Man. So much to say about this great week, and I even, apparently, missed an issue of New Avengers! Damn.
Buffy: Riley Special - Waaaay better than expected. Riley has a great discussion with his wife, before joining Twilight. Their conversation is amazing, and really captured the feel of their relationship from the one episode we saw the two of them in. Also, we see Angel (as Twilight, with special font for his speech bubbles) talking to Whistler! Whistler?!? Yep, that's right. This seems like a super important point, something that needs to get brought up in the main book and I'll be surprised if it doesn't. The wait for the new Buffy issue (September 1?) now seems, even though it's just a short amount of time, almost insufferable. I'm pretty sure that we're into the final arc at this point, and my only question is: How long will we have to wait for Season 9?
Ex Machina 50 - The most controversial ending since LOST? I mean, this one was a pulling of the rug, it was a twisting of the knife, it was...shocking, to say the least. I read a lot of people saying that they were definitely disturbed, but only a handful saying that they hated it or even disliked it. It was a tough pill to swallow, and it was nowhere near as satisfying as Y: The Last Man's ending (which stands up in my mind as one of the best ending of all time, successfully raising the entire level of the series) but it had some similarities. My friend Mindy said that Mayor Mitchell Hundred was "Yorick in a suit, with green glowy things on his face," and compared him (100) to George Clooney. Pretty funny stuff.
As for the issue itself, I'm not going to spoil specifics for those who haven't read it yet, or are reading in TPB form. Suffice it to say that this is an ending no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It also pulls a Y: The Last Man in a way, because it really made me think that maybe I should go back and re-read the whole thing, look for signs that it was headed this way. It changed my outlook on the Mayor, on the other characters, and on the series as a whole. The splash page was instant-classic. In my opinion, all of the loose threads (that I cared about or care enough about to remember) were taken care of, and it feels like this is definitely the story that Brian K. Vaughn set out to tell.
I just can't tell if that's a good thing or bad.
Fables 97 - The story of Rose Red just gets better and better and better. After what I thought was a slow start, this mini-story has gotten to the very definition of a slow burn. Rose Red and Snow White's early history is being detailed, sure, but there's so much more to it. Who was the figure portraying itself as her mother (and as the pig's head before that)? Someone sufficiently impressive so as to render Rose essentially speechless. Rose is being groomed to become a major player again, and Bigby looks like he's going the other way. The confrontation with the Dark Man is coming to a head and damn it's gonna be good. Great issue.
Green Lantern Corps 51 - The story of the Cyborg Superman continues. It's good, I suppose. I like Ganthet as a Green Lantern, I like the fact that Kyle and Jon and trapped and having to do some unusual thinking, but I just can't convince myself that I love this book, or this storyline. I'm not sure if it's a post-Blackest Night, ongoing-Brightest Day haze or what, but I'm not feeling the Green Lantern comics at all at this point. Still didn't pick up Emerald Warriors, and don't really like the main book, either. In this one, we learn that Henshaw (surprise) still wants to die, and he thinks that Ganthet can kill Alpha Lanterns, so...you know, he turned himself into one. I don't know. It's not a bad story. I'm just not feeling it.
It might be a shock, in a week with Buffy and Fables, but comic of the week has to go to the stunning conclusion of Ex Machina. That book punched me right in the chest and, after two re-reads, I still haven't recovered. Worth every single penny, maybe for all the wrong reasons. Go get it.