Blood Money

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! Pub­lisher Im­age Comics

Writer Jonathan Hick­man Artist Tomm Coker

If you want a slow-burn­ing, in­tri­cately con­structed comic-book epic, call Jonathan Hick­man. From his runs on Fan­tas­tic Four and Avengers to comics like The Man­hat­tan Projects and East Of West, Hick­man spe­cialises in writ­ing dense, fiercely imag­i­na­tive sagas, and his lat­est on­go­ing se­ries is no ex­cep­tion.

The cen­tral con­cept of The Black Mon­day Mur­ders is that all the world’s ma­jor bank­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions are also se­cret oc­cult so­ci­eties that have been ma­nip­u­lat­ing hu­man­ity for thou­sands of years. A mur­der on Wall Street pulls a po­lice de­tec­tive into an in­creas­ingly dark and twisted in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and the se­ries is soon mixing a gripping mys­tery with some fascinating world­build­ing.

Hick­man has of­ten played with the idea of an elite that con­trols the world, but this par­tic­u­lar take feels es­pe­cially res­o­nant. Much of the story’s back­ground is de­liv­ered through ex­tra pages of text and di­a­grams – these first three is­sues all weigh in at over 50 pages. Mean­while Tomm Coker’s photo-real art­work gives the se­ries a shad­owy, noir-es­que at­mos­phere. This com­plex, de­mand­ing comic is one of 2016’s most im­pres­sive and in­trigu­ing de­buts. Saxon Bul­lock

Hick­man has an­other on­go­ing se­ries start­ing in Novem­ber – dark SF saga Fron­tier, which he’s il­lus­trat­ing him­self.

Not likely to for­give your debts, then.

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