Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s...the mayor of New York City? What if the mayor of the Big Apple were also the world’s only honest-to-goodness superhero? For the last six years, that’s been the question driving Brian K. Vaughan’s politically charged serial, Ex Machina. As comic book adventures go, Vaughan’s deftly scripted 50-issue comic book series, which published its final issue last week, offered an unexpectedly clever mix of high-flying action and city-management melodrama. But, writes Associate Editor Peter Suderman, as political fiction, Ex Machina offered something far more subtle—a slow-burning portrait of the corrupting fallibility of political systems, and a warning about how, eventually, those systems demean and diminish even those who believe in their powers the most.