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Joining the Family Business (The Banks Review)


Writer: Roxanne Gay

Artist: Ming Doyle

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Letterer: Ariana Maher

Publisher: TKO Studios

Rating: 8/10

THE BANKS is the latest TKO to grab my attention. The first thing that jumped out to me was that logo. I loved the 60/70's vibe it had, plus the striking silhouette with the characters embedded in it. I had to know more about it and luckily TKO sent me their entire 2nd wave of books. Thanks again TKO!

The creative team is a relative powerhouse of creators. You have Roxane Gay who's a New York Times best-selling author, Ming Doyle is one of the industry’s most talented artists, and Jordie Bellaire is one of the most talented colorists working in comics. The team is comprised entirely of women, which I love seeing. You don't see that nearly enough in comics, but every time it happens it's a step in the right direction for this industry. Together they created a captivating and heartfelt story about three generations of Black women planning the heist of their lives. But it becomes more than just a story about stealing money, at it's core, it's about family.

The story takes place in the South Side of Chicago where the Banks family has lived for 3 generations. When we first open the book we  are transported back 40 years to when Clara, the matriarch of the family, first meets Melvin who happens to be a successful thief.  Ming Doyle perfectly captures the 70's aesthetics and has an eye for the fashion of that era. Melvin isn't your typical thief though, he only takes from people that wouldn't "miss it". When Clara finds out he's a thief she asks to join him in this life of crime.

From there we see Melvin get himself thrown in prison to protect Clara and their daughter Cora. Clara can't quit her life of crime and eventually brings Cora into the "life" as well. The only gripe I have is that we don't actually get as much backstory on Cora. Whereas we get plenty of info on the lives of Clara, Melvin, and Celia (Cora's daughter).

When Celia, who happens to be an investment banker, sees an opportunity to come up on a large payday she reaches out to he family she once shunned for being criminals. The ironic part is, she represents people who are "criminals" in their own right. They just do it behind corporations.

What at first starts out as a heist book, turns into a tale of revenge and brings a family back together after years apart. At the heart of it though is the three strong women who come together to take down the man responsible for taking something irreplaceable. They each have their own unique/distinct "voice" and are the backbone to this story.

This book from the very beginning pulled me and didn't let up. The entire creative team executed this book in a way that leaves you wanting more. As you all know, I love me some crime stories and this one hit every mark for me. The ending leaves me hopeful that we may see these characters return, but if they don't that's cool to. Either way this is a story I can't recommend enough.

If you cant find these in your LCS, don't worry, you can buy them directly from their site

While you're there make sure you check out the rest of their books, they are fantastic. Happy reading guys!


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