Bedlam #8 [Kamak's Corner]

By Contributing Writer Brian Kamak

Bedlam #8 (Image): Religious mockery, a brain-skewering execution, and the beating of a superhero, but that’s just the first three pages. Bedlam’s first few issues were hard to read, full of too many plot twists, and lacked a solid direction. But that was the pasty, and issue #8 is nothing short of a quality read.
Fast-forward from the opening three page flashback and we’re greeted with a most unlikely crime-solving duo, Detective Acevedo, an average detective who happened to notice the crime-solving brilliance of the second, one Fillmore Press. Regular readers know that Fillmore is not your average run-of-the-mill sleuth; he’s the reformed homicidal maniac Madder Red. Due to his psychosis and violent past, Fillmore is able to examine crimes with a Hannibal Lecter-like perspective.

The setting is a post-“terrorist” blast point, one of several that just occurred. Ryan Browne’s art perfectly captures the brutality of the blast through the depiction of both the injured and deceased victims. Fillmore is quick to make the connection between the blasts, specifically that there is no connection. One of the “terrorists” is apprehended and the ultra-modern dynamic duo begin their interrogation.
Frazier Irving’s cover is nicely done, but it doesn’t process in the mind of a reader who hasn’t read this particular issues. I wish he’d done something different to set the title apart and grab the attention of a potential new reader, something a bit more edgy to bring in their $3.50. Nick Spencer’s script flows seamlessly, giving the characters depth and a certain level of believability, even within the confines of a comic book world. The interior art has perfect synergy to the story. Ryan Browne’s use of black, white, and red in the opening flashback adds an eerie feeling while maintaining a playful amount of cyclical brutality. I find Jean-Paul’s use of pastels especially ironic in such a harshly drawn world of savagery and a boldly drawn, chiseled cast. Attention to facial structure is well done, leaving finer details left up to the reader’s imagination. By no means are the characters ever presented with the dapper presence of Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, rather the kind of face you’d unknowingly pass on the street on a daily basis.

Other twists in this story include a mother/son political game, and a huge supernatural presence. The series’ catch phrase “Is Evil Something You Are Or Something You Do?” always makes me wonder about the creative team behind the book. “Are Great Comics Something You Are Or Something You Spend Countless Hours Upon Hours Doing?” I don’t want to waste any more space; just go out and get this fucking awesomely disturbing book and thank me later. Grade B+.


At 6:24 AM, Blogger Keith Philip Silva said...


Welcome to the thirteen minutes militia! I'm glad to see Bedlam getting some love on 13minutes even though *somebody* still isn't (totally) on-board, maybe if Madder Red goes post-apocalyptic ... we can only hope. Oh, and I know Justin would chastise me vehemently if I didn't say: 'Welcome to thirteen minutes, hope you survive the experience!'

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Justin Giampaoli said...

Thanks, Keith!

Kamak is a fellow Yesteryear Comics traveler. We have different "likes" in comics, with a small sliver of overlap, so it should add something a little new to the site.

It's also his first ever review gig, and that was his first ever stab at a comics review, so be kind, cruel world!


At 3:43 PM, Blogger Brian Kamak said...

Thank you Keith and Thank you Justin for putting my attempts up here.



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