Page 45 Review by Stephen
From the writer of SAGA.
If you want some of the most impassioned and eloquent writing in comics check out the dialogue below on the US Death Penalty.
Plus Tony Harris: the writing's so good I rarely mention Tony, do I? Just the right level of anchoring photo-realism - the saggy jowls and all - for a political thriller.
EX MACHINA stars the mayor of New York who can communicate with machines (and do so imaginatively as the courtroom highjack will amply demonstrate) and who reads WONDER WOMAN but has to hire a detective to buy the back issues for him because, like, if it ever got out that the mayor of New York City read the funny papers they'd think he was ripe for the funny farm. The press'd be all over that one.
Terrorism returns to New York, bringing with it personal tragedy for Mayor Hundred and ugly reprisals on the street. Skinheads indiscriminately target Sikhs as well as innocent Muslims, police officers shoot the wrong person on the underground (hmmm...?), and no one's looking in the right direction. Meanwhile, Hundred gets sick of being stitched up on air, and decides to do something about it:
"Dre, you asked me to come on your program so we could discuss extending Rent Regulations, not --"
"It's a simple question, sir. Do you or do you not support Capital Punishment?"
"<sigh> The Death Penalty is arbitrary and capricious, an anachronistic throwback that's looked upon with disgust by nearly every other democracy in the world. Practically, it's way more expensive than life without parole, and morally, it's applied in a manner that's totally unfair to anyone who can't afford my lawyers. And I'm sure I don't have to tell you that those convicted of killing Whites are significantly more likely to be executed than those convicted of killing Blacks."
"But you'd agree that it's an effective deterrent against future crimes?"
"No, I wouldn't. Murder rates often go up immediately following executions. We're sending a message to Americans that killing is the correct way to solve problems. Look, I realise we live in a culture where a story isn't satisfying unless the bad guy dies at the end, but unlike the movies, death really is permanent. How can we implement a decision that can't be overturned when we know how fallible our justice system -- how fallible we -- can be?"
"And Osama Bin Laden? If he were captured tomorrow, you'd argue to the families of his victims that he should live?"
"Dump out! Dump out! Don't let that go over on the air! What in God's name is wrong with you? You can't say stuff like that on a public broadcast!"
"Yeah, well, now you know how it feels like to be sabotaged. Enjoy the rest of your show, Dre."
"What was that all about, boss?"
"Doesn't matter, Bradbury. Come on, sneak me out of here before my Press Secretary shows up to scream at me."
"But I didn't hear your answer to whether or not you'd ice Osama."
"And neither did anyone else. It's a "Have you stopped beating your wife?" trap. If I say I'd kill him, I look like a hypocrite. If I say I wouldn't, I sound weak on security. Sometimes it's best to let your record speak for itself, you know?"