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.
The realities of Hollywood are a strange thing. It can chew you up and eat you alive. For Farrah Durante, this is becoming more and more obvious as the middle-aged actress does everything she can to land her next big role. This is further complicated by a terrifying force that has attached itself to her and doesn't have much of an affinity for the culture Farrah has surrounded herself with.
One of the most interesting series out there has added another issue to their story with the release of Cryptocracy #3. The story of the nine families that secretly rule the world has been a unique experience to read thus far, especially given that it’s taken on a completely different plot than I expected.
In one of the more touching blocks at this year's HollyShorts, this selection of films focused on films made by members of the disabled community. It's a beautiful look at some of the members of this community and the wonderfully creative spirits they have as artists.
Another block of incredible films came in on Friday, with several major projects coming together beautifully. Despite it being another smaller block, these films really captured some of the creative spirits of these talented artists.
While there wasn't a major theme to the Friday blocks of this year's HollyShorts, there were still plenty of amazing films to see and enjoy. With only a few films in this block, each is an incredibly special look into the creativity of some terrific filmmakers.