Review: The Black Monday Murders #8

By Darryll Robson

Image Comics and Jonathan Hickman bring The Black Monday Murders #8 to stores this week and our contributor, Darryll Robson, has a rundown on the latest issue of black magic mayhem.

Jonathan Hickman is still working on some creator-owned titles which have been sporadic at times. However, The Black Monday Murders, with artist Tomm Coker, seems to have settled down into a kind release schedule and the story is starting to come together. If you crave corporate greed, black magic, and ritual murder, then The Black Monday Murders published by Image Comics won’t have to do much work to draw you in. The comic has progressed from a conspiracy-heavy, murder mystery into a violent, no holds barred magic fest but does it have anything further to offer?

Image Comics

Synopsis

Ria Rothschild has Victor, her brother’s killer, exactly where she wants him. Victor, however, believes he has the upper hand. Despite his arrogance and strength, Victor still must face the Scales, an ancient ritual duel to free himself.

Elsewhere Detective Dumas’ investigation into the Rothschild murder has stalled from lack of evidence. He has a hunch about the killer’s identity, but he is about to learn a lesson about curiosity.

Image Comics

Analysis

Jonathan Hickman must think in high definition, surround sound, Cinemascope. If you have read any of his comic’s, you will know that he works on a grand scale with a cinematic eye. And in Tomm Coker, he’s found the perfect partner to illustrate his crimes. The visuals in The Black Monday Murders are just stunning. From vast panoramas of corporate exuberance to intimate moments of bloodlust and vengeance, each page is awash with images you’ll want to look at for hours. This comic is probably best read in Imax.

Each beat of the story is executed with precision; Hickman knows how to use silence in his panels to create the exact effect on a reader. In a comic running with blood and magic it is the ability to be subtle that makes this an enjoyable read; a specific look from one of the characters or a pause in speech for hidden emphasis.

In between the shouting and the mysterious symbols Hickman is telling a very personal story about one of his characters. It is a style he adopts in a number of his other titles, where he focuses the attention in one particular place while the epic story is going on all around. In issue 8 of The Black Monday Murders, the emphasis is on Ms. Rothschild and her lust for power. The comic is split up into, fundamentally, two parts both of which pinpoint different aspects of Ms. Rothschild in an attempt to give you a definitive character. In the end, it is a very personal and satisfying story that is enhanced by the previous issues but not reliant on them.

Image Comics

As with most of Hickman’s comics, the overall design is paramount. From the front …read more

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