Bedlam by Nick Spencer

Bedlam, Vol. 1 - Nick Spencer, Riley Rossmo

Chaos and anarchy rule in Bedlam, courtesy of Fillmore Press aka supervillain Madder Red who opens the show with a massacre at the opera during a school field trip. He then plays cards with a little girl whilst waiting patiently for the local superhero vigilante to arrive and save the day. Captured by the Police, you might think it's game over but do mistakes really happen to the cleverest homicidal maniac on the street. Apparently not there's another play and its more violific madness.



Madder Red doesn't differentiate, he'll kill anything and everything, man, woman, child, all in a blaze of vivid blood red. That was 10 years ago, a final explosion sees a head separated from a body and then to all that matter, Madder Red is dead. He's abducted by a crazy doctor with equally nutty nurses and 10 years of treatment. This involves brain operations, psychiatric treatment, culminating in one of the scenes of the book. A behavioural experiment on companionship, he gets a kitten, ahhh! And then he kills it. He then proceeds to slaughter a kitten a day for 96 days, shouldn't laugh but...
And then finally he befriends one and his rehabilitation is almost complete, he's nearly ready to be released back into society.



So the past is intermingled with the present and a serial killer stalks the streets of Bedlam, Fillmore Press can help, he has unique abilities. He just has to convince the Police that he can help catch the killer.


What a story, this graphic novel rocked my little world, the artwork is raw and edgy. We go from present tense in colour to Madder Red in all his glory, black and white with a little red thrown in. Ok a lot of red to emphasise the horror, blood and lots of it, as maniacs go he's up there with the best, or worst of them, you know what I mean. Red is never seen without his mask, there's a murderous aura in every panel, a disturbing frenzy that is absolutely gripping and I loved it all. This is just the most riveting imagery I've seen coupled with an awesome story and characters. Top notch.