Title: Ex Machina: March to War.
Author: Brian K. Vaughan.
Artist: Tony Harris and Chris Sprouse.
Genre: Literature, fiction, graphic novels, politics, alternative history, super heroes, fantasy, Iraq war.
Publication Date: 2006.
Summary: Mitchell Hundred has faced countless challenges in his time as mayor of New York City, from political scandals to supernatural killers, but nothing could have prepared him for America's coming war in Iraq. As a massive peace protest fills the streets of Manhattan, the mayor must choose between the liberty of his constituents and the safety of his city, but will a tragedy change that equation forever? Plus, in a never-before-told story from the mayor's super-heroic past, the Great Machine's horrific archenemy, a man known as Pherson, is finally revealed.
My rating: 7.5/10.
♥ "You think I'm trampling on our constituents' rights, yeah? Fine, but since the day your boy Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, every leader in this country has been forced to make possibly unconstitutional decisions to save lives."
"And who's to say it ever worked? We can limit the chance of another attack, but we can't guarantee it. At the end of the day, you have to be brave to live in the land of the free.
♥ "I... I don't understand what you want from me."
"This is life during wartime, and I need someone I trust at my side, questioning every uncomfortable marching order I'm forced to give. I'm not gonna promise that I'll always do what you say, but it's vitally fucking important that I hear it, all right?"
"I sleep ok at night, sir. I just want to make sure you can, too."
"I run New York city, Dave. I don't get to sleep."
♥ "It's a simple question, sir. Do you or do you not support capital punishment?"
"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 realize 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?"