|cover of #3, art by Fraser Irving.|
This week sees the hotly anticipated release of issue three of Bedlam, Image Comics’ brilliant series about a troubled city which is still reeling from the mass murders committed by homicidal maniac Madder Red. After the explosive events of issues one and two, issue three takes a much smaller, but much more menacing scope.
Bedlam. The cursed city, haunted by Madder Red’s devious murdering spree. Ten years later, a wave of similar murders are going through the city, leaving the police in an awkward situation, which is then made worse by the mysterious Fillmore Press who approaches them, claiming to know something about the cases. Issue three focuses on a frankly disturbing flashback to Madder Red’s rehab days, and then flashes forward as Press is interrogated by the police further and offers his ‘advice’ to the case.
Bedlam is a gruesome, bloody wreck but it’s a brilliant read. Written by Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Ultimate X-Men) a writer who is most definitely not afraid to screw with readers. He really shines on this book, bringing his skill above and beyond what we’re used to seeing on Morning Glories, through the use of flashbacks, brilliant dialogue and beautifully timed reveals, something which artist Riley Rossmo (Proof, Daken: Dark Wolverine) helps bring to life through his sickeningly beautiful artwork, made all the more effective through Jean-Paul Csuka's dark, morbid colouring.
Whenever this title comes out, I always rave about it and give good reviews, and for good reason. Spencer’s fantastically dark storytelling combined with Rossmo’s artwork makes this a series to watch, and as more background is revealed about Bedlam and Madder Red, the more twisted this tale becomes.