Reviewed By: David O' Leary
Cover Date: January 2009
Story by: Brian K. Vaughan
Art by: Tony Harris & Jim Clark
Colours by: JD Mettler
Letters by: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by: Tony Harris & Jim Clark
Cover Price: $2.99
"Dirty Tricks: Conclusion"
Crap. Kremlin says the words we all don't want to hear in this issue. "This is where the end begins." The final chapter of the only alright "Dirty Tricks" story officially kicks off the lead in to the final few issue of the great series.
BKV is known as Mr. No.1 as in he always kicks a series superbly straight out the gate. Well 39 issues in he produces one of the best issues of the series to date. The book opens on September 11th and the immediate aftermath of the bombing. That's bombing as in not plural as a great shot of the one standing tower behind Monica's shoulder. She becomes enamoured with the Great Machine as he flies over her while she is consoling a blind man frantically looking for his guide dog. Fast forward to August 2004 and we see Monica trying to tightrope walk in to Hundred's office with the apparently sole purpose of trying to convince Hundred to kiss her. What follows after he gets her into the office is one of the funniest moments of 2008 where Monica is stunned by the kiss she just stands there with her eyes closed savouring the moment. At which point Hundred just square up punches her in the face breaking a knuckle. Genius. BKV also sets up the next arc/s by Kremlin making contact with Suzanne Padilla, the forgotten female interest for Hundred from earlier in the series and here in this scene he begins to sow the seeds of Mitchell's downfall. Also Mitchell is approached by to take over an Ambassadorship at the UN. The picture laid out in the first issue is slowly getting a bit of light shone on it. It bodes very well for the future.
Harris appeared to have some more time than usual to do this issue as his art is so much cleaner than the last chapter. Than again there hasn't been an issue since August. The aforementioned shot of the one standing tower is drawn beautifully and all through the book it is littered with exceptionally drawn panels and Harris is just on top of his game here. The expression he puts on Monica's face after she gets pucked is priceless. It added so much to the page and visually made the joke.
This is Ex-Machina at its very best, which it hasn't been in a while. If only they could get the schedule back on track and maintain the quality shown here then we are all good. The final few issue are set up nicely here and the excitement that the audience felt in the opening issues of the series is back. I hope it continues and is not just a fleeting example of what this book once offered.
Rating the Issue
Story: Overall 8
Storytelling - 9 out of 10
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Name: David O' Leary
Been reading comics: for about 12 years now.
Review Bio: I am a 26-year-old Hotel Manager from the west coast of the Republic of Ireland and think this is a great way to talk to others about this cool medium. I am a husband to one wife and father to one girl (so far).
Favorites: ONI's Whiteout, Vertigo's Scalped and Garth Ennis Preacher and Punisher in Trades. In comic form I am reading a lot of Marvel and a bit of IDW, Dark Horse & WildStorm among others.
Website: Sorry, I don't have one!
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