We’re taking a break from DC Rebirth this week to check out a new Image Comics No. 1, rife with conspiracy and occultism – The Black Monday Murders review comes after the jump.

The Black Monday Murders 1 
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Tomm Coker 

What the hell did I get myself into?

I haven’t read a lot of Hickman’s work, since he’s not been a DC guy, but I do remember reading what I believe was his first series, The Nightly News, another Image Comics miniseries, which was nominated for Best Limited Series at the Eisner Awards in 2008. As a media guy myself, I thought The Nightly News went a little overboard, but it might have been because of my connection to the topic.

The Black Monday Murders, though, allows me to disconnect a little bit more, so I may find myself enjoying the book a little bit more. Set around New York City’s Financial District (hey, I WORK in the Financial District, thankfully not in finance, though) and the banking industry, the book twists reality a little bit by introducing a bit of the macabre into the world of high finance. A cabal of families who control the major monetary movements all around the globe is the focus of the first issue.

Hickman sets the stakes right off the bat, showing what happened when the Stock Market crashed, setting off the Great Depression in October 1929. When the market fell, the money god Mammon required payment from the cabal, leading to the death of one of its members. Once he establishes the stakes, Hickman brings us back to the present day… well, the future, really, as we jump to October 2016. October, Hickman explains through one of the many text pieces in the book, is the month when every major market crash has occurred.

Those text pieces help to flesh out the world of the Black Monday Murders, not to mention extend the reading life of the book. I can appreciate giving me a bit more bang for my $4.99. The first issue doesn’t feel like 54 pages, as the writing was fluid and Tomm Coker’s art is beautiful.

The team absolutely nails the noir sensibilities of the world they’ve created. Anyone interested in conspiracy should love the book.