" is the comic book version of "The West Wing" and at times, "The Wire", for it tackles social problems with finesse and wit all the while maintaining multiple entertaining story lines and characters it is simple to be invested in. And the artwork: it's crisp and at times glowing, this is a beautiful looking book with some grin producing panel designs and style decisions. I cannot wait to read part 3.

  • Callie Rose Tyler
    2019-01-14 11:02

    Alright, I'm locked in, this second volume sealed the deal. I absolutely have to know what happens next.This is one of the most original stories that I have ever read. Politics mixed with strange superpowers and a realistic setting. I am a little put off by some of the heavy-handed political viewpoints, mostly because I don't really see how they move the story along. At times it boarders didactic and feels like filler but I guess it can't all be slicing people in half and mystical Kurt Cobain messages.

  • Ernie
    2018-12-23 07:02

    The second volume improves immensely on the first. Mitchell Hundred really gains some much needed characterization and there is a lot more delving into what his powers can do as opposed to the first.

  • Annie
    2019-01-03 08:20

    Diese unangekündigten Flashbacks nerven mich ein bisschen, aber sonst entwickelt sich die Story ganz gut.

  • Shoumik
    2018-12-21 06:02

    Picked this up on the dying days of last year on a trip. Suffice to say BKV's masterpiece had me tapping and turning pages, even while my butt was frozen and hurting on a slippery bus seat during the journey. Mitch Hundred is a Superhero turned New York's mayor adjusting to life of abstinence from putting his superpowers to use, which includes: Talking to machines the way Aquaman talks to fish. BKV weaves an intriguing narratives using Post 911, Bush Administration America as a backdrop, from the eyes of a calculating, highly constipated 'Realist' who probably hates Republicans, wages war against religious authorities, and marries an interracial gay couple amidst ridiculous uproar, and accusations of using controvery to further political agenda. (Considering this book came out in early 2000s, this felt seriously ballsy). While there is plenty of Superhero action (in Flashbacks from before Hundred's Political career), the real action that has you on the edge of your seat happens in whispers within the halls and corridors of Gracie Mansion, as Mayor Hundred struggles, is hit by one political shit storm after another, with extremely challenging decisions which have far reaching impact. With a team of dedicated Devil's advocates in his team, always there to question his decisions, his approach. The debate adds a whole lot of meat of the Grey-ness in the world of politics: a spider's web of treacheries on one end, and casualties on another.

  • Paige
    2018-12-20 10:05

    I'm giving this 3 stars for the plot twist, but overall it wasn't as great as Vol. 1. It's really interesting, because the main issue in this book is that Mayor Hundred is officiating a wedding ceremony between two men and there was a lot of arguments about the constitution and how it was effect his career to publicly be in support of gay marriage. It's interesting because it's finally a nonissue in the US. And to read this days after the Supreme Court ruling was illuminating. Overall Brian K. Vaughan is pushing the envelope a little too much again last volume it was the n-word and now it was the f-word (the derogatory gay person one) and even though it was done playfully I'm just like please use another word you can tell just as an effective story without it. Overall I'm going to continue the story but I'm not excited about it. I hope things pick up.

  • Sarah
    2019-01-19 05:05

    It's interesting reading this older series from Brian K. Vaughan, the writer of the amazing Saga series. There are a lot of similarities between the two, but inEx Machinathe soapbox tends to be a bit more obvious, the flashback transitions less nuanced, and the storyline a bit more formulaic. In each volume thus far there's a major present tense political event (marriage equality in this one), a mysterious sci-fi event tied to Hundred's powers, and a flashback or two that provide both backstory and intrigue. Luckily the formula works. While this series is a bit clunkier than Saga (most would be), it's keeping my interest, and driving me to keep reading. Be warned, this one is particularly graphic in the violence department, so if you're squeemish, you may want to jump ahead.

  • J.
    2018-12-23 09:59

    Once, I read the first volume of this series and thought it was ok, but not up to my usually-high expectations for Vaughan. I don't know what was wrong with me--this series is really fantastic. Vaughan manages to do 3 stories simultaneously: the West Wing-style political story (in this episode: gay marriage!), the superhero fallout story (in this episode: a maniac killer in the subway), and the flashbacks (in this episode, Hundred works for the NSA or the CIA or something). Anyway, I blazed through it, couldn't put it down. I have some minor quibbles, but man I had fun reading it!

  • مصطفي سليمان
    2018-12-30 06:55

    1.5يعني كمية الملو فاقت التوقعاتحشو مبالغ فيه تداخلات ما بين الواقع السياسي ولك كتير مالهوش اي لزمة يعني كنت بفوت صفحة بحثي اشوف هفهم ولا لاولا اي شئالعدو المرة دي برده ليه جذور قديمةبوشم أخضروبيسبب كوارثالشكوك تحوم حول الشخص الخطأ وف النهاية نهاية ساذجة للغاية مش عارف الصراحة كنت متوقع افضل

  • Liara PvO
    2019-01-10 09:19

    Ex Machina: Tag (issues #6-10) is the second installment in Brian K. Vaughan’s Eisner-winning Ex Machina series, a strange blend of Watchmen-style superhero adventure and West Wing-esque political drama. If you liked the first volume, you’ll like the second, because it’s pretty much more of the same.The primary plot of Tag involves Mayor Hundred’s decision to officiate the wedding of a gay couple (this is set in 2002 and written in 2005, well before NY’s 2011 legalization of same-sex marriage). And despite being a superhero comic, this really is as good as any of the political drama Sorkin dreamed up for Bartlet & Co. NYC Mayor-and-ex-Superhero Hundred, portrayed as ambiguously gay himself, cautiously capitalizes on the goodwill generated in the aftermath of 9/11 and an assassination attempt on himself, all while deftly balancing the all-too-real political landscape of early 2000s America. As the introduction by the Wachowskis affirms, this really is an excellent exploration of contentious civil rights issues in a way mainstream comic publishers could never dream of doing.The actual superhero part of the plot continues to be interesting but not all that exhilarating. There’s a mystery, government conspiracy, shadowy figures, alien writings. Stop me if you’ve seen these X-Files episodes before. It actually is a very good narrative, but it’s relegated to sideshow for much of the comic.

  • Alex Lawless
    2019-01-11 07:01

    I'm still lukewarm about this series. There are little hints of an overarching story, but so far it feels like volumes 1 and 2 are very compartmentalized and separate from each other. The stories don't bleed into the next volumes, and everything is, for the most, wrapped up by the end. It's just not a terribly exciting series, though I can see the potential. Perhaps I'm missing something. I have through volume 5 checked out from my library, so I'll at least get to that point, but I can't say this is a series I'll make it through till the end.

  • Neville Ridley-smith
    2018-12-31 08:56

    This was reasonably well done. Nothing much to add to what I said in my review for the first volume. Not a big fan of the photo-reference art style but it's ok. Story was fine. Bleaugh - gay marriage agenda was pushed but not *too* heavily. Some pretty gross visuals. Not a lot of information forthcoming about why the symbol/green thing has such an effect. Intrigued to find out why, so will definitely keep reading...

  • Chad Jordahl
    2019-01-10 10:12

    I'm really liking this book. This volume's major themes are terrorism and same-sex marriage. I'm disheartened that we in the US are still suffering from the right's awful startle-response over-reaction to both subjects over 10 years after it was published.I do like the realistic art style but I wish Tony Harris would get more creative with his layouts, compositions, and camera angles.

  • Leanne
    2019-01-03 06:06

    This is great sci-fi, but also I love the backdrop of local politics and regular issues that affect real people. It sort of reminds me of the feeling I got from Parks and Recreation: it's rare for anyone to try to make local politics exciting, but inspiring to see people being passionate about something real (and not just saving the universe from a giant alien, etc.)

  • Vittorio Rainone
    2018-12-25 12:02

    Secondo, veloce numero di Ex Machina: sappiamo qualcosa del rapproto fra il sindaco Hundreds e la donna a capo della polizia. La storia per il resto procede poco, concedendosi dettagli dell'incarico da singolo. Comunque bel ritmo e racconto molto divertente

  • Mark CC
    2019-01-05 05:14

    I appreciate the turn towards good-old alien weirdness, but BOY is this comic starting to feel dated. Hinging on 9/11 is already dangerous territory and making gay marriage the main political plot? Yeah, it doesn't work like that anymore.

  • Kristy K
    2018-12-20 11:01

    3.5 Stars

  • Mathew Duncan
    2018-12-27 05:04

    4.5/5. Solid.

  • Bosco Farr
    2018-12-23 09:01

    I am loving this series

  • Jamie Connolly
    2018-12-21 06:16

    Brian k Vaughan can do no wrong. Everything he writes is fantastic.

  • Derek
    2018-12-27 11:18

    This was a vast improvement from the first volume. The pacing was better, the story had more folds and it seemed like Vaughan was just starting to hit his stride.One of my biggest complaints with the first volume was how damn slow it was. The second volume was a big step up but I think many people would still find it too slow. Personally, I don't mind if a story develops slowly so long as it still has a strong plot and characters. This volume built more around the characters and helped me forget about the fact that Mitchell Hundred's powers are totally lame.The story was stronger overall. It switches from Hundred's past to the present, just like the first volume. The difference was that it felt like there was actually a story developing. There was a better mystery component to the story with the appearance of some weird signs all over the city. If the third volume continues to explore that mystery (fingers crossed), this series could get very good!

  • Cody
    2019-01-08 12:16

    Vol. 2 improved upon the first (which makes sense considering how much legwork the opening volume has to do). Really enjoying the intersection of superheroes/politics--extremely my jam. We're given a bit more characterization for Hundred and the secondary characters are filling out nicely. It's a testament to Vaughn's writing that I'm just as invested in Hundred's staffers as the main plot. Really looking forward to seeing what the glyphs are all about.

  • Fizzgig76
    2018-12-26 13:01

    Reprints Ex Machina #6-10 (January 2005-June 2005). There is a killer loose in the city and the killer has ties to Hundred’s origin as symbols from the device that gave him power begin to pop-up…and drive people mad. Hundred is also dealing with political problems. The school system is struggling and Hundred has decided to take on the fight of gay marriage by deciding to wed the brother of his Deputy Mayor Wylie. Hundred might not even make it to the ceremony as he finds himself the target of the killer.Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Tony Harris, Ex Machina 2: Tag continues the award winning series. Following Ex Machina 1: The First Hundred Days, Ex Machina 2: Tag has also been collected in Ex Machina Deluxe Edition—Volume 1 which reprinted Ex Machina #1-11.This collection starts to get to the nitty-gritty of Ex Machina. It is a good blend of politics (gay marriage/school system) and Hundred’s past as a super hero. The first volume didn’t feel as balance, but this volume despite improvements shows that the series still has room to expand.The story for the volume is a bit more compelling than the first volume. The balance between politics and action is necessary for the series, but it doesn’t always balance out. Probably as an older reader, I enjoy the thinking aspect of the series a bit more to the action-action, but it still is a good (and better blend) than the first volume of the series.Vaughan begins to dip into dangerous waters by making this a politics book (which can potentially isolate half the audience). Despite this, Vaughan also does a rather fair job of trying to represent both sides of the argument within the pros and cons of all the arguments. It is simply “gay marriage is good and fair”, but some of the legal and social ramifications are explored. The same is true about the crumbling school system in America, but I hope that this idea is continued in future volumes.The mystery behind Hundred’s origin isn’t doing much for me. It was slightly implied in this volume that we may never know…and I think I prefer it. It is what it is, and the crazed killer concept could wear a bit thin if the series progresses in this direction.I like the concept behind Ex Machina and I think this volume really builds on it. I had some problems with the quick and simple wrap-up of Ex Machina 1: The First Hundred Days, but this one gives a bit more depth (though I did feel the “mystery killer” was a bit easy). I do think I prefer the political questions of the series to the action of the series, but you can’t have one without the other. Ex Machina 2: Tag is followed by Ex Machina 3: Fact v. Fiction.

  • Adrian
    2019-01-20 04:55

    I feel like this volume was better than the first one. I still enjoy Brian K. Vaughan’s graphic novels so maybe I’m a little biased on why I like this. This book brings up some interesting political things that were controversial when the book took place (2001/2002), controversial when the book came out (2005), and slightly still controversial today (2017). But, they really get going on the mystery that created the ‘great machine’ which I have a feeling will spill over into the next few volumes.

  • Harold Ogle
    2018-12-23 10:52

    This is a fine continuation of Vaughan's first volume, advancing both stories (past and present) of Mitchell Hundred (formerly "The Machine") in a similar chronologically-jumping way to what he used in the first volume. In this one, Hundred continues to work as mayor in one timeline (the present) while phasing out of being a superhero and then starting to run for mayor in the other (the past). The geek in me would love to imagine that comics somehow influence history, and that the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, was inspired by the comic to imitate Mr. Hundred in enabling same-sex marriage. This would go a fair way to ameliorating my very low opinion of Newsom, who has always struck me as a slimy snake-oil salesman politico otherwise. But I digress. (view spoiler)[Same-sex marriage is one of the issues that Mitchell Hundred tackles in this volume of Ex Machina, and it occupies so much of his attention that he misses the tragic developments as elements similar to the artifact that gave him his powers start appearing all over New York City, causing all kinds of mind-control-induced havoc, mayhem and murder. (hide spoiler)] Again, I think this story is well-told, and in some ways superior (in complexity) to the story in volume 1 (which I found more fun). Graphic violence and horror aplenty in this volume, as the past starts to come back to haunt Mitchell. The rotoscoped artwork is still bizarre (like all of Ralph Bakshi's films, there's just no compelling reason to explain why??), but I've continued to be able to overlook its weirdness. The first volume was notable for its absence of gratuitous sex; unfortunately Vaughan breaks that trend here with a completely unnecessary discussion about the differences between two types of particularly debasing pornography (between two sewer workers, as character "background talk" before they stumble across an eviscerated body). As it's absolutely and totally unnecessary, I wonder if Vaughan is beginning to view his gratuitous sex as a signature, in the way that Iain Banks seemed to always include a graphic scene of torture/mutilation in his novels. Despite this, I'm somewhat looking forward to reading the next volume.