- Ex Machina ends with a bitter yet humorous reveal, as protagonist Mitchell Hundred is shown to have become Vice President to Republican John McCain, highlighting the series’ dry, understated humor and political commentary one more time by showing how Hundred has gravitated away from his earlier ideals.
- The final issue shows Hundred sacrificing everything – friends, values, and even causing the death of his mentor – for political gain. He becomes detached from his past and fully committed to a political existence.
- Despite still having his superhero powers, Hundred’s interests lie elsewhere, and the McCain-reveal reflects the author’s critique of trading consistent beliefs for power. The series ends with Hundred fading into darkness, leaving his heroics in the past.
Brian K. Vaughn’s Ex Machina ended on a bitterly humorous note, with a reveal that amused and dismayed long-time readers of the series, which ran for fifty issues from 2004-2010. A mix of deconstructed superhero story and Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing, like the Sorkin TV show, Ex Machina’s political optimism ebbed as the series progressed – eventually leaving protagonist Mitchell Hundred a shell of his former self, ideologically and personally.
The reveal that Hundred is, in fact, the Vice President to Republican John McCain is one final, sterling example of Ex Machina’s characteristic dry, understated humor, which the series used effectively throughout its run to provide political commentary.
Ex Machina #50 – by Brian K. Vaughn, and Tony Harris – brought the series full circle, finally giving readers context for the very first scene of the series, in which Mitchell Hundred promising to explain, “the story of [his] four years in office, from the beginning of 2002 through godforsaken 2005.”
The scene in Issue #1 led readers to expect Hundred’s political career to end in failure; the final issue reveals the opposite: he has ascended to the Vice-Presidency, under President John McCain. However, given Hundred’s liberal politics throughout the series, ending with the character serving in a Republican administration highlights that he has chosen ambition over ideals.
Mitchell Hundred Sacrifices Everything For Political Gain
From His Closest Friends, To His Deepest Values, Hundred Loses It All In The End
The final issue of Ex Machina finds Mitchell Hundred mourning – as the final issue depicts, between his time as the “Great Machine,” a superhero capable of talking to complex machinery, and his upward political trajectory, Hundred has lost everything that was once dear to him. In the series’ most haunting moment, Ex Machina #50 has Hundred cause the death of his estranged mentor, Kremlin, in order to prevent politically damaging material from being leaked to the press. The finale delivers Hundred to the exact place readers expected to find him at the series’ end – but not at all how they expected to find him.
Having crossed a shocking line with Kremlin’s death, Mitchel Hundred is – by the series’ final pages – fully detached from his past, including the progressive values he once held. He may be full of regret, but by the conclusion of the series, he has fully committed to a political existence. The reveal that Hundred is, in fact, the Vice President to Republican John McCain is one final, sterling example of Ex Machina’s characteristic dry, understated humor, which the series used effectively throughout its run to provide political commentary. Without coming across too overt, or ideologically slanted, Ex Machina consistently proved insightful in its deconstruction of political ambition.
Hundred May Have A Political Future, But His Heroics Are In The Past
Despite Still Having His “Great Machine” Abilities, Mitchell’s Interests Are In Other Powers
While a joke, and a good one, the McCain-reveal in Ex Machina #50 clearly signifies author Brian K. Vaughn’s bitterness at the political tendency to trade the virtue of consistent beliefs for the vice of power. Over the course of the series, Vaughn charted Mitchell Hundred’s rise and fall – not necessarily a fall from grace, but from the desire to provide meaningful help to others, to the pit of self-concern and self-furtherance. Ex Machina ends with an amiable conversation between Hundred and McCain, before the “Great Machine” uses his powers one more time, commanding the remaining light around him to “fade to black.”
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