Writing: Nick Spencer

Art: Riley Rossmo

Review by Melissa Megan


2012 was the year of Riley Rossmo for me. I shouted at the Gods when Green Wake ended and I thanked them when Rebel Blood showed up on my list of upcoming TP’s. Debris has been a fun adventure. Then, there’s Bedlam. A time jumping story of a serial killer trying (I think) to transform himself in to a positive piece of society. At least that’s what he tells his doctor, who is equally creepy and psychotic and assisted by less than comforting, ghoulish looking nurses.

Fillmore (aka Madder Red) is intrigued by the investigation of a local killer and believes he can help the police to understand their mystery murderer. He convinces his doctor that he should contact the police and offer his help, thereby making himself a positive, useful tool to his community. After putting in a call to explain to law enforcement that he has key information that can assist them in their hunt, the police are convinced that he’s a prime suspect, not a well meaning citizen.

Issue #3 opens with a powerful scene of Madder Red in a controlled experiment in ‘companionship’. Poor, poor kitties. Gruesome and raw, this scene is a prime sample of the mood of Bedlam. The jumps back and forth between reserved, quiet Fillmore and unhinged, violent Madder Red are always shocking, like a slap in the head to remind you of who the main character really is, at his core. Fillmore turns himself in to gain access to the detective he wants to help, which doesn’t work in his favor in convincing them that he is not a part of the killings, but an expert of sorts on the killer.

The killer has an angel complex and Fillmore seems to admire his apparent lack of interest in fame, selfish motivations or gain. This issue is all about Fillmore naively trying to make good, to help, all the while setting himself as a top police target. The immense misunderstanding of his intentions creates tension and frustrations for both Fillmore and the reader.

I won’t give away any more here, but I will say Issue #3 is no less awesome than the last two. Bedlam obviously has no intentions of slowing down or softening and I love it. Bedlam is intelligent, unflinching and beautiful to look at. It’s quality comic book writing and art and if you enjoy your stories with some edge, this one has enough to slice your head right off.