About me

I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

My Pandora "radio station" profile
This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

My Yahoo "radio station"
(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)

Shopping

Looking to purchase something online? Support Caddickisms by going through one of these links:

Caddickisms Store

Amazon.com

Calendar

April 2011
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Topics

Posts by month

Around the site

There really isn't much I can say about this... it's one of those painful things that happens at sci-fi conventions. But you gotta see the third act. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/UkTQwP2gFxU" width="425" height="350"Vader is thrilling

Why Collaborative Storyboard Technology Is Mission Critical This is an excellent article extolling the virtues of collaboration for storyboarding your courses (and a little push for storyboarding itself). It doesn't specificallyCollaborative Storyboarding

Smallville will be back for an eighth season next year! But without Lex, and without Lana. Michael Rosenbaum and Kristen Kreuk are calling it quits after this year. Apparently they'reSmallville, Dr. Who, and Torchwood facts and rumors

You know, I was going to write a whole post about the specifics of stuff I loved about The Avengers. You've already seen my spoiler-free gushing (assuming you have doneThe Avengers (2012) with spoilers, and new things on the internet

SCI-FI to SCI-FACT: A Working “Spider Man” Suit - Slice of Scifi A “Spider-man” suit that enables its wearer to scale vertical walls like the comic and movie superhero couldWho's that wall-crawler?!

Stay on target. Some guys got together and built a scale model of an X-Wing fighter from Star Wars, complete with an Artoo unit. Then they strapped 4 rockets to it. Lock S-Foils in attack positions

Well, it's Emmy time again. Time for America to watch as actors congratulate themselves on doing a great job entertaining us, and make a spectacle of themselves while they do2011 Emmy Awards - my thoughts

I'm pretty impressed with the CommonCraft videos. They've found a way to make YouTube a marketing and profit center for themselves, and a lot of their work is in theTips from CommonCraft

As may be appropriate for a movie with few spoken lines, this review should be pretty short. Amazing technical achievement. The visuals here are phenomenal. There were times that I forgotReview: Wall-E

Obviously the European fascists are being hurt by the global economic problems. In an effort save money, they've apparently let their entire marketing department go. While I applaud their frugality,Slow economy affects European fascist marketing

This may be the first meme I've done on this blog. I've done a couple on Facebook, but none here that I can remember. I caught this one over atHow I've wasted my life

I've posted before about the Green Lantern movie(s) in the works. No cast has been announced, no real information has come to my attention at all about the live actionNathan Fillion as Green Lantern? - Tuesday TubeWatch

Oh, great... another cause to spend our research money on. Duke Nukem Disease: Come Get Some! - Tuesday TubeWatch

From Elliott Masie's Learning TRENDS newsletter comes news of a new tool to help doctors and nurses. Projected Vein Locations: This weekend I saw a fascinating new "performance support" system -VeinViewer

The Learning Circuits Blog: Scope of Learning Responsibility What is the Scope of our Responsibility as Learning Professionals? That's the question of the month, and it's clarified a bit in theLimits of Responsibility - ASTD's Big Question for March

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.)

Tags: , , , ,

2 comments to The Colors of Control: Ex Machina

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge