Bedlam #1 Review
Bedlam #1 Review Short Version: Nick Spencer (“Morning Glories”) and Riley Rossmo (“Debris”) come together in this new Image book about a criminal mastermind named Madder Red. The book is compelling, text-heavy, and extremely well-executed. If tough subjects, graphic images, and the like bother you, take a pass. If you are okay with those things, this looks like it should be an interesting look into what makes a villain villainous.
Bedlam #1 Writer: Nick Spencer
Bedlam #1 Artist: Riley Rossmo
Bedlam #1 Review
Bedlam #1 introduces us to Madder Red, the sort of villain that exemplifies the worst sort of killer turned up to 11. Like if the Joker were truly bent on causing as much loss of life as possible. It’s a brutal comic, first and foremost. Really, the violence isn’t that explicit, but it touches on some pretty disturbing stuff. With that said, the writing and the art in Bedlam #1 are both fantastic and the story itself, which flips back and forth between Red in full-on villain mode and current day, which is told in red-on-gray-scale and full color, respectively. Rossmo nails the art, with Red, in costume, having a particularly iconic sort of design. The front of Bedlam #1 asks if evil is something we are or something we do, but the book isn’t really to the point of asking that question yet, but it sets out what a horrible person Red was in his former life.
Spoilers to follow: I assume that the person shown in the ‘current’ time from in Bedlam #1 is Red after he has been “cured”. Clearly he is still unwell, but he is interested in assisting the police in catching another villain. It, from what I can tell, has a little bit of a Dexter vibe to it, at least to this point. Not that the character is all that similar, but it is definitely asking some of the same questions about who we are versus what we do.