Lost Legion Games and Comics

Joe’s Comic Review: Bedlam

Posted by David Whelan on Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Introducing a new feature for Lost Legion Games & Comics’ website and newsletter, Joe’s Comic Review. Our good friend, Joe G., is a long time collector and comic book fan with knowledge of the artists, writers, characters, and history of comics that is unparalleled. I always learn something new about the industry that is my own livelihood when I talk to Joe. So I have twisted his arm until he agreed to share his insights, in the form of book reviews, with all of us. I have several from him already and I am going to start sharing them with all you Legionnairies now.  – David Whelan

Joe’s Comic Review of Imgae Comics’ BEDLAM #1, out now and available for purchase or subscription at your local LLGC.

BEDLAM #1 Image Comics ($3.50, 48 pages)

“IT IS TIME TO BURY MADDER RED…
AND TIME FOR BEDLAM TO RISE AGAIN!”

The Writer:
I read this on Dan’s recommendation (Beckley store), good choice Dan! I do really like Nick Spencer’s work, that I have read. In particular, I really like “Morning Glories” (Image) & “THUNDER Agents” (DC). His characterization is on target. He can give you a description and knowledge of a character in the dialogue as quick and thorough as anyone in comics today. It doesn’t get boring or slow you down. The best thing is that Nick tells good stories, and always leaves you wanting more.

The Artist:
Riley Rossmo is good. You may know him from Cowboy Ninja Viking & Proof (Image) He has a style that is all his own, which reminds me of a combination of Frank Miller and Mike Allred. It is simple and complex all at the same time. Rossmo balances the right amount of detail needed in each image with the right amount of lack of detail. This is very hard to do, when it works & it works very well in Bedlam. The figures are clear and the sequential storytelling is excellent. The images tell the story. They are distinct and the layouts are very interesting. This book has a great look to it and a lot of thought went into it before the final artwork.
The Setup:
The name of the villain in this book is Madder Red. Bedlam is the name of the city. Bedlam is the name of the book. Bedlam is defined as: “a place, scene, or state of uproar and confusion”. My kind of town, not really. I like word play; this book has it. I like varied storytelling; this book has it. I like smart scripting; this book has it. Crazed killer, super-hero, mad doctor, strange citizens, psychosis, this book has it all and more. The story starts off with a flashback. It has more throughout the issue. The flashbacks are in black and white and red, there is considerable blood in spots. The coloring for the now time scenes is subdued, but there is still blood.
The Story:
10 years ago, there was a standoff with the police at what turns out to be an opera house. The villain, Madder Red (who is ably shown as being insane), has killed everyone in the building, except one little girl, while his men hold off the cops. Red is playing poker with the little girl on stage (the girl wins). Things go downhill from there. The hero arrives (I am assuming his name is “The First, but I could be wrong), Madder Red asks the hero what took him so long. SPOILER ALERT: Red kills the little girl, gets beat up & captured. That is the begining of a wild story. While being interrogated a prerecorded TV broadcast has Red himself revealing that 6 schools will be blown up if He (Madder Red) is not killed within an hour. Bedlam ensues. There is an explosion in the Police Station. The story goes on from there. There is a similarity in behavior to a certain pasty-faced green haired villain from another company, but this story goes way further, read it and see. There is also a very good cliffhanger at the end of issue #1, which should leave you wanting to know where we are going from here.

Joe Galuszek

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