In 2019 Shelfdust asked over a hundred comic book critics, podcasters, vloggers and commentators to pick their personal, subjective favourite ‘first’ comic book issues of all time. From their choices we counted down the top fifty entries, which you can find here! But we’re not leaving it there. Now the list is over and we know which comics made the list, we’ve invited critic and podcaster Matt Lune to host a weekly show right here on Shelfdust! Each week Matt will be sitting down with a different comic critic to look at every comic which charted into the top fifty, one issue at a time.

This week brings politics into our superhero comics, as we look at the comic which ended up in 29th place: Ex Machina #1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, Tom Feister, J. D. Mettler and Jared K. Fletcher.

The first issue of Ex Machina doesn’t let up for a second as it follows the career path of Mitchell Hundred as he goes from civil engineer to aspiring superhero and then into the role of Mayor of New York. There’s time for every character to get a bit of time with Vaughan and Harris’ lead, which allows them to deepen just as Hundred himself does across each new scene. We’re rejoined by special guest Heidi MacDonald this week to talk all about it!

You can listen to the episode:

Come back next week….. as Matt will be talking to Colin Bell about The Immortal Hulk #1!


Heidi “The Boss” MacDonald has been in comics criticism for over 20 years, and is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Beat. She’s also one of the hosts of the PW Comics World: More To Come comics podcastYou can find here on Twitter here!

Matt Lune is a critic and podcaster who has written for publications including PanelXPanel, The MNT and Multiversity. You can find him on Twitter here!


This podcast is made possible thanks to the Shelfdust Patreon page! To find out more, head to our Patreon page here!