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Why Religion is an Important Part of Personal Finance ∞ Get Rich Slowly The topic of the linked post has (almost) nothing to do with my post here. It's the commentsSome people have REALLY short fuses

Okay, I've been remiss in getting the Doctor Who news out lately. 'Cause I know you all depend on me alone to let you know what's going on with thatDoctor Who/Torchwood news

The Simple Dollar » The Money Savvy Pig and My Son’s Allowance Another good idea from Trent, over at The Simple Dollar. A transparent, compartmentalized, piggybank does seem like a goodTeaching money management to kids

Okay, after my last post I got sucked into the world of lightsabers on YouTube and ran across these two series: Three in the Afternoon (and the upcoming sequel, Six inMore Jedi Fighting

My kids have been watching Signing Time on our local PBS station here for over a year now. They love the show so much that we got them one ofTuesday TubeWatch: Signing Time

Variety.com - 'Halo' pic loses its studios [tag]Fox Studios[/tag] and [tag]Universal Studios[/tag] have backed out of their deal to finance the [tag]Halo movie[/tag], based on the popular [tag]video game[/tag] by'Halo' - Game Over?

TheGoldenParachute.com: Think Dual Incomes is a Great Thing? Not Always We've had discussions periodically in my house about my wife going back to work part-time. There are a variety of reasonsIs a dual income worth it in a marriage?

To get us through the winter repeats, some shows are giving us webisodes. That includes Battlestar Galactica and Heroes. In both cases, the short series are meant to provide a lead-inWebisodes and commercials

This thing has "inspiring Disney movie" written all over it. Two guys grow up in Cleveland with disabilities, both physical and environmental, join the wrestling team, and become inseparable friends. There'sESPN goes for the heart - Tuesday TubeWatch

Computer Tips For Everybody » Blog Archive » Create a custom Control Panel in Windows XP This is a timely tip for me, as I just received aCustomize your WinXP Control Panel

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

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH | Bryce Zabel: Koppel on Iran I don't plan to get into politics too much on this blog, but I do agree with Zabel that this isTed Koppel on Iran & US involvement in Middle East

It's hard to do better than the Bible for your source material, so this movie had an edge already. In some ways it lived up to (and exceeded) expectations; inReview: The Prince of Egypt

Last week, I took a business trip to Chicago. As I was showering that morning I was thinking about how the day would go, and what I would do toA Short Story

This is a follow-up to my previous, spoiler-free post. I have a few observations about continuity problems in Superman Returns. Spoilers below! If you want to read it, take your mouseReview: Superman Returns :: Spoilers!!

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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