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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, Volume 1: All Hail, God Mammon is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine ba 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, Volume 1: All Hail, God Mammon 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. Collecting: The Black Monday Murders 1-4


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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, Volume 1: All Hail, God Mammon is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine ba 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, Volume 1: All Hail, God Mammon 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. Collecting: The Black Monday Murders 1-4

30 review for The Black Monday Murders, Vol. 1: All Hail, God Mammon

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    The Black Monday (as in Stock Market crash black Mondays) Murders is a beautifully drawn tale of mysticism, cannibalism and conspiracy. I won't go much more detail for fear of spoilers. It is more of the high quality dark thriller comix that we have come to expect from Kirkman's Image and if you like darker comics like Walking Dead and Outcast, you'll love this one!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    “In God We Trust” is printed on US banknotes – yeah, the god of money, Mammon! The filthy lucre is America’s true religion and its high priests preside on Wall Street. Assigned to investigate the horrific ritual murder of a banker, Noo Yawk Detective (and secret voodoo practitioner) Theo Dumas uncovers the hidden world of finance where human sacrifice, pagan practices and occult magic covertly keep the markets going and the top banks wealthy! Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker’s The Black Monday M “In God We Trust” is printed on US banknotes – yeah, the god of money, Mammon! The filthy lucre is America’s true religion and its high priests preside on Wall Street. Assigned to investigate the horrific ritual murder of a banker, Noo Yawk Detective (and secret voodoo practitioner) Theo Dumas uncovers the hidden world of finance where human sacrifice, pagan practices and occult magic covertly keep the markets going and the top banks wealthy! Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker’s The Black Monday Murders is a mixed bag. The concept of ruling banking families controlling money by worshipping an ancient bloodthirsty god is an unusual and interesting one but this first volume suffers from too much table-setting and a vague, weak opening story. We spend a lot of time meeting the main players like the rich families, their strange roles and the growing tension between them, as well as Dumas, the voodoo detective. However, as always with Hickman, he doesn’t know how to write characters readers can care about – they come off like robots or ideas masquerading as characters on the page. We jump around in time and see what really happened behind the scenes of the 1929 stock market crash, the temple to Mammon underneath the Berlin Wall in the 1980s, and the families’ internal politics throughout the 20th century – but what’s the story (morning glory)? I suppose it’s the present-day murder investigation and the families’ power-plays but these both advance very slowly – most of this volume is just set-up. Like all of Hickman’s books, this one is stylishly designed with swish-looking symbols and an aesthetic that appears to be inspired by David Fincher’s movie Se7en – fitting given the macabre and violent subject matter. However there’s also a lot of superfluous extras thrown in to pad the page-count like lists of characters, family trees, keys to symbols and their meaning, none of which I cared about or enhanced the book for me – and does every issue really need a contents page like a book!? How pretentious! You couldn’t call him unambitious or lacking in scope or vision but Hickman’s comics are usually only superficially sophisticated. Some of his format experiments are successful though, like the prose-only sections. The interview transcripts, emails and diary entries are surprisingly more entertaining that the comics sections though they compound the pacing problems and lack of a focused narrative. Tomm Coker’s realistic, gloomy art looks a bit like Sean Phillips’ noir style which is definitely a plus and the comic looks great but the visuals don’t really have much of a wow factor to stand out. The Black Monday Murders isn’t the easiest read nor is it especially gripping though it is different and its subject matter is intriguing. Patient readers willing to indulge Hickman’s overcomplicated storytelling approach might enjoy it, though, without a strong narrative or compelling characters you can become invested in, it’s definitely not for everyone and feels more like a case of style over substance.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sud666

    J Hickman hits a home run with this superb tale. I honestly picked it up due to the interesting cover and utter lack of description. I respect a comic that doesn't plaster the entire plot on the back buttressed with fawning quotes from other interested third parties. Hickman eschews such tricks and serves us a minimalist cover with a symbol on the back cover. That's it. Well that works, since it caused me to flip through the book and I was hooked! Beautifully illustrated by Tomm Coker and wonderf J Hickman hits a home run with this superb tale. I honestly picked it up due to the interesting cover and utter lack of description. I respect a comic that doesn't plaster the entire plot on the back buttressed with fawning quotes from other interested third parties. Hickman eschews such tricks and serves us a minimalist cover with a symbol on the back cover. That's it. Well that works, since it caused me to flip through the book and I was hooked! Beautifully illustrated by Tomm Coker and wonderfully colored by Michael Garland this was a good looking comic. The dark muted colors work well in this diabolical story and highlights the characters, who are better defined by the muted nature of the art style. In an interesting take, Hickman tells a tale of great Houses of Mage/Banker hybrids. Sounds weird. I know. But the basis is that the old common language was math. Math is symbols that represent something. Similar to magic. What if the great houses practiced black magic and sold their souls to gain wealth and power? Thus Mammon- the aspect of Lucifer (as Christian Doctrine stipulates the Trinity of Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father as separate entities that are also part of a greater whole. Same. Satan, Lucifer, Mammon, Asmodeus, etc are all aspects of the whole each representing a particular sin. When it comes to money and greed. Mammon IS God. Hickman than weaves a story of powerful houses trading in souls in order to earn a profit. Yet it is also a struggle about these Houses and their vying for dominance. There is a complex and deep story here. Hickman's fusion of black magic with high finance is well done. I won't spoil any more of this truly unique story. The character of Det. Teddy Dumas is superb! Also hats off to the character of Viktor Eresko is diabolically awesome. This is truly a wonderful horror tale. An unique vision that ought to be experienced and the less you know going in the better it is. A truly interesting take showing that not all comics have to be brainless action stories. Hickman's plot and prose were a pleasure to read. A true quality comic. Highly recommend to anyone. Also have to absolutely agree with the "One you started with, the one you pay for and the one for profit." idea. Superbly stated!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Hickman is great at coming up with fantastic concepts. This is another one. Ultra-rich Wall Street bankers have got there on the backs of their workers through blood sacrifice. All hail the almighty dollar giving Mammon his due. A detective gets involved when one of this cabal is murdered ritualistically. Where this falls apart some is Hickman's obtuse storytelling. The story is filled with time jumps and a gazillion characters thrown at you. Conversations between characters reference things you Hickman is great at coming up with fantastic concepts. This is another one. Ultra-rich Wall Street bankers have got there on the backs of their workers through blood sacrifice. All hail the almighty dollar giving Mammon his due. A detective gets involved when one of this cabal is murdered ritualistically. Where this falls apart some is Hickman's obtuse storytelling. The story is filled with time jumps and a gazillion characters thrown at you. Conversations between characters reference things you feel like you missed, as if two pages were stuck together. This has potential to be great, it's just not there yet. This is another Hickman series that leaves you felling that you will be better served reading once it's complete and you can read it straight through. Tomm Coker provides some of the best moody, inky work of his career.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donovan

    Dreadfully boring. I feel like Hickman is doing a Brubaker Fatale impression. But rather than death cults and lovers it's investment bankers. Whoever said "you had me at investment bankers"? I just couldn't connect with the story or any of this sprawling cast.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Me and Georgia (daughter, back from university) were in town so we naturally went to Page 45, the comix shop – here it is It has a ton of stuff we would both love to buy (she likes her manga, I like my political memoirs) but of course graphic novels are so expensive. We feel bad mooching around and looking at a lot of really great stuff and not ever buying anything, so we both determined to get something. I got The Black Monday Murders Vol 1, it was half price due to very slight creasing on the c Me and Georgia (daughter, back from university) were in town so we naturally went to Page 45, the comix shop – here it is It has a ton of stuff we would both love to buy (she likes her manga, I like my political memoirs) but of course graphic novels are so expensive. We feel bad mooching around and looking at a lot of really great stuff and not ever buying anything, so we both determined to get something. I got The Black Monday Murders Vol 1, it was half price due to very slight creasing on the cover. I didn’t know anything about it. But the artwork looked gorgeous. So now having read it I have a problem with the rating. The art is But the story – however engagingly fragmentedly it is dished up – is tedious, tiresome, and grotesquely unoriginal, filled with portentous bombastic dialogue like You’re going to learn very quickly how insignificant the rules you have lived by truly are. What we do falls outside all societal rules. If the truth would kill a man, Alexei, then that man must die. I have been where you are. Staring into the abyss. I want you to know you can still step away from the ledge. Exactly what they are blathering about so alpha maleishly and deeply disturbingly is not ever made clear, except that it’s got sumpin to do with the very foundations of capitalism, the stock market, the cabal of bankers that really run the whole shooting match, the Rothschilds, and, oh, yeah, human sacrifice. Cue a lot of eyerolling. Eyes were rolling all over the place. Some of them rolled right into the abyss. But that art is to die for. Or to human sacrifice for, whichever.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Artemy

    I don't consider myself a Jonathan Hickman fan, but I really admire what he does — his comics are usually very unique, and have tons of great ideas and concepts. I just feel like more often than not, he gets too in love with his concepts and doesn't give enough attention to writing a good story, especially in his indie books. And The Black Monday Murders, while one of his better creator-owned efforts, is still no different. The idea of a crazy cult of rich people who orchestrate stock market cra I don't consider myself a Jonathan Hickman fan, but I really admire what he does — his comics are usually very unique, and have tons of great ideas and concepts. I just feel like more often than not, he gets too in love with his concepts and doesn't give enough attention to writing a good story, especially in his indie books. And The Black Monday Murders, while one of his better creator-owned efforts, is still no different. The idea of a crazy cult of rich people who orchestrate stock market crashes, practice some ancient money magic and pray to Mammon, the evil god of wealth? That sounds awesome! And yet, what we actually get in this book is a story about a bunch of rich douchebags with fake russian names not-so-secretly hating each other, and a very convoluted plot about some behind the scenes machinations that went completely over my head. Still, I can't say that I didn't enjoy the book. I read this volume in one sitting despite its length and wordiness, and when I was done, I wanted more. Something about this story just feels compelling, like it's building up to something big, and I really want to find out what it is. The slow pacing, the themes of morally corrupt rich people, frightening murders, the occult, all coupled with Tomm Coker's and Michael Garland's beautiful moody artwork makes The Black Monday Murders feel like watching a David Fincher movie. Which isn't a bad thing as far as I'm concerned! The Black Monday Murders is a solid book, even if it's sometimes confusing and its characters are unappealing. I really hope that All Hail, God Mammon is just a set up, and it will get much better as the series goes along, so I will definitely check out volume 2 when it's out.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    Actual rating: 3.5 A truly cinematic work; the entire volume could easily transition into the television or film mediums. While I won't spend any time trying to explain the purposefully convoluted and complex plot, I will say that I lapped up every bit of this book. It's brimming with a sinister flare throughout, with a creeping sort of dread that permeates each page. The amount of information to ingest, and the flurry of characters and whiplash time jumps can be irksome, though. I had difficulty Actual rating: 3.5 A truly cinematic work; the entire volume could easily transition into the television or film mediums. While I won't spend any time trying to explain the purposefully convoluted and complex plot, I will say that I lapped up every bit of this book. It's brimming with a sinister flare throughout, with a creeping sort of dread that permeates each page. The amount of information to ingest, and the flurry of characters and whiplash time jumps can be irksome, though. I had difficulty keeping track of all the names and characters. Even when much of the info is explicitly explained, it still doesn't make it any easier to fully comprehend, because this is a tricky, meandering piece of work. It should be said, too, that this felt like more of a prologue to the volumes/issues to come. We're given much of the build-up to subsequent (potentially more entertaining) events. Not to say that this volume felt in any way "boring", as some have said. I soaked up every bit of the ritualistic puzzle my brain could handle. All that aside, and even with the trouble of not understanding thoroughly the entire storyline, I couldn't help but be intrigued. The neo-noir setting meshed well with the eerie tones presented, and bolstered more by writing that felt at once both coolly-distant and slithering (which I'm using as a verb here to indicate how coiled, guarded, but all the same intimidating, much like a rattlesnake). The artwork is what I expected to find with a plot such as this, but the coloring is what made it appear so, again, cinematic: lots of black and white, shades of blues, stark reds and browns and gray... dark tones that in another's hands could've been muddied, but here stand clean with purpose. (If you've ever seen the movie Se7en, you'll have a general idea of what I mean). Initially, I was worried The Black Monday Murders would lose my interest, because who really wants to read about wealthy investment bankers controlling cash flow? But introduce to that the occult and conspiracies, demonic familiars, ancient languages, warped theology and a police procedural... and I'm hooked! A part of me felt like I was reading a serialized episode of Hannibal, and that made me love it even more. It's bleak, bloody, and darker than black, and I'm ready for more!

  9. 4 out of 5

    L. McCoy

    I am a huge fan of Hickman. He’s one of the best writers in comics. East of West is the best current comic series (and I will get into a snarky, kinda stupid internet comments war if someone in the comments starts talking s*** about it- I try to avoid stuff like that so that should tell you how passionate I am about it), his New Avengers run is great, The Nightly News is freaking brilliant and Hickman’s work has inspired a lot of my book ideas. So I tried this- the Hickman story that’s been gett I am a huge fan of Hickman. He’s one of the best writers in comics. East of West is the best current comic series (and I will get into a snarky, kinda stupid internet comments war if someone in the comments starts talking s*** about it- I try to avoid stuff like that so that should tell you how passionate I am about it), his New Avengers run is great, The Nightly News is freaking brilliant and Hickman’s work has inspired a lot of my book ideas. So I tried this- the Hickman story that’s been getting TONS of hype since it came out and... yeah, not as impressive as I thought it would be. What’s it about? Boy, that’s a tricky question, it’s such a strange book. Pretty much, some very strange murdery s*** has been happening involving rich people and it turns out those rich people are into some crazy s*** involving murder and supernatural stuff that will make you never see Shark Tank the same way again. 🦈 Pros: The story is very interesting and well written. The art is very well done and it fits the tone of this book extremely well. There’s lots of suspense in this one and you can never tell what kinda crazy stuff is coming! I like the general weirdness of some parts of this book. The dialogue is very well done. The ending is a great cliffhanger ending. Cons: The characters aren’t interesting. It’s one of those books where it’s just like- here’s some people, story time! I don’t like that, I would like to have more background on them (there’s only one character with much background, she’s also the only character I find interesting). This book mixes comics and prose. I don’t like when comics and prose are mixed in the same book. I know I say this in a lot of reviews but if you want to write a prose book, then write a d*** prose book! I’m not gonna complain about this too much because it’s only one page, isn’t very graphic and is, I’ll admit, it was slightly hot but this book has the most out of place sex scene I have seen in a while. It’s explaining more stuff about the story until suddenly, two women f***ing and then back to explaining stuff. It had nothing to do with the story and seemed very out of nowhere, I even briefly wondered if my Hoopla app was glitching because of it. Overall: Sadly, this is Hickman’s weakest work I’ve read. Though it is Hickman’s weakest I still enjoyed it and plan on reading volume 2! Is this something that I’m going to go recommend to a bunch of people? No. Is it hyped up more than it should be? Definitely. Is it good? Yes. 4/5

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    I think I just might not be a fan of Hickman’s work. This one is maybe the third or fourth series I have tried, and if I tell you a little about it, you will probably see that it is ambitious and be as intrigued as I was, but I finally just wasn’t that engaged in it. It is described by the publisher as “crypto-noir about the power of dirty, filthy money. . . and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it.” The Black Monday Murders (as in 1929’s Black Monday Stock Market crash) ties Wall Str I think I just might not be a fan of Hickman’s work. This one is maybe the third or fourth series I have tried, and if I tell you a little about it, you will probably see that it is ambitious and be as intrigued as I was, but I finally just wasn’t that engaged in it. It is described by the publisher as “crypto-noir about the power of dirty, filthy money. . . and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it.” The Black Monday Murders (as in 1929’s Black Monday Stock Market crash) ties Wall Street (and international money generally) historically from 1929 to 1985 to today with the occult, where greed and human sacrifice combine to make a bleak view of Capitalism, bleaker than we knew. The “thriller” aspect of this is that a detective (who also just happens to be into voodoo), Theo Dumas, uncovers this hidden world, so we investigate as he investigates this dark underground mystery. Aesthetically it is dark and gloomy though textured interestingly with prose-only segments, in multiple genres such as diaries and email messages, and then there’s all these occult symbols that show up everywhere, but I have to say again in spite of all these elements, it was just not that engaging. The ideas are compelling, sure, but the story lacks, the characterization lacks. Partly, I suppose, because it is a difficult narrative, pretty deliberatively and postmodernly incoherent in places. But give me Brubaker or Kindt for mashing up thriller with the occult, as in Kindt’s terrific Mind Management series or Brubaker’s Femme Fatale or the current and splendid Kill or Be Killed.

  11. 5 out of 5

    RG

    Updated I read this a second time amd really dug it. Maybe it just needed that 2nd read to really understand the world. Hickman and Coker have created a very well written and drawn piece of art. Its dark, creepy and well structured. The world buidling was probably the storngest element in combination with the dark and creepy colour tones of the artwork. I just didnt find the plot engaging. I was just waiting for that particular moment to appear and hook me, but unfortunately it never did. The cha Updated I read this a second time amd really dug it. Maybe it just needed that 2nd read to really understand the world. Hickman and Coker have created a very well written and drawn piece of art. Its dark, creepy and well structured. The world buidling was probably the storngest element in combination with the dark and creepy colour tones of the artwork. I just didnt find the plot engaging. I was just waiting for that particular moment to appear and hook me, but unfortunately it never did. The characters also appeared to be 1 dimensional at times which didnt help. The length of the novel was also a little too long which wasnt helped by the long and at times confusing plot. It did have great horror elements with that perfect amount of crime. However I didnt find it to be one that I'll read again. I may continue this series but it all depends on reviews from Vol 2.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Myra

    Noir...black magic...murder - the perfect trifecta! This is a wellwritten and intricate story about the stockmarket secretly being controlled through a hierarchy of witches. It has a beautiful retro noir feel but the linework is sorta rough and brutal - which is a good thing, because it perfectly compliments the mood of the story. While I read it I kept thinking of the movie The 9th Gate and True Detective - it shares the same feeling of walking on the edge of the abyss between the world as we kn Noir...black magic...murder - the perfect trifecta! This is a wellwritten and intricate story about the stockmarket secretly being controlled through a hierarchy of witches. It has a beautiful retro noir feel but the linework is sorta rough and brutal - which is a good thing, because it perfectly compliments the mood of the story. While I read it I kept thinking of the movie The 9th Gate and True Detective - it shares the same feeling of walking on the edge of the abyss between the world as we know it and something primordial and occult staring back at us from the depths. There's a lot of plotting and intrigue going on and I think I might have to read it again to fully wrap my head around it, but I will gladly do that since it was such a pleasure to read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Frédéric

    If not for this particular creative team on the steering wheel I probably would have dismissed this book as pretentious and boring. But it is this particular creative team and, though it overtly flirts with pretention, it is done with enough talent for me to give it a pass and enjoy. To sum it up, (very) old families made a pact with an antediluvian god to obtain wealth and power. The price to pay is blood. The blood of the hoi polloi if possible. If not for this particular creative team I certainl If not for this particular creative team on the steering wheel I probably would have dismissed this book as pretentious and boring. But it is this particular creative team and, though it overtly flirts with pretention, it is done with enough talent for me to give it a pass and enjoy. To sum it up, (very) old families made a pact with an antediluvian god to obtain wealth and power. The price to pay is blood. The blood of the hoi polloi if possible. If not for this particular creative team I certainly would have rolled my eyes. Ok, wealthy men are arrogant, contemptuous of the lives of others, evil even. Yeah. That may be true but it still is cliché and not particularly subtle. But here it reads like a fantasy thriller, with plots, subplots, ritual murders, treasons and all. Hidden agendas collide and an intuitive cop is intent on finding what's going on. It starts slowly, it seems a tad like mumbo-jumbo bull and then the next thing you know is that you wish vol.2 to be released like real quick. The book is interspersed with notes, transcriptions, entries from diaries, etc. A little artsy-fartsy at first but before you know it it becomes a + in the narrative. It adds something, even if sometimes in mysterious ways. Lots of cryptic symbols all along but not bothersome. I discovered Tom Coker with Daredevil Noir a few years ago and immediately liked his style. Seen a few of his work here and there but not enough and I'm really glad he's on the drawing board. Good storytelling, excellent characters, nice designs and lots of blacks totally participate in creating an elegant and ominous atmosphere. All this is superbly colored by Michael Garland. BMM is an interesting fantasy thriller. A tad demanding, maybe a wee bit pretentious. If not for this particular creative team, I would probably not recommend it. But here I do.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zedsdead

    This ambitious, broad-scoped title contends that the wealthiest of the wealthy maintain their prosperity generation after generation through complicated human sacrifice pacts with some otherworldly force. Spans almost a century and a wide array of characters; the closest thing we have to a protagonist is a NY police detective investigating the bizarre murder of a VIP. The illustration looks a LOT like Sean Phillips' work, and that's a high compliment. Very well-written and intricately plotted. T This ambitious, broad-scoped title contends that the wealthiest of the wealthy maintain their prosperity generation after generation through complicated human sacrifice pacts with some otherworldly force. Spans almost a century and a wide array of characters; the closest thing we have to a protagonist is a NY police detective investigating the bizarre murder of a VIP. The illustration looks a LOT like Sean Phillips' work, and that's a high compliment. Very well-written and intricately plotted. There is a lot of room for this story to grow.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steven Carver

    (This review is written after reading The Black Monday Murders, issues 1-4, to be collected in volume 1.) "All Hail God Mammon" is written on the back cover of each chapter, telegraphing clearly where this book lies in Hickman's mind. The Black Monday Murders is a story about the rich financial tycoons of the world, people often referenced in conspiracy theories, but shown to be involved in an ancient and mysterious black magic, connecting the wealthy and granting immense power. Over and over aga (This review is written after reading The Black Monday Murders, issues 1-4, to be collected in volume 1.) "All Hail God Mammon" is written on the back cover of each chapter, telegraphing clearly where this book lies in Hickman's mind. The Black Monday Murders is a story about the rich financial tycoons of the world, people often referenced in conspiracy theories, but shown to be involved in an ancient and mysterious black magic, connecting the wealthy and granting immense power. Over and over again, Hickman lets you know that these financiers are playing by different rules, above the law and above morals. Wealth begets wealth, but only if you are willing to pay the price, usually someone else's head. I hesitate to write much about this opening volume, partly because I find this entry in Hickman's canon to be his most difficult, therefore least suitable for people unfamiliar with his previous work. However, you are dead set on starting with this one for whatever reason, know that it's very dense and intentionally convoluted and impenetrable. Some of his earlier works are a better entry point to his indulgent style, such as his Fantastic Four series, or The Manhattan Projects., and even that series is hard to grasp for the wild satire. In any case, if you have read The Manhattan Projects and East of West, this series fits in quite well with themes of indulgence and power. If The Manhattan Projects is about what happens when science is taken too far, and East of West is about what happens when religion is taken to the extreme, then The Black Monday Murders is about what happens when wealth becomes religion (both literally and metaphorically). The plot of the book is centered around the murder of Daniel Rothschild, of the famously wealthy Rothschild family, and the police investigation of his death. The plot takes the passenger seat to a wide array of introductory material in the form of experimental prose and transcript pages, flashbacks to scenes that truly don't make much sense at this time, and very confusing diagrams and arcane symbols. For anyone that eats up worldbuilding material, this book will grab you and keep teasing you with little worldbuilding tidbits. Tonally, this book is very bleak and soaked with evil waiting around every corner. Some of the most chilling scenes I've seen in a comic book are in this series, particularly in chapter 3. The heavy lifting for the tone is actually on the shoulders of Tomm Coker, the artist of this series. His pages are drenched in dark colors and inky blacks, with sharp, jagged lines speaking volumes about the world at hand. His lines are also easy to read, a key element in difficult Hickman plots. As for flaws in this series, they are flaws of Hickman's writing across the board. His characters aren't necessarily likable or interesting for any reason beyond their contribution to the worldbuilding or the overarching commentary Hickman is trying to make. He spends more time building complicated world structures to keep attentive readers hanging for years at a time than he does coherent plotting. However, in my opinion, Hickman transforms these flaws into stylistic vacancies, forcing the reader to focus on what he excels at: visual design, deep world building, and philosophical musings through dialogue. It's the reason he's my favorite comics author today.

  16. 4 out of 5

    RB

    3.5 stars . . . Extra points for the ambition, and the artwork, but did I learn anything new? No. What's this now, four or five families run the world? When did we find this out? What else does this book have to say? I see it features the Rothschild family, is this some Jew bashing conspiracy nonsense? No. So what is going on here? Well, if we look past the fact that this book is dealing with crime in high places and the usual, mystical, darkness lurking behind every important bank action, and ju 3.5 stars . . . Extra points for the ambition, and the artwork, but did I learn anything new? No. What's this now, four or five families run the world? When did we find this out? What else does this book have to say? I see it features the Rothschild family, is this some Jew bashing conspiracy nonsense? No. So what is going on here? Well, if we look past the fact that this book is dealing with crime in high places and the usual, mystical, darkness lurking behind every important bank action, and just enjoy it for the lunacy that it is, "The Black Monday Murders" can be pretty damn fun. The narrative is not contained solely to comic strips: we also have transcripts of conversations, notes on some of our characters, and a family-tree of who runs what and is in what position. Alan Moore thrives here where others fail or end up short, why is that? Anyway, Hickman has an ear for dialogue but not the ability to make this project anymore than what it is: a well-plotted, beautifully illustrated, chaotic ride. It also helps matters that the characters are interesting, be it the Rothschild daughter or the voodoo-practising detective or the fat banker with a gift for ancient languages or the wise economics professor, they're all a delight to spend time with. This book ends with things heating up, so I look forward to seeing where this thing goes, hoping Hickman and co. will infuse the later chapters with something with a little more depth.

  17. 5 out of 5

    C. Varn

    Jonathan Hickman corpus is a very mixed bag, and this occult conspiracy comic about banking is highly stylistic, plotted, and interesting. The slow unveiling of the conspiracy and mythology is fascinating, the premise is solid, and the multi-textuality really works here in a way I have rarely seen since The Watchmen. The plot may be too slow for many, and the mythology too highly complicated--think comics like Fatale or prestige television shows like True Detective and/or Carnivale. The art dire Jonathan Hickman corpus is a very mixed bag, and this occult conspiracy comic about banking is highly stylistic, plotted, and interesting. The slow unveiling of the conspiracy and mythology is fascinating, the premise is solid, and the multi-textuality really works here in a way I have rarely seen since The Watchmen. The plot may be too slow for many, and the mythology too highly complicated--think comics like Fatale or prestige television shows like True Detective and/or Carnivale. The art direction and symbolism is highly stylish and reminds one of both True Detective's paranoia and the slip cutting from the rival of neonoir in the late 1990s. While the plot and conspiracy are arc and overcomplicated, the symbolism behind human sacrifice for Mammon is perhaps too on the nose. The character development is highly fascinating as is the variety of unsympathetic characters. Indeed, the number of factions and characters that exist in this comic can be Byzantine in a way that almost reminds on of G.R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. It can give a reader some serious whiplash. Those flaws aside, the richness of the world, the noir artwork of Tomm Coker, and the fact that the concept is so highly strange for the comic book genre, it does seem like a work of love. I am willing to give the slow progression a chance.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    I really enjoyed this. It may not be the most original idea in the world, namely that the world's big banks and richest families all got that way through manipulating black (and blood) magic, but Hickman presents it in such a way that it's all very mysterious and intriguing and I want to know what happens next. I love the graphic design elements that creep in Hickman's Pronea books and this one is no different, especially the magic symbols which seem to belong to a written language that predates I really enjoyed this. It may not be the most original idea in the world, namely that the world's big banks and richest families all got that way through manipulating black (and blood) magic, but Hickman presents it in such a way that it's all very mysterious and intriguing and I want to know what happens next. I love the graphic design elements that creep in Hickman's Pronea books and this one is no different, especially the magic symbols which seem to belong to a written language that predates human civilization (and are the only thing that one character--a vampire?--ever speaks). The artwork is really good and just the right amount of distancing and chilly to support this story. There's a murder investigation (lead by a detective with some basic skills in voudou) and infighting between the houses and flashbacks and journal entries and it all adds up to a comic that's hooked itself in deep. Looking forward to volume 2...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rural Soul

    Jonathan Hickman always comes with unusual and mind blowing subjects. Besides this story has beautiful art.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sheziss

    Amazing storyline and compelling art. Twisted, macabre and unapologetically depraved.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dezideriu Szabo

    Wow! That was unexpected. This one totally blow my mind. Something completely new!

  22. 4 out of 5

    James

    3.5 stars. After reading the first few pages I was like, what is this? Is this going to be one of those books where I have no idea what’s going on? But as I continued reading, the story slowly started coming together and I was hooked in. All these rich powerful families run an investment banking firm.....and they worship some demon/god or something. One of them is killed and in comes our detective who also part time practices voodoo. There were these odd symbols he discovers at the crime scene w 3.5 stars. After reading the first few pages I was like, what is this? Is this going to be one of those books where I have no idea what’s going on? But as I continued reading, the story slowly started coming together and I was hooked in. All these rich powerful families run an investment banking firm.....and they worship some demon/god or something. One of them is killed and in comes our detective who also part time practices voodoo. There were these odd symbols he discovers at the crime scene which, as he looks further into it, leads him down a crazy rabbit hole. This book is wildly ambitious. My only concern was the end. It left me a bit confused. Did I miss something or will it be explained in vol 2? We shall see.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Dark, brooding and mysterious. That's what you get when you look at the cover of the graphic novel. When you open the cover and enter into this story, beware. The art is dark and gritty, suggestive and captivating. The facial art and expressions drawn here grab you and the writing by Hickman supports this and the two intertwine to tell a deeply twisted and dark tale. Imagine, if you will that the One Percent, those who have almost all the world's wealth are actually members of a familial cult th Dark, brooding and mysterious. That's what you get when you look at the cover of the graphic novel. When you open the cover and enter into this story, beware. The art is dark and gritty, suggestive and captivating. The facial art and expressions drawn here grab you and the writing by Hickman supports this and the two intertwine to tell a deeply twisted and dark tale. Imagine, if you will that the One Percent, those who have almost all the world's wealth are actually members of a familial cult that spans millenia. These people of power have an equation for controlling money, people and overall, everything we dependents consume and use. They are immovable, all-seeing and omnipotent. What happens if they begin devouring each other? What happens when they have blood on their hands and they all know it, and yet mundane and normal plebs, cops and investigators, owned by and touted about like puppets on a string, are drawn into this world? Where shall we end up when the high and mighty, conspired with and against each other, speaking a language that hasn't ever been seen by hardly anyone, begin to talk? The universal and oldest language in the world is mathematics. When the One Percent have always controlled the numbers, who are we to delve into their world? Where do we end and they begin? Who is there to lend balance to a situation such as this? Many questions like these were running through my head as I read this graphic novel. It made me think, kept me turning page after page and scared me a little. I believe anything that makes you think about possibilities and shakes you up so that you are mentally on edge, is a good thing. It keep us interested in the world around us, but in fiction it captivates us and keeps us fed. This is one of the greatest graphic novels I've ever read, and the ending has me thirsting for volume 2. Well written, expertly drawn and just amazing. Read this now and think long and hard, as you should.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dimitris Papastergiou

    4 Stars because I just wanted to read the first 2 chapters and go to bed, but then, I ended up reading the whole volume cuz it was THAT good. Came off kinda pretentious at first and boring, how amazingly interesting and eye-catching something about bankers and money would be?! Well, turns out it IS. Had a couple of nice moments at first, kinda confusing too, too much bullshit about families and shit. If I wanted to read a billion names that I won't remember after 2 pages, I could read Silmarilli 4 Stars because I just wanted to read the first 2 chapters and go to bed, but then, I ended up reading the whole volume cuz it was THAT good. Came off kinda pretentious at first and boring, how amazingly interesting and eye-catching something about bankers and money would be?! Well, turns out it IS. Had a couple of nice moments at first, kinda confusing too, too much bullshit about families and shit. If I wanted to read a billion names that I won't remember after 2 pages, I could read Silmarillion again thank you very much. But then... story started getting good, and interesting, and made me care more about the story, not once I cared about a character though, but the story is intriguing, and that is: Bankers. A long time ago, families sacrificed their own relatives (or not) with blood, to the God Mammon, (the God of money) so they can stay wealthy. And now, a detective is trying to figure out what happens, while this whole business is slowly going to hell. Lots of real world incidents are portrayed in Hickman's way with lots of twists and that was a nice touch. Half-way through the book it started getting REALLY FUCKING GOOD. Like, intense fucking good. Loved the artwork since the beginning of it, and it just fits perfectly for my taste. Amazing work. Will buy the second volume for sure. And I do recommend it if you're into something different. Oh, and I loved all the diary entries and letters and such that's inside. I mostly hate all of that on comic books but here, here I really liked every little bit of it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tom Ewing

    Hickman's clockwork plots and high stylisation don't always sit well with me - but I thought this was very strong. It's a typically Hickmanish set-up with multiple cabals of horrible people playing high stakes games with one another which the book dripfeeds to the reader, but The Black Monday Murders has its individual strengths. The detective is a stock character, but gives the story a needed backbone while we absorb the finer details of the occult banking backstory. The art is appropriately br Hickman's clockwork plots and high stylisation don't always sit well with me - but I thought this was very strong. It's a typically Hickmanish set-up with multiple cabals of horrible people playing high stakes games with one another which the book dripfeeds to the reader, but The Black Monday Murders has its individual strengths. The detective is a stock character, but gives the story a needed backbone while we absorb the finer details of the occult banking backstory. The art is appropriately broody and gory where it needs to be. And the concept - roughly, what if global investment banks were covens? - works very well, because it doesn't require banks to do anything they don't do anyway, so the comic hits a lovely spot between the supernatural and the realistic - The Big Short meets a White Wolf RPG. The series already looks set to be plagued with the kind of delays that have banjaxed Hickman's The Dying And The Dead, which is a great shame, as this is a far superior book to the similar but more reliably scheduled East Of West.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell Kukulka

    "If the truth would kill a man, Alexi… then that man must die." Hickman has always been a master of taking even the most erudite concepts and characterizations and finding their true, human core, and this story is just another testament to his skill. Mixing the horrors of unbridled capitalism with the horrors of the paranormal, Hickman fills his foray into the detective genre with blood and intrigue so plentiful that they both practically ooze off of the pages.

  27. 4 out of 5

    JL Shioshita

    First off, the art in this book is gorgeous and fits perfectly with the supernatural-noir tone of the story. It's like Citizen Kane meets Constantine. Hickman is a master at world building and in reading a book like this you get the feeling you're only scratching the surface. Can't wait for the next story arc.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    [ All hail, God Mammon ]

  29. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    The premise for this is *italianchefkissesfingertips.jpg*. The execution is *davyjonesstarryeyes.gif.*

  30. 4 out of 5

    47Time

    This story is so far beyond me it's making it near impossible to follow. What I do is follow each scene by itself and they are amazing. This writer knows how to employ engaging mystery, smart dialogue and suspense in his stories. The overall picture is slow to reveal itself, but when it does, it's spectacular. The workings of the stock market have always been foreign to me. It is at the center of world finances and, throughout history, has made money out of thin air in its good days and has sever This story is so far beyond me it's making it near impossible to follow. What I do is follow each scene by itself and they are amazing. This writer knows how to employ engaging mystery, smart dialogue and suspense in his stories. The overall picture is slow to reveal itself, but when it does, it's spectacular. The workings of the stock market have always been foreign to me. It is at the center of world finances and, throughout history, has made money out of thin air in its good days and has severely impacted the world in its bad days. A secret society runs the exchange to its own benefit using some sort of magic, but it's not immune to adversity. One of their own is found killed in mysterious circumstances which creates a shift in the balance of power within their organization. They have been killing each other to gain the upper hand for generations. This is just another episode in that constant struggle. This time may be more bloody than usual. (view spoiler)[One of their high-ranking leaders is suspected of the murder. A very effective detective investigates the case, but he soon finds that there are occult powers in play. The void left by the death of their member forces them to bring back into the fold his twin sister that they cast away years before. She wants revenge and she has it all planned out. (hide spoiler)]

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