The Black Monday Murders #1 (Image)



CREDIT: Image Comics

Rating: 4.5/5 – Supernatural Power Behind the Culture of Greed.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

All Hail God Mammon.  We hear it multiple times in this debut issue.  Mammon being the debasing influence the unrelenting pursuit of material gain brings to man, and often personified as one of the Princes of Hell, the deity of those who worship wealth above all else.  Seem familiar?  He should really be the patron saint of the International banking and stock market community who make a a hefty portion of the 1%.  In this story, Hickman is there in all his glory weaving an incredibly intricate story that has Mammon as a potentially literal god who must not only be worshiped, but must also be sacrificed to.

Hickman has developed an intricate symbology and set of characters who are the shadow cabinet pulling the strings at the top of the pyramid of the ultra rich.  This is augmented with some historical touchpoints and facts that lend gravitas to the story.  Tomm Coker’s art is a perfect match for portraying the grim world of money and power hungry individuals Hickman is presenting to his readership.  This is not a glamorous world of the ultra-rich.  It is dark and it is scary.  And the lengths they will go to in order to stay rich and powerful is a dark twist on the typical route populated by scary operatives in suits who will do anything to cover up for their masters.  This ruling cabal has to take responsibility on itself when things go wrong.  The Black Monday Murders mixes supernatural intrigue with death and the subsequent murder investigation, and then throws in a lot of super rich bastards for us all to take a real dislike to.

I’m a big fan of Hickman’s creations.  He puts a lot of effort into fleshing out his worlds and giving his audience their money’s worth.  This is not a light read.  I put in a medium amount of effort and came away with a lot of questions about what is hinted at and a desire to learn more about the Board of Caina as the series progresses.  Those who want to spend the time will find a lot to be run down based on the wealth of information laid out in this issue on the text pages interspersed throughout the story as well as in the story itself.  This is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s the exact kind of thing that makes a Hickman series interesting to me.  I really want to see where he’s going to go with this, his commentary on the global markets of 2016 as parallels to 1929 and 1987 will be fascinating reading.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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