In which I continue my thoughts on the weekly purchases made during my unintended blogging hiatus. Only two comics for this entry, so it should be quick.
Ex Machina #44
In which we learn about origins of The Great Machine. Sort of. In the 2004 part of the story, Bradbury is trying to get rid of the white box, before it does something to the reporter he’s hiding it from, while Mitchell Hundred learns more about where his powers came from, via a machine calling itself a member of the Seraphim, indicating the presence of aliens from another dimension preparing for an invasion, using different colours for various aspects of the preparation, including white … This is building to the finishing line now, explaining things and laying the groundwork for the finale, something I’m looking forward to – Brian K Vaughan and Tony Harris have created a good comic book that I’ve enjoyed immensely, and I’m glad it will be a story with a definite ending.
I think this issue was where I began to lose some patience with this storyline (which now feels to have been extended just to reach issue 50). The story just keeps on going and going and going, with only the dialogue and characterisation to entertain. We do get a reveal (Peter David has been enjoying doing that in this series), as we find out who Cortex is (just after seeing the ugliest panel of Monet ever – I know she’s supposed to be really angry about being possessed, but Valentine De Landro makes her look hideous, practically Klingon), but it loses its punch if there are too many reveals. Perhaps this might read better in a trade, sitting down to absorb it (if you’ll pardon the pun) in one sitting, but it drags in the monthly reading. I don’t know if it’s the rise of the story arcs to be collected in trade that is responsible, but the extended storyline reminiscent of the old days of multi-threaded plots interweaving over many months, even years (see Chris Claremont on the X-Men), seems so much harder to do now. David has had a good attempt at it here, but it’s been tough going.