And also, comics! (I cut because I spoil and because you're probably bored.)
Somehow I missed this last week. It is rather lovely, despite getting England about as right as the Ralph Fiennes/Uma Thurman film version of The Avengers (and it's clearly that version that the otherwise nifty Jeanty cover is a callout to (the details of the clothing make it obvious); however, it's once again a much nicer cover than the Chen cheesecake -- I am consistently when presented with the choice choosing the Jeanty, and don't really understand why people are so squeeful over Chen's work; it's not bad but it's not utter awesome either). Great Faith stuff, though I'm a bit worried Giles is being taken off the board (at least for now), and Jeanty's comics-versions-not-likenesses thing makes the very first page fall flat until you turn over and realise that's Wilkins. The final two pages tying into the arc plot are intriguing, and Lt Molter's taking-no-supernatural-crap attitude is a well-done way of making you like her a bit very quickly.
Now, that's more like it. So many wonderful moments here, almost too many, such that some of them don't have room to breathe, but the bit that really stood out for me was Coast City turning itself green. That's the sort of everyone-standing-together thing that short-circuits itself to tribal bits of my brain that I always forget I have. I almost cried. And of course the cosmic scale stuff of Ganthet and Syad finally spilling on the whole emotional spectrum thing was guaranteed to make me happy (though it does give me a slight sense of "well, now that's set in stone it's somehow less mythic", but only a slight one -- and they have been building it for a good long while), but the fact that they introduce all that and then at the end of the issue fulfil the Hope bit and set up the idea that actually it's not the whole picture, because the Black Lanterns are coming -- yes, that is good "always more after that" SFnal mind expansion stuff. Splendid.
Nova continues to be decent; it all seems a bit too easily wrapped up, to be honest, but Cosmo's great and I'm glad Gamora and Drax are still on his tail. I'm a bit worried that we're setting Nova up to be the Main Plot Coupon for Annihilation: Conquest, which I think could leave people who aren't reading this feeling legitimately cheated if so, since it's not branded as part of the event, but I'm probably completely wrong.
I picked up a full set of back issues from Civil War onwards a couple of weeks back and zoomed through them, and I'd been wondering how that cliffhanger would resolve itself -- I'm slightly annoyed with myself for not figuring out it was Doctor Strange, to be honest. I love the team dynamic of these guys, especially the oneupmanship over the in-battle banter, and Doc's generally not-really-a-team-player-ness. I don't find the Hood all that impressive looking in his human form, though, which may be part of the point but when he's getting final pages all to himself is a bit of a shame.
I also bought Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now, which wasn't nearly as good as the time it was about the sysadmins trying to reestablish world government after the apocalypse using the Usenet voting protocols, but still rather charming. Very good aliens.