Annihilation: Conquest #6 This was great, with silly big cosmic action and everyone having a role to play without it seeming too forced. I do feel that Marvel were cheating a little bit by having Nova come back in when his ongoing wasn't explicitly labelled as part of the event after the four-parter, but it was the same writers which should have been a clue (though do I detect a visual continuity glitch in terms of Tyro's appearance in this issue being him before he ate the siredam from the inside out in Nova #12?).
I was also very pleased that it ended with a long bit that was all about Phyla and Heather, because I was sad about Heather dying earlier on, and I do still hope she'll be back through the afterlife's revolving door sooner rather than later (I'm hoping Guardians of the Galaxy involves awkward Drax-Phyla bonding over her, that'll be fun). I was also very sad about Super-Skrull's robot girlfriend's being shoved in the fridge by Ultron (though his pragmatic "so now I'm going to avenge her" response was perfectly in character), until I remembered that we've seen her alive and well in flashforward at the end of the Super-Skrull mini in Annihilation when we thought he was dead. So it's OK.
But none of that stuff got to me half as much as the panel of Rocket Raccoon watering the Groot sapling. Broke my heart, so it did.
For the record, I am very excited about Guardians of the Galaxy, which is basically an ongoing version of Annihilation. So excited that not even Adam Warlock's presence can dent my squee.
Suburban Glamour #4 I may have mentioned before how much Jamie McKelvie's art rocks, and it continues to do so here. The story just flows off the page, and the face off between the various faeries works really well. It doesn't have quite so much of the great humour because it's busy wrapping up the plot, but there is a wonderful moment between Dave and Aubrey in the aftermath, and best of all that plot resolution really lets Astrid keep all of her agency; she accepts all the different aspects of both her nature and her nurture and finds herself in the centre of it all. And the creepy guy gets what he deserves, and the imaginary friends get to stay real. I enjoyed it, just not quite in the same way as the previous issues.
And then the final page is a splash of her flying through the sky which just made me grin from ear to ear. It's the classic origin story ending (apropos of nothing, I remember when the first Matrix film ended that way I was bitterly disappointed because I realised all that quite interesting philosophical stuff was really just a backdrop to get to a point where you had a classic superhero figure with a vaguely hard SF explanation), and I do hope that McKelvie gets his wish of revisiting her in the future because it really does feel like it's only the beginning.
Buffy S8 #13 This is mostly about Xander and Dracula, which surprised me a bit but was good fun, particularly Andrew's exposition lecture. Very surprised by the revelation that Xander went to live with him for a few months after Anya's death. The "Dracula is racist" stuff was discomfiting, but intentionally so ... And the big ending, where the Japanese vamps have got something that depowers Slayers, looks like it could go somewhere really interesting both in terms of upsetting the new status quo in general and tying in to Twilight's agenda in particular.
There was a little bit about the Buffy/Satsu thing, with Willow giving her take (she thinks they both took advantage of the other, and wants to know what Buffy's like in bed -- there's more than a suggestion of Willow being attracted to Buffy but in a mature, not expecting anything to come of it way), and also a moment where Buffy pulls rank on Satsu when she's making a perfectly good suggestion (which I interpret to be her desperately trying to show that she's not favouring her, since there are a number of other people present). I still think it's not going to end well, because Buffy's relationships never do.
Mighty Avengers #12 I don't normally bother with Mighty Avengers because they're the In The Wrong guys from Civil War but having been informed that Secret Invasion Mighty Avengers is actually "Nick Fury: The Untold Story" I was all over it like a four-year-old child with a particularly cuddly puppy. We discover that Nick found out about the Skrulls shortly after Secret War and this knowledge was his motivation for everything since, which, well, makes sense. I am looking forward to finding out what he thought was going on during Civil War, given that he did help the Secret Avengers ... That wall at the end with photos of big characters, some with rings round them, is exactly the sort of thing to get the internet buzzing, and I am not immune because OMG he drew a red circle round Stephen Strange and I do not think that is going to end well. Maybe red circle = "definitely not a Skrull", blue circle = "definitely a Skrull" and everyone else he's not sure about yet. (Most hopeful hope on the Doc front: The Fricking Watcher went and talked to him during his silly sitting-out-Civil-War-at-the-Pole thing and I think Uatu of all people should have been able to tell if he was a shapeshifting alien, yo.)
I also read the trade of that Cornell chappy's Wisdom because I'm going to give Captain Britain and MI:13 a go during Secret Invasion. It's very Cornell, being all about England's Dreaming and so forth (there's only one moment where it really goes overboard, with the implicit valorisation of the village that decides it's important to stay living on top of a giant's head even after the giant's woken up), but it's got a lightness of touch and a fast pace to it (I have decided that my favourite mode of comics storytelling is individual incidents wrapped up in a single issue that lead in to bigger plotlines that then get a two-to-three issue arc to tie themselves up, which this fits into perfectly) that made it rattle along entertainingly. Wisdom himself's a bit annoying, but his team are great -- Maureen (her response to discovering that crystals are real: "I'm going to have to apologise to a bunch of tossers. For this, I blame you.") and John the Skrull (the John Lennon of the Skrull Beatles, an attempt to take over pop culture in the '60s, which should be interesting in Secret Invasion) are my two faves. The one drawback is that, being Marvel Max, it's allowed to have sex in it, which means we see Cornell's rather sniggery approach to the topic on display. Since I'm assuming the MI:13 ongoing will be mainstream Marvel it should have all of the good and none of that stuff, so I'm very much looking forward to it.
Oh, and I've been catching up on Blue Beetle in trade. I love Jaime, I really really do. And Brenda. And Paco. And Jaime/Traci (that phone call where she's advising him whilst engaged in a sword fight with a skeleton was completely for the win). Best teen superheroics since Buffy S1-3.