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

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

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Title:The Black Monday Murders, Vol. 1: All Hail, God Mammon
Author:Jonathan Hickman
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Black Monday Murders, Vol. 1: All Hail, God Mammon Reviews

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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

    , you'll have a general idea of what I mean).

    Initially, I was worried

    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

    , and that made me love it even more. It's bleak, bloody, and darker than black, and I'm ready for more!

  • 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

  • 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 Mu

    “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.

  • 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

    , 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

    , 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!

    is a solid book, even if it's sometimes confusing and its characters are unappealing. I really hope that

    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.

  • 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

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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