Being back in the world of Alex De Campi's Bankshot is a good feeling, though not one I've yet to fully understand. After last issue, we saw Marcus King - and how he became the unstoppable force he is - repaired by a controversial and dangerous science after being shot in the back and left for dead. Paralyzed, he was given a second chance and the ability to walk again, with some upgrades. Now, he fights for himself, with both the American government and his biggest adversary, a man known as the Dutchman, out to stop him. The only problem is that this is harder to gauge than is preferred.

Sallot "Sal" Leon’s only motivation is avenging the loss of their family, friends, and country.  As the last-known living Nacean, Sal’s primary motivations are survival…and revenge against the nobles that abandoned their country to the shadows.  Petty thieves don’t have much access to nobility, but a chance carriage robbery garners a flyer advertising auditions for one of the Queen’s assassins, Opal, which could open the doors of the palace to a crafty, ruthless thief with an agenda.

Ion Grip is a futuristic tale that mixes government spy agencies and space adventures into one. The story is filled with classic ray guns, intergalactic action sequences, vibrant colors, and a main character who sometimes fails to win a fight.

IDW's Donald and Mickey reads less like old stories involving the characters and more like a cross of stories between the old '60s Batman television series and Hannah Barbara cartoons like Scooby-Doo which became infamous. Of course, these stories obviously have Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse in them, but it's a tad confusing when the villain in Mickey's story seems similar to both The Riddler and a random ghoul from an episode of Scooby-Doo. In one direct reference, writer Andrea Castellan makes in "The Big Fat Flat Blot Plot," she names one of the cops as Chief O'Hara, a character who had great fame in Batman on Fox during the 1960s.



A look into history is something that will always be popular, as so many of us love to find out what happened to those who came before us and share the stories of those who helped to pave the way for what we have now. These stories take a look at some of those people and events that helped to shape our world in one way or another.

An unusual category for a short film festival, this category featured a bunch of short pilots for television shows not yet being made. Mostly set as comedies, these shows are brief glimpses into what could be the next generation of television shows, and for the most part, that is a bright future, based on what was shown here.

This year's drama entries were nothing short of beautiful and well worth their name. Featuring some well-known names and some surprising newcomers, this was a mix of the darkly funny, the wonderfully aching, and the occasionally uncomfortable. It was nothing short of a beautiful mix of emotions and premises that really spoke to the heart.

Well, do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Working in comedy can be high risk yet high reward, as it can all depend on your ability to get a certain reaction out of an audience. Plus, humor is very subjective, which makes it a great form of entertainment, but sometimes hard to pull off. Dark comedy, a sub-genre that blends comedic stylings with something a bit more unique, can be even more challenging, as it takes very taboo topics and depicts them in a funny and entertaining way, or puts a new spin on some well-worn comedic styles. The group of filmmakers at this year's HollyShorts were able to blend humor and discomfort very well, making for some very interesting films. As one of my favorite blocks as a whole of this year's festival, each film really brought something to the table.

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