I’ll have to begin with a disclaimer. I’m a bit of a fan of Hickman’s work. The last of the Marvel epics that captured my attention was his last work with Marvel, and I’m still eagerly waiting on the conclusion to his SHIELD title. But it’s his work away from the house of ideas that’s more recently made me a fan. East of west, a end of days tale in a strange techno apocalypse world and the rather disturbing but inventive alternate reality tale taking place in The Manhattan Projects, both were the first books of his outside of Marvel that I picked up, here years later, I’m still following them, when many other titles have been dropped from my list.
His stories have the ability that make your head spin, your mind boggle and at times, frustrate you as a reader to no end. There’s twists you’ll never see coming and characters that make you wonder who he wants you to root for, if anyone. One of his newest titles, Black Monday Murders seems to be continuing these trends. After only one issue (Note: there are now four issues out, I’m behind) the creep factor is high, the suspense real and the characters feel like they have a real depth to them.
What more could you want in your comic than a cult that worships money, murder mysteries and a horror/thriller/noir vibe that leaves the last pages lingering in your mind? So far the title has me confused, interested and wanting more, the small and not so small notations in the margins, combined with the “history” briefs scattered throughout add to the feeling that this is a well thought out world that has a history we as the readers just aren’t aware of yet. This isn’t new to Hickman’s books (or any other book), there’s often historical notations or whole groups of pages tied together with briefs on the people, places and events of the world the title is set in. I’m not always drawn in by this, in fact sometimes I find it distracting, but here it works as well as ever. Black Monday Murders has a dark charm to it that draws you in and holds you.
Now for the faults….
Reading issue one made me feel like I maybe missed something. It’s a dense world, filled with complicated characters, and when I first started out I felt like I’d missed an issue. Hickman has a tendency to drop you in the middle of things and given time you’ll sort it out, but here I felt almost as if it were a follow up to a title I’d not read or heard of before. By the end of the issue I was left with the notion that things will clear up in the issues to come, but it could be enough to turn some readers off. Black Monday murders makes my watch list for anyone who loves a good mystery, or thriller. For those of us who love Hickman’s previous work, I say it’s Pull Worthy.
Good characters that come of strong in the first issue right from the beginning, a complicated dense world that feels as though it’s been living long before the first page was written, and artwork by Tomm Coker that perfectly fits the title and adds to the chilling story. Coker’s striking lines are matched by perfectly suited colors by Michael Garland.
I’ll be picking up actual reviews of this title with Issue 2 & 3 in a combined review soon. PW
Issue #1, Image, Mature: The Black Monday Murders is exciting, a complicated and dark thriller that left me wanting more. 8.5/10
Taken from the Image site: “MAMMON” ALL HAIL GOD MONEY! From JONATHAN HICKMAN (EAST OF WEST, Secret Wars, Avengers) and TOMM COKER (UNDYING LOVE) 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.