Russ Pirozek, Fanbase Press Contributor

Russ Pirozek, Fanbase Press Contributor

Once again, a new arc of The Wicked + The Divine has begun, and with it comes one of the more interesting additions to the lore of the gods and their brief, but exciting, lifespans.

The fight against the Nine Families rages on with the release of Cryptocracy #5. While the last issue ended on the pretty heavy cliffhanger of the demise of Nick, the leader of the Mars family, with this issue, we get to see the consequences of that act.

The next installment of Image Comics' sci-fi mystery, Hadrian's Wall, is here once again in its second of eight parts. With the accidental death of crew member and former friend Edward Madigan, our protagonist Simon Moore has entered the purview of those who live and work on the survey ship, Hadrian's Wall. This, as it was shown in the last issue, is a problem for many reasons and for many people, including Edward's wife Annabelle, who just happens to have an ex-husband – Simon.

Hollywood is a ridiculous and soul-draining place - especially, it seems, for those looking to make a name for themselves in the acting world. This seems to be especially true for Farrah Durante, a past-her-prime actress who, despite her success on a Star Trek-like science fiction show, has seen the spotlight on her dim.

Starring: Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Erik LaRay Harvey, Rosario Dawson, Alfre Woodard.

“Who could have thought a black man in a hoodie could be a hero?”

The above quote doesn't come until the end of the series, but it's an apt one. With the release of Marvel's Luke Cage on Netflix, the story of the “bulletproof black man” is something that is not only relevant in terms of the series, but of the world as a whole. While Cage has been around since 1972 (when he was imagined by George Tuska, Archie Goodwin, and John Romita Jr.), his presence is just as important now as it's ever been, if not more so.

In the months that have come since the release of Van Jensen and Pete Woods' Cryptocracy, one of the stranger books I've ever read has continued to get stranger and stranger. With the Nine's existence revealed and their influence on the world realized, the lives of both those who live outside the sphere of influence of the nine families and those who live within their ranks are at risk. This issues takes the Mars family to the Preserve, where the threats of Hum and the impending arrival of the mysterious Chronos have driven the families to war and divided the beings of the many factions that exist in this world. The reveal of their doings has also been falling on Bela, the host of a fringe conspiracy show that helped shine the light on the Cryptocracy. It's all leading to some massive shifts for Mars' Grahame and the entire tribe.

With this six issue mini-series coming to a close, I wanted to start off this review by saying how awesome this series has been. Since reading the Kickstarter-funded Leaving Megalopolis a while ago, I have absolutely loved this world and those within it. With this second installment, this book has gotten totally insane, in the best way. While I'm sad to see it go, the ending of this series points heavily towards there being more of this in the future.

Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's The Wicked + The Divine has been a massive hit throughout the twenty-two-issue run of the series thus far, and the story of the Gods that come back to life every ninety years has been some of the best in creative storytelling I've seen in a long time. With the book now on a break to get back to the normal release schedule, Gillen has teamed with artist Stephanie Hans to tell a new tale about these beloved characters during another time in their long and storied lives.

For the past seventy-five years, comic book fans have come to know and love the Batman. Since his introduction in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, the lore of the Caped Crusader has grown into a full legend, a mythos so vast and generation-spanning that even going on a century later, he's one of the most popular characters to exist in mainstream culture. With dozens of films (including animated titles), several series, and his place in the holy triumvirate of the Justice League, Batman is as ingrained in pop culture as anyone which begs the question: What about the man behind the mask, Bruce Wayne?

In television and film, “bottle episodes” or “bottle films” are an interesting way to change it up, sacrificing the dramatic changes of scenery to bring in a moody, insular atmosphere that notches up tension and focuses much more on character. In comics, since the budget for the set pieces on the page is basically infinite, this technique is rarely used, which is something that made Hadrian's Wall a very curious series. Described by writer Kyle Higgins as an “'80s sci-fi murder mystery” that is set in a single, isolated place, this series gets rid of huge, interstellar expanses in favor of a single ship and the people inside.

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