Written by: Jonathon Hickman
Art by: Tomm Coker & Michael Garland
Publisher: Image Comics
I’ll be honest, I almost skipped Black Monday Murders this week. The book’s release schedule has been wonky as hell, and it seemed prudent to just wait for the trade to reread the series. However, a new issue of BMM is still like Christmas whether I know what’s going on or not, and in this case, it only took a page or two for it all to come flooding back.
Murder. Money. Mammon.
What’s positively wonderful about this issue is that it’s a long-form climax where two magic people battle via devil sorcery. Also, there’s zero action to be had. It’s a build, a build, a single spell–think Dragonball Z where they shoot lasers that connect and wiggle back and forth until Cell finally dies–and then a whole bunch of falling action. It’s kind of a strange plot, especially since it’s spread out over 48 pages, but it’s all wonderful.
Like all of the over-sized issues before it, BMM uses its page space to actually pace its tension and its character development. There’s open pages with no text, and the prose sections return in all their creepy glory.
From a writing standpoint, the book hasn’t lost its touch between issues 7 and 8. Yeah it’s been a bit, but diving back into this book has been like putting on an old sweatshirt. Still fits. Still cozy. Well, not in the literal since, but you get the idea.
From an artistic standpoint, the book is maybe stronger than I remember. To be sure, it has been awhile, but man, the visual storytelling is so on point that I’m kind of surprised. Coker and Garland are an exceptional pair, and their use of perspective and color to create tension and tell a very creepy story is impressive. I love all the uses of red and orange here. I love the use of blood, of which there is a lot.
Okay, it’s been ages since I’ve reviewed a Black Monday Murders issue, but really, everything I said about the first like five still applies here. This is a fantastic series with a fantastic world, characters, and throughline. That it might be going on for quite some times makes me stupid happy, even if that means buying lots of comic books. I just hope the release schedule evens out a bit during the third arc.