WRITTEN BY Nick Spencer
ART BY Riley Rossmo
COLOURS BY Jean-Paul Osuka
LETTERS BY Kelly Tindall
COVER BY Frazer Irving
PUBLISHER Image Comics
Bedlam is the name of a mental hospital in my home town of London and has become synonymous with the word crazy and I like what’s been done here – a clever play on words. The comics called Bedlam which is the city where the story is set and the main villain of the story; Madder Red – crazy. Scratch that – he’s insane. The timing of this book couldn’t have been better, releasing a Horror comic on Halloween was a great move and took me back to when the first bunch of Saw films came out every Halloween and what a big deal it was at the time and the hype surrounding this comic has been exactly the same with a 22 page preview having been recently released a teaser for todays release and this comic really does live up to that hype and really made my Wednesday.
Bedlam” #1 is written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Riley Rossmo and comes double sized in a massive 55 page format which really helped to get into the story, although the focus was mainly on the villain Madder Red/Fillmore Press through Nick Spencers writing and Riley Rossmo’s art work a city is crafted beautifully and really expressed that we’re now dealing with entity all of its own. This city is a step up from Gotham City.
The story opens up in a theater which has a massive body count and the police surrounding and is ten years in the past while Madder Red sits there and toys with a child awaiting the hero (who is later referred to as The First), they both dual it out and The First wins, the first chapter finishes. The story then catches up with the present and we’re introduced to Fillmore Press the man behind the mask of Madder Red. The story is then told through a series of flashbacks. The flashback scene which takes place after Madder Red has been apprehended; which is set in an interview room not only shows Nick Spencers writing skills. Madder Red can really talk, the conversation which takes place in the interrogation room reminded me of the style of villain we’ve seen already with their planning and cunning but not having any real rhyme or reason. I saw hints of the Joker and Jigsaw in Madder Red. Madder Red was the king of crime and terrorised Bedlam ten years ago and now in the present Fillmore Press is back on his meds and dealing with the repercussions of the past in a dazed mess.
The comic is brilliantly illustrated by Riley Rossmo and the colours used by Jean-Paul Osuka are done to great effect, the colours and tones used help to create the story and world of Bedham which has been wonderfully written by Nick Spencer. The character design of Madder Red is terrifying and I’d read that it took 30 attempts to get the look right, which really shows. The art and story all come together nicely and even though the slow-moving press conference scenes drag slightly they help to progress the story, my only real complaint was the use of a superhero – I was a little disappointed that he jumped through the window and “saved the day” but as this was his only appearance I moved past this, as I felt that the story didn’t need a hero.
I will be carrying on with this dark and twisted psychological thriller, in short – just buy this is its crazy fun (and not for kids) and I really want to see where Madder Red takes us.