In the same theme as Watchmen and The Boys, Bedlam is a riff on the traditional roles of the superhero and supervillain. What would one do with such power? And, in the case of Bedlam, how evil could one be, and is there any way to reform a former supervillain? Let’s take a look at issue 11 and answer the age-old question: Is it good?
Bedlam #11 (Image Comics)
The story by Nick Spencer is quite deranged, or traditionally has been. This issue is primarily a Mexican standoff between a man named Filmore, who used to be a super villain named Madder Red, and another weirdo who goes by… I don’t know, Pixel something. It’s the finale of the second arc, so no way you can enjoy it as a standalone. Catch up on this series, or at least issues 7 through now, if you want to have any idea what’s going on.
It’s a creepy comic. Ryan Browne lends his artistry to the events, and it lends itself well to the subject matter. While I miss Rossmo, Browne manages to bridge the gap without a hiccup, and has been since issue 7. Still, it’s just as sketchy—both in style and images—as Rossmo’s irky drawings.
There are some nice uses of a cool greenish blue color by Jean-Paul Csuka through most of the issue, juxtaposed with harsh blood reds. It works quite well.
Is it Good?
The bottom line is this issue has its cool, evil dude lines, and some dramatic stuff happens. Even still, I can’t help but feel like the dude that used to be the craziest fucking supervillain of them all is kind of a pussbag. I know he was brainwashed and had the evil electrocuted out of him, but still, come on bro! Where is that fire we all saw when you were Madder Red? Although, it is quite odd seeing the “hero” of the comic holding his dead mom in his hands covered in lots of blood. Yet, when you’re finished, you just kind of wonder, “well, who cares?” Yes, the established reformed psycho almost cracks, but it’s that “almost” that gets ya. He doesn’t, and he stays normal, and that’s cool, but he better start acting crazy in the next arc or I’m out.