After a recent post around more comics-related content, and comics reviews, here on Steem, of course it is important to put my foot where my mouth is and as they say, lead from the front. Maybe I’m not the ideal example, but I’m not just an armchair critic.

So the first question which came to mind was what comic would be fitting? And to be honest, I already had given that away in the URL of my post introducing comics reviews.

While on Steem(it), the platform where everybody came for the money first, what better series to review than one which focuses on money and the world surrounding it.

Because, boy, do I love some meta stuff.

The Black Monday Murders Vol. 1, by Jonathan Hickman

“MAMMON” ALL HAIL GOD MONEY!
——-
From JONATHAN HICKMAN and TOMM COKER comes a new crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money… and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it. THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels who control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep ALL OF US in our proper place.

What Should I Know?

To be honest, there’s nothing one should know to pick up The Black Monday Murders. It is a new series, totally stand-alone, without any prequel or any past work by the team this title follows on.

Well, maybe, you should know that Johnathan Hickman is quite the world-builder. In fact, he’s also rather the big deal, especially at house MARVEL.

Of course, being a big deal also means that his work isn’t down everyone’s alley. And let’s be entirely honest here: his corpus is a mixed bag.

Why The Black Monday Murders?

The solicit. Does anyone need anything more?

We are promised the occult, Russian vampires, Black popes, American Aristocrats and the IMF. All about the money. All hail God Mammon!

Plus it’s a noir. A crypto-noir, whatever the latter may mean. But it has crypto in the term so surely some will now be drooling out of their mouth already. Just give me the noir part, tyvm.

Enough Already, Get Going!

Glad to have your attention.

In a gritty, immediately both noir and confrontational, even “WTF!?”-way Hickman and artist Tomm Coker open the Black Monday Murders and gradually introduce the reader to three different timelines, traveling between Wall Street and eventually also Eastern Europe.

When I did say that Hickman is quite the world-builder, at no time in his work is this more obvious than in the Black Monday Murders as both world and character development go well beyond the first four issues covered in this collected Volume 1: All Hail, God Mammon, yet the pacing is excellent. That not alone because of the numerous WTF-moments Hickman takes us through.

Helped by at times almost claustrophobic feeling colors of Michael Garland, Hickman takes us from surprise to surprise, through an ever deeper and darker world, leading to an occult scheme within the Caina-Kankrin network, at the center of which the famous financial family the Rothschilds operates.

As is often the case with awesome comics, there is most definitely a part of timely sense in Hickman’s Black Monday Murders, all of this piqued by the woven-in occult elements and naturally cold-blooded characters.

Pun intended.

– In God we Trust –

The saliant element that Hickman takes us, almost simultaneously at times, through three different timelines, between the 1929 Wall Street Crash and the now, merely adds to the intrigue. Especially given the maintained ruthlessness in the world of God Mammon.

As we are shown more, traveling these different timelines and places, the reader quickly comes to realize how much the 0.01% controls and keeps everyone in place, albeit in a fictional setting here.

Yet, the timely sense and even Steem-metaness are undeniable.

Of course, as always, such power of control and domination has its price. In the world of Caina-Kankrin this price is human blood sacrifice.

Due to its complexity, and the degree of skill with which Hickman interweaves the different timelines, it becomes very difficult not to call the Black Monday Murders a masterpiece.

Albeit one with a subject which may hit too close to home for many, and rather than discover the beauty of the noir many economists will cry foul at Hickman’s writing and conspiracies but let’s not forget the Black Monday Murders are a fictional work.

Although about money.

– There’s only one God –

– And his name is Mammon –

Combined with in your face gritty artwork, the Black Monday Murders are a must read for anybody who loves a dark thriller or just wants a gripping story.

Without wanting to give away any more, let us tell you there will be many WTFs when reading the Black Monday Murders.

All of which are totally worth it.

TL;DR

Think Lost. Now think even more complicated. Now get frustrated for a bit, then curious, then less frustrated and then hooked. Now you’ve got it.
Lukas Holmes

Best of all, the first chapter is merely the setup for what follows next. Marvelous complexity typical of Hickman’s best works. The art is gripping, awesomely gritty and claustrophobic even. A real winner.

All combined, an absolutely delicious cocktail for lovers of intelligent noir.

Publisher: Image Comics
Print: $19.99
Digital: $7.99
Vol. Published: January 25, 2017


This post was first published to the Steem blockchain on October 30, 2017