Posts tagged Riley Rossmo

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Bedlam #6 Review

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Writing: Nick Spencer

Art: Riley Rossmo

Review by Melissa Megan

Crazy, winged holy man is massacring everyone that moves over at the hospital. The pet superhero of Bedlam PD, The First, is taking a major ass-whooping while he attempts to stop the killing. Fillmore Press has landed himself an exclusive sit down with convicted child molester Father Warton. Warton suspects immediately that Fillmore is no detective and that his interest lies deeper than just putting a stop to the murders that he directs from inside the prison.

Fillmore gets right to the core of what Warton wants and needs, possibly his real drive behind ordering his ‘archangel’ Eric to kill. Warton wants to know the sins of the children of god. Fillmore has plenty to confess. And there is the key Fillmore needs to solve the case.

The highlight of this issue is definitely in the ‘psycho to psycho’ chat between Warton and Fillmore, which not only gives a deeper look at the illness driving the priest but also reveals just how in touch Fillmore still is with his alter ego, Madder Red. And really, that’s what we’ve all been wondering, isn’t it? If Madder Red is truly buried beneath the new psyche of Fillmore Press, or simply lurking just under the surface, waiting for the right moment to make his glorious comeback?

Besides the revealing interview, there’s not a whole lot of edge to be had here. I appreciate the attempt to maintain a solid story line, but it’s tough to offer the chaos and brutality that Bedlam has produced in previous issues, then follow it up with slow burn story progression heavily reliant on dialogue, without it feeling like it’s slowing down. I don’t want this story to slow down, I like that it slaps me in the face with every issue. Maybe I’m expecting too much. It’s not over yet, but I really hope for a return to the intensity that I’ve come to identify with Bedlam. Regardless, I still say everyone should be reading this series.

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Review: Bedlam #5

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Writing: Nick Spencer

Art: Riley Rossmo

Review by Melissa Megan

After a few issues of watching Fillmore, formerly serial killer Madder Red, passionately assist the police department in working out the identity of a murderer with a thing for religious reference, issue #5 gives a little more of what Bedlam is really about: psychological fun time.

This issue opens with another flashback to the ‘healing’ of Madder Red, specifically a powerful scene in which he gains the hospital staff’s trust and proves himself ready to re-enter the world a new, less dangerous man. These peeks in to the treatment of Madder Red are what I feel really give Bedlam it’s gritty meat. I find myself increasingly invested in this character although I still can’t decide if I want to see him truly succeed and be a ‘productive, law-abiding citizen’ or if it would be more fun to watch him completely demolish those expectations in a blood bath of celebration for the return of Madder Red.

One thing is certain, this issue makes it clear that Fillmore is quite aware that he’s gaining the trust of Detective Acevedo and has secured himself the opportunity for a chat with an incarcerated priest suspected of being connected to, perhaps behind, the unsolved case. Fillmore has an agenda but if it’s purely to help bring the murderer to justice or something more sinister is yet unclear. What is crystal is that Bedlam is not slowing down but quietly gaining momentum and I suspect the next issue will reveal something juicy.

If you’re reading my reviews on Bedlam, you must be interested; if you aren’t already buying these books, what the hell are you waiting for? Bedlam is top notch material in the horror/suspense genre and the art work of Riley Rossmo is always a delight.

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Review: Bedlam #4

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Writing: Nick Spencer

Art: Riley Rossmo

Cover: Frazer Irving

 

A priest is gruesomely murdered. Fillmore Press is undergoing a nasty ‘interrogation’ by the local “hero”, The First. The police suspect Fillmore of being behind the recent murders since he volunteered himself as an expert. They feel he knows too much to not be involved and hope a good old fashioned beating will encourage him to fess up.

Detective Acevedo is working out the connections between the murderer and a possible dark background with the church, figuring out along the way that Fillmore may have been telling the truth that he’s not involved with the crimes. Let’s not forget, of course, that Fillmore was once maniacal killer Madder Red, so he may be involved in something before this is all over.

This issue starts off slow, for the usual speed of Bedlam, but the big bang at the end is worth the wait. Mostly an issue to help tie up connections and keep the crime solving moving for the cops, this one isn’t as brutal or bloody as past issues. No matter, you should have been reading this series already; if not, get on that shit. Bedlam is one of the best psychological thrillers being written in comics right now and Riley Rossmo’s art is superb here. Buy it, read it, collect it.

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Review: Debris #3

Writing by: Curtis J. Wiebe

Art by: Riley Rossmo

Issue #3 opens with a touching scene of Maya being schooled by her late mentor, Calista, in the delicate and patient art of becoming a ‘Protector’ for the last human outpost, Maiden. It’s not only apparent that Calista hoped to teach calm and thoughtful defensive techniques, but also that Maya was stubborn and fearless even as a child. The characters of Debris are quite likable and really help to draw you into the story; you really want to see them survive and succeed.

The art of Riley Rossmo is really at it’s best during Maya’s battle scenes with the giant trash bots that attack her in every issue. She’s nimble and smart and Rossmo does a great job at portraying the acrobatic movements of her fighting style. I’m very much a fan of his creative use of color as well, using it to create the right mood for each scene and allow the right things to pop in each panel to draw you in to the story.

Maya’s travel companion, Kessel, is wise and weathered; he tries to keep her optimistic but he’s obviously weighed down by his own personal doubts and demons. As the two search for a paradise neither knows actually exists, they grow closer through making new discoveries and sharing old wounds. The real story behind Kessel’s banishment from Maiden is sad and shines light on who he really is. Maya’s childlike curiosity for the sights, smells and tastes of the new lands they journey through expose cracks in her hard, warrior exterior.

Debris is a unique post apocalyptic story of human survival that grows ever more thick with emotion and profound character development. The writing is solid and engaging, the artwork bright and scenic. Debris #3 does a great job of building on the personalities of our protagonists and carries the story along at just the right pace. I definitely recommend this series to readers who enjoy a good adventure ripe with relate-able characters and the perfect dose of action.

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