World Comic Book Review

29th February 2024

The Root of All Evil: The Black Monday Murders #1-2 (review)

The Black Monday Murders #1-2 (review)
Image Comics, September/ October 2016
Writer: Jonathan Hickman

If this title disturbs, it is because one of the most talented writers in American comic book industry, Jonathan Hickman, does a spectacular job of convincing the reader that he has kicked away at the topsoil of the falsehood of capitalism, humanity’s real and dirty habitat. Underneath lies a mouldy and parasitic truth to economics vastly terrible, and despite the black mystical elements of the story somehow it makes the world make perfect sense.

The methods by which the global capital markets work are a mystery to most. The idea of making money by moving money from one asset type to another by way of investment seems straightforward enough. But terms such as arbitrage, Libor, derivatives, hedge funds, short selling and, famously, sub-prime could just as easily be a foreign language to most people. The language itself does not mystify. The concepts themselves are alien.

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East of West #26 (Review)

East of West #26
(Image Comics, July 2016)
Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Imagine an alternative reality whereby the continental United States is divided between the Union, the Confederacy, a Texan Republic, a black homeland called The Kingdom, a Native American high technocratic autocracy called The Endless Lands, and a Maoist Chinese state where California would otherwise be. This universe also features the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse reincarnated as young children. This is except for Death, depicted as a lean cowboy, accompanied by two powerful Native American sorcerers, and who has fathered the beast of the Apocalypse manifest as a young boy.

This is the outlandish backdrop to “East of West”. And yet despite this absurdity, the series is written, by Jonathan Hickman, with utter finesse. The characters and interpersonal relations are riveting, the action epic, the dialogue fine-tuned, and the execution sublime.

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