New format time! Let's try this.


I go to my local comics shop on Wednesdays, sometimes skipping and going on every other Wednesday. This week, among the stuff I'd be picking up is the Previews catalog, which might be the most technologically backwards thing that I do. It's a catalog for comics that will be in comics stores three months from now. Most of its contents is published online. So why do I buy it? Because I assume that I would miss stuff if I only looked at online lists, and because you can't dog-ear a webpage and then tear the pages out for the comics that miss their shipping date, so you can then stuff those pages in the next month's catalog. It makes sense to me, but at $4.50 it's a waste.

Anyway, the new Previews is in comic shops today.

Also in shops is the final issue of Blackest Night, the conclusion to the latest worlds-will-never-be-the-same mini-series from DC Comics. I've mostly read DC crossovers in my comics-reading lifetime. The 1998 three-issue Invasion! was my favorite, which I'm sure is due to a) nostalgia b) my love of Keith Giffen's art c) its simple plot that any 12-year-old boy could love: nine alien races team up to invade the Earth and go to war against the world's super-heroes (including Spider-Man, if you were looking really closely). I fondly recall Crisis on Infinite Earths and Legends, believe that Millennium grew on me, can barely remember Genesis, The Final Night, Underworld Unleashed and War of the Gods, so I assume those were bad. Identity Crisis was ruined by its ending. Infinite Crisis seemed pointless even for one of these kinds of stories. Final Crisis and DC One Million were written by Grant Morrison, so I believe I'm incapable of disliking them.

None of these comics can be judged best when they're coming out, so I'm not sure how to assess Blackest Night yet. It's sort of a super-hero-zombies story mixed with the fun, silly science-fiction of the many different color variations of the Green Lantern Corps and their red/yellow/orange/blue/indigo/pink/black brethren. Like many of the comics by Geoff Johns that I've read, it is quick to deploy death and resurrection as signals that Something Important is happening. Still, let's see where this goes. I've enjoyed a chunk of it and assume it will lead into a bunch of resurrections in the announced Brightest Day mini-series that follows.


The big video game comic this week is God of War #1. I got a copy yesterday from publisher DC/Wildstorm but haven't read it yet. I will, because it is my duty, but I am not the prime candidate for spin-off material. I don't trust it. Then again, I read Lostpedia after watching Lost, which is kind of like reading spin-off material. So maybe I should be more open-minded. Crisis on Infinite Earths writer Marv Wolfman is telling this story. Here's the official summary:

The blockbuster Playstation game comes to life at WildStorm courtesy of writer Marv Wolfman (CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS)! Dive into the story behind what makes Kratos, the lead in the video game, a God of War. From his Spartan childhood, to the battles and tragedies that define him, to the war with the gods he currently wages, GOD OF WAR delivers the back-story fans have been clamoring for. And beware anyone who stands in his way...whether they be god, barbarian, or minotaur matters not. Kratos is prepared to destroy all who oppose him!


Sound good?


There's also a new Sonic comic this week, Sonic The Hedgehog #211. Here's the official Archie Comics summary, which makes this just about the 211th Sonic comic summary I don't understand:

"The Roads We Take": The fallout from the "Iron Dominion" saga continues to settle as our heroes deal with the aftermath and face some tough choices ahead. What secrets will Sonic and Tails find in the seemingly abandoned EggDome? Will Espio finally confront his former teammates, the Chaotix? Will Princess Sally make a final choice of who to set her heart on? The answers to these and other questions await in this intriguing tale!


If you want to believe EA — do we? — there's also a Dragon Age comic out now. I got an e-mail about it. They've got Orson Scott Card writing it, and, of course, they've got an official summary. Here you go:

Dragon Age issue #1 will take readers to Thedas, a world where war has ravaged the land and mages once ruled through their mastery of dark arts and forbidden spells. Their lust for power nearly destroyed all existence when they unleashed the darkspawn, an unholy pestilence bent on the destruction of all life. Today, magic is carefully controlled, and rogue mages are hunted and put down with ruthless efficiency. These dangerous arts are taught only within the confines of the prison-like Circle of Magi, and monitored by the ever-vigilant Templars. Against this grim backdrop, a new generation of Mages must become masters, defy the Templars, and face a foe determined to bring about the annihilation of the world.


You can read five pages of it for free, if you'd like. EA's announcement indicates that you don't have to go to a comics shop to get the rest. Check for it on iTunes or on the PSP. I have barely made a dent in the game, though, so the comic? I gotta wait.

Now I didn't put foil on this edition of This Week In Comics. I didn't release alternate covers. Still, are we okay with this? Work in progress, but I think I'm done with the gallery format. Let me know, comics readers.

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