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‘Murder Inc. Volume 1: Valentine’s Trust’ TPB (review)

Written by Brian Michael Bendis 
Art by Michael Avon Oeming
Published by Dark Horse Comics


“If I couldn’t rule it, I would wreck it.” ­­– Nicky Barnes


During the 1970s, Nicky Barnes and his well-groomed gangsters ruled New York.

At the height of his power, Barnes was a rival even to the Five Families, the Gambino, Lucchese, Genovese Bonanno, and Colombo families.

During that period, Barnes and the Five Families ruled New York with an iron fist.

From the Mayor’s office, the police department, and the commoner on the street knew that the actual power brokers of New York were her mighty underworld figures.

According to the documentary Mr. Untouchable, the Nicky Barnes Story, what broke the chokehold of organized crime over New York was President Carter’s admonition that Nicky Barnes needed to be taken down. Nicky, a ruthless man of his word, swore the word’s terms, and once he was imprisoned, he tore down his organization and the Five Families.

In Bendis’ and Oeming’s Murder Inc. Volume One: Valentine’s Trust, readers find themselves in a New York City where like Nicky Barnes, never fell.

By association, the Five Families continued to thrive, eventually extending their tendril far beyond the confines of New York and becoming the de facto rulers of the United States, saddled in an uneasy alliance with the nation’s democratically elected officials.

Final Score: 5 out of 5 stars

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