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Ever since "Ikea" popped up on one of my Pandora stations months ago, it's been one of my favorites. Every time I hear or see words like "Ikea," "Thor," or "Norsemen"Tuesday TubeWatch: Ikea and Jonathan Coulton

Though it didn't do too well in the box office, this movie worked for me - all the way until the last scene. The end was the one place whereReview: Firewall

Timez Attack I am really impressed with this game. It's engaging, the graphics are great, it has a cool adventure environment, and it teaches math. Seriously cool. As you (a small monster)Fight trolls with math!

SCI FI Wire | The News Service of the SCI FI Channel The latest info coming out about Heroes just bolsters my impression that this is going to be a goodHeroes - the dark side

I just finished recording with my wife the inaugural edition of my completely new and wonderful conception: the "Things I didn't blog about but should have" podcast. That's right, you canComing soon...

High Voltage: Lightning Bolt Hitting Plane Taking Off Osaka - Gizmodo With all the times I've flown during a storm, I'm surprised I haven't seen this happen before. And the blogger asksVideo loop: lightning hitting plane

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH | Bryce Zabel: Produce or Perish! | USC School of Cinema & Television CNTV589 Bryce Zabel is going to be a professor at USC. If his classBryce Zabel: Those who can, teach

A few posts back, we got into a bit of a discussion that significantly hinged on fair use. I mentioned that I had a fair use reference but didn't haveFair Use

[caption id="attachment_1017" align="alignright" width="466" caption="Gwen and Rhys Cooper saving children from the military"][/caption] Russell T. Davies has a knack with stories. He's very good at writing stories that - despite plotTorchwood: Children of Earth - Review

Hicks Picks 9 - Slice of Scifi AUGH! This is annoying. “Stargate” movies delayed The direct-to-home-theater “Stargate” movies are coming–but it’s going to take a bit longer than expected. 20th Century Fox toldStargate SG-1 DVD movies delayed

So on Sunday there was this huge block of mostly new commercials, periodically interrupted by some guys running back and forth on a field and knocking each other over forCommercial goodness

Computer-Generated Image Looks Exactly Like a Beautiful Woman - Gizmodo Click the link above to see a completely CG image of a real Korean actress. Those of you with keen eyesIs she, or isn't she?

This is a great idea. Eddie Izzard's Dressed to Kill stand-up routine is hilarious (though profanity laced). Matching the bits with Lego stop-motion animation turns out to be really funnyTuesday TubeWatch: Lego Izzard - Cake or Death?

Recently a study looked at students who had Facebook on (even in the background) while studying vs. those without Facebook use, and compared their grades. Facebook users came out withShocking news! Distraction causes lack of focus!

Murder in the First, based on a true story, tells the tale of Henry Young (Kevin Bacon) and his attorney (Christian Slater) as they expose the brutality of the AlcatrazReview: Murder in the First

The Colors of Control: Ex Machina

Ex Machina coverAn extremely long time after I started it, I just finished Ex Machina‘s 50 issue run. Brian K. Vaughn puts on a heck of a story.

This is one of those stories that I think would work well as a TV series. It would be a bit different than most series, in that it covers two time periods at once, but that’s part of what makes it compelling. The basic structure of an issue is that it starts in the past, and then moves into the present.

The story in the past covers the origin and selected high points of Mitchell Hundred’s career as “The Great Machine” – a flawed superhero with the ability to listen to and command machinery. For example, he can command a gun not to fire, a truck to drive away, or a bomb to not explode (for a while). He can have a cell phone tell him where it’s been… or tell it to shut-up. We see the “accident” that gives him this power, and watch as he learns to fight crimes, petty and large. We meet his nemesis, Pherson, who has the ability to command animals (excluding humans), and uses this power to cause destruction and death. And we see him in his final act as The Great Machine: stopping one of the planes on 9/11.

Each story in the past, however, quickly gives way to (and informs the plot of) the present. Mitchell has parlayed the popularity of his time as The Great Machine into a run as the mayor of New York City. Here we see him dealing with many social and political issues, intertwined with resurfacing issues from his super-heroic past. He’s vowed to put his past behind him, but can he ignore the ramifications of what he’s learning about himself and the true source of his power?

The government is watching him. His police commissioner is watching him. One of his ex-partners wants him back on the job as a super-hero, even if that means destroying his political career. The other will protect him with his life. He’s having dreams of his future – and visions of pain.

Can he single-handedly stop the destruction of the world, or is he fated to be the architect of its demise? Or maybe it’s somewhere in between?

It’s pretty cool stuff!

Excerpt from issue #1 - and more foreshadowing than I realized, despite its bluntness

Color plays an important role in the books. Those gifted with powers are scarred by lines on their faces that look like wire leads. Mitchell’s scars glow green. Pherson’s glow purple. White plays an important role later. Each color is part of the spectrum of control. Green for control over machines, purple for animals, white for … well, that’s a spoiler.

Even the final word in the entire series is a color: black. And it’s layered with self-reference, not to mention a kind of breach of the “fourth wall.”

Really well done. I recommend it as one of the better comics I’ve read. It’s for adults, though – graphic language, themes, violence, and visuals do appear. This one isn’t for kids. The themes explored about the nature of corruption and man’s motivations, hero worship and disappointment are pretty seriously tackled. (For more, with spoilers, about that, check out the view “from the gutter.”)

If you want to see Issue #1, DC Comics has made it available online.

Have you read it? Any thoughts?

(Btw… just because I avoid spoilers in the post doesn’t mean they aren’t in the comments.)

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