New from Image Comics is Bedlam, a brutal horror comic that lives up to its name. If you’re more kryptonite and golden lassos when it comes to comic reading – you’re going to want to get far, far away from this title. This is truly one of the most disturbing and violent comics I’ve read since Luther Strode. The genre has established itself both artistically and financially, and comics like Bedlam are reinforcing the trend.
The opening panels show the reader the mass chaos and death incited by the costumed killer know then only as Madder Red. His reign of horror is brought to a sudden halt, but not before his message of insanity is realized. Hundreds of men, women, and even children die at his hand before he’s captured and tossed into Bedlam Hospital. I pitied anyone having to deal with this psycho, not only because of his lack of empathy for human life ,but because of his horrific mask with its beady red eyes and intended gaping maw. It’s at this point where we begin to get our plot twisted as we follow Madder Rose’s attempt to escape along with the mad behind the mask, a man named James Franklin Tyse. Months after his escape, he seems content to repress the Madder personality while constantly reminding himself that he can’t change the past or his guilty sins.
Bedlam is equal parts mayhem, murder, and intrigue flying under the comic book banner. Writer, Nick Spencer does a wonderful job of balancing Madder’s persona with Manson-like brutality and sheer genius. I’m excited to learn both James’ and Madder’s origins. Artist Riley Rossmo knows the line between beautiful and barbaric, and nothing is spared for the sake of the viewer’s comfort. This has all the possibility to get Luther Strode big, so get in while you can find a first printing of the debut issues. This comic is tits.