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“BLACK MONDAY MURDERS #1” (Comic Book Review)

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There is nothing more worth killing over than money and power. While some may argue that there is more to life than such petty things as arbitrarily assigned values to paper and metal, the families in BLACK MONDAY MURDERS might have some strongly worded arguments; especially when the demon Mammon is concerned. Image Comics highly-anticipated financial horror comic may seem like an odd addition to the growing pathos of horror work, it’s the addition of black magic to the already shady underworld of banking institutions that allows it to earn its place with its arcane brethren. Throw in a determined detective with his own ties to the occult and you got the noir twist for a book that’s already halfway to creating its own genre.

The comic, helmed by writer Jonathan Hickman, revolves around four families, each with their own fingers deep in the financial economy of the world. Joined together under the Caina Banking Investment, these four have kept the global stock market under their thumb through carefully organized stock market crashes and the occasional sacrificial lamb to the god Mammon. But these aren’t any ordinary human beings, they themselves are creatures of dark origins, be it vampires or Black Popes, and each play a very important role in the company. When the murdered body of one of the heads is found, not only is the company thrown for a loop when the victim’s sister come to take over his end, but the inclusion of a sharp-nosed flatfoot could blow all their secrets out of the water.

BLACK MONDAY MURDERS is not an easy comic to get into. That’s not to say it’s not good or entertaining, but it’s very heavily set in financial jargon and doesn’t dumb itself down for the layman. It’s a great choice for making the work authentic and really requires the reader to sit down and pay attention.

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There’s a lot of talking head action, including a scene in a classroom where one of heads is giving a speech about the realities of financial institutions, that would threaten to go on too long if not for Tomm Coker’s artistic talent to move around the viewpoints and standing positions of the characters. It also helps add a layer of dread to the comic, a reminded that our fiscal existence is reliant on those that have ceased to have any real morality,  and that magic and the Devil are just as tied to our lives as money.

Speaking of the devil, Mammon, also known as the Biblical demon of wealth and greed, is heavily utilized in the work and while he yet to make an appearance, the Biblical overtones were a deliberate choice on Hickmans part. This choice almost seems to make a connection between our current financial and government institutions and that of the Catholic Church tight financial reign some hundreds of years back, a reminder that nothing ever really changes. That being said, the actual horror bits of the work are less prominent than noir or conspiracy ends, but the comic does manage to maintain a strong sense of the macabre throughout the issue. After all, these aren’t men that have summoned Mammon, but monsters themselves.

A strong work that demands every fiber of your attention, BLACK MONDAY MURDERS is a bit out of step with current titles and that makes it that much better. On shelves now.  

About the author
Svetlana Fedotov http://facebook.com/vladkicksass

Svetlana Fedotov hails from the wild woods of the Pacific Northwest. She loves horror and comic books, and does her best to combine those two together at any cost. She also writes for the horror site Brutal as Hell and sometimes for the magazine Delirium. Svetlana has recently released her first novel, Guts and Glory, under the pen name S.V. Fedotov on Amazon digital.

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