BEDLAM #1 by Nick Spencer & Riley Rossmo

Posted on 31 October 2012 by GI Jolie

Read a review of the highly anticipated new series from writer Nick Spencer!

Bedlam Cover Bedlam #1
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Riley Rossmo
Covers by Frazer Irving
Published by IMAGE Comics



Okay, forget Robert Kirkman. Forget Thief of Theives. THIS is the comic book AMC should be adapting! The series is about deranged mass murderer Madder Red and his supposedly rehabilitation after terrorizing the town of Bedlam for three years. The book is being solicited as a criminal-turned-informer/employee type story, sort of like Dexter but in this case the police KNOW Red aka Fillmore Press is –er, was a murderer. Now onto the review!

Good: The writing is very, very fleshed out for a first issue. Many writers try to tackle multiple timelines and end up confusing the reader, but Spencer has done a very ‘organized’ job, for lack of better word, and as a reader I really appreciate that. There is no need for convoluted timelines unless you’re writing a book with supernatural elements, writing something autobiographical, or writing for The Doctor.

The book clearly takes you from “10 Years Ago
Bedlam panel

to “Now
Bedlam Panel

All other ‘time’ elements are illustrated, literally through the art and colouring; Flashbacks from Fillmore’s past are appropriately monochromatic and accented by hits of red, while all other present day storylines contain more realized colour palettes.

The first issue unfolds in three parts and isn’t shy about Fillmore’s very gory past. There is nothing I can say to describe how truly twisted Spencer’s protagonist is, but somehow Spencer and Rossmo have figured it out and Rossmo is probably the perfect artist. His style reminds me of a gritty, dirtier Mike Allred and while Allred is one of my favourite artists, clean lines are the last thing this book needs. There’s nothing better than reading about a mind so derailed as Madder Red’s when it’s accompanied by images of Rossmo. His sketchy lines have a painterly quality where each line and stroke look exactly as they should and are placed exactly where Rossmo wants them. Or maybe he’s just naturally that good. 😀

Bad: Not much. This book is pretty airtight. Though if I had to talk ‘bad’ about something it would be Fillmore’s character. I simply DO NOT TRUST HIM. Fillmore specifically, because nobody could ACTUAL trust a serial killer like Madder Red. Ultimately that’s the reason why I can’t trust this character. We watch him battle his inner demons in the second half of the book, and are expected to believe that he wants to help the police?!?

Who knows. Maybe Spencer has something planned for our anti-hero. If he does, I can’t wait to read it because so far I don’t buy it. The rehabilitation part, I WILL buy the actual book. The question is, will you?

Rating: 4.5/5


About GI Jolie

Jolie is a Co-Producer of the Comic Book Syndicate. She is also the Photographer, Graphic Designer, Set Director, and Webmaster. She loves comic books and her two cats. She puts cilantro on everything.