Image launches a new number 1 this week, but is it as promising as they make it sound?
Here is the summary from Image:
Fillmore Press was once Madder Red, a homicidal maniac and criminal overlord who terrorized the town of Bedlam for years. Then he got better. This is what happens next.
A double-sized introduction to a blood-soaked cityscape of murder, mayhem, and mystery by NICK SPENCER (MORNING GLORIES, THIEF OF THIEVES) and RILEY ROSSMO (REBEL BLOOD, GREEN WAKE)!
Bedlam is the story of a former super criminal who tries to atone for his past sins, all the while trying to suppress his more sadistic desires. In this double sized 1st issue, we are introduced to Fillmore Press (his alter-ego “Madder Red”), the town of Bedlam,and a host of other side characters both important and unimportant that give us a feel for this dark tale.
Nick Spencer does excellent work here, showing us one of Madder Red’s more gruesome crimes and his “death”. How he writes Press and Red is very distinctive, setting them up as different entities but not keeping them so far apart that you think they aren’t the same person. Madder Red is reminiscent of the Joker as to where he really has no rhyme or reason for his crimes, at least none that are explained here, he just kind of does them, especially to women and children. Fillmore Press himself is a strange individual outside of his “other self” engaging in awkward dialogue with others as opposed to the confident, well spoken Red. The story can be a bit wordy at times, especially when Madder is explaining his crimes to the populace. But it doesn’t really harm the comic overall.
Riley Rossmo’s work is another great part of the story, giving the tale a noir kind of feel to it, with the way the characters look. Somehow giving both a gritty yet whimsical look to the narrative at the same time, which is really appealing to look at. Another good point on the art is Jean-Paul Csuka’s coloring. Emphasizing dark colors such as grey, black, and brown. With a bit of red sprinkled in there which pops out really well but not so much where it’s distracting. I caught a nice Sin City like vibe while looking at it.
This was solid 1st issue, with a nice setup, great art, great characters, and overall great atmosphere. We get a double-sized issue with tons of intrigue and story to it. This is sort of like a comic book version of Dexter which I think is pretty nice. The tagline asks: “Is Evil just something you are or something you do?” either way I’ll be strapped in and reading this book looking forward to the answer.