Detectives, murder, greed, sex, power, the stock market, and dark magic collide in a new series by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Tomm Coker.
Grigoria Rothschild, aka Ria, becomes the newest board member of a secret, intricate committee after her twin brother, Daniel, is mysteriously murdered. While also determined to keep the power behind her family name, Ria plans to also discover who murdered her brother and have them suffer.
Det. Theodore Dumas is also investigating the murder, feeling there’s more to it than the typical cases he receives. He is fascinated by the strange symbols on the wall of the crime scene that were made in the victim’s blood and turns to Economics professor, Dr. Tyler Gaddis for assistance. They uncover a deep, bloody, and demonic history taking place behind the scenes of the public involving a god named Mammon.
Volume 1 of The Black Monday Murders collects Issues #1-4 of this supernatural horror, mystery series. The series jumps from different moments in time to unfold the dark history of the wealthiest among us. Hard work and dedication were not the only things necessary for the enormously wealthy lives of the Rothchilds, Ackermanns, Bischoffs, and Dominics. Slavery and human sacrifices were also necessary.
Issue #1 sets the stage with Det. Dumas, unknowingly sticking his toes into the world of the vampiric, cannibalistic elite and the beautiful, cunning Grigoria’s return to her shadowy world with a new youthful appearance of a twenty-something year old although she’s 55.
Issues #2 and #3 probes Dumas’ beliefs as he stumbles upon a suspect in the case, Viktor Eresko against the wishes of Ria and Gaddis. Eventually Gaddis agrees to help Dumas with his mission, realizing he has questions of his own concerning the possibility of this society being tied to stock market crashes.
Issue #4 is perhaps the most fascinating of all in this collection, sending the readers back in time to learn what happened to Ria and Daniel’s parents and how the blood magic works to make the Rothschilds look younger. We also learn the beginning of the love formed between Ria and her blood thirsty familiar, Abby, and then sent back to the present towards the end of the Issue, where Ria sends a strong message to her foes at her brother’s funeral.
A grand, heavy plot The Black Monday Murders makes, but how does it hold up? The art of Tomm Cooker couldn’t really forgive the often scattered and not fully concretely formed explanations of the elite. Little by little readers learn about the supernatural ties to the rich.
Gorgeous art sometimes gets cut to show a newspaper clipping explaining some backstory elements and the scene where we learn who really killed Daniel Rothschild is almost entirely typed out like a court document rather than paneling.
This heavy of material and dialogue most likely would have translated better in a novel or perhaps even a tv show however, that’s not to say this series is something to miss or pass by in the slightest; Discovering the truth behind their ties to a god named Mammon is a thrill ride of its own.
Fans of horror/mystery content like American Horror Story or even the CW show Riverdale will find themselves greatly engrossed. I also would recommend this series to fans of The Wicked and The Divine since both series have a similar feel of hidden, powerful figures in an everyday world.
– Pierre Brown
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: Image Comics