Bedlam #9: Review

There’s a new serial killer in town and he’s wreaking havoc in Bedlam, using hypnosis to slay his victims. And, in the ongoing twist that continues to makes this title worth reading, Bedlam’s former serial killer Fillmore Press is trying his damnedest to stop him.

Here’s the official overview (courtesy of

The ongoing story of Fillmore Press, once know as the super-villain Madder Red, who has since “gotten better”, and is now assisting the Bedlam police department.

A new arc began back in issue #7 and by now we’re ankle-deep in a new mystery (and torrents of blood) as writer Nick Spencer uses the opening pages of each issue to share a bit about Fillmore Press’ past as the gore-loving super-killer Madder Red. The premise for this particular arc is this: a series of brutal deaths and mass suicides has just been linked to a new serial killer and Fillmore seems to be the only person with the mindset sick enough to stop him. It’s that old “it takes one to know one” trope; Fillmore’s previous life as a frenzied killer provides a level of insight that the police crave if they hope to stop the current madness. And so far it works, but maybe not for the reasons you’d expect. Issue #9 does not read like a super-hero / super-villain book (even though it has many of trappings). Rather, Spencer has actually crafted a pretty satisfying police procedural, where Fillmore and his new partner Detective Acevedo try to save lives. And it reads well.

The art, provided by Ryan Browne is very much at home with Bedlam. His lines are sketchy and uneven; some panels feel cluttered and he’s clearly not afraid of scribbles. In almost any other book this style might annoy the shit out of me, but given Bedlam’s manic energy Browne’s work actually works perfectly. His art adds to the frenetic energy, and I absolutely dig his use of pixilation to play with the media rich themes of this issue.

If you’ve always wanted a cop drama with blood and guts, Bedlam issue #9 might have been written just for you. And it’s worth checking out.


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