Sadly, this will be artist Riley Rossmo’s last issue with art duties. If I was asked what was one aspect of this book that hooked my interest in the first issue then I would have to point to Rossmo’s art.
Thankfully, Rossmo goes out with a bang in this issue of Bedlam.
The first thing I noticed about this particular book was the look on the “angel’s” face, which was just inhuman. There he stands all wide eyed and Rossmo has a look that isn’t showing a thrill from the moment or any kind of sadness. It is just a very animated, inhuman look.
The conversation that Fillmore has with the former archbishop is very interesting. But it is through this conversation that we are going to find the next direction for the book, and I must say that it is a slightly intriguing turn for all characters involved. I don’t quite understand why Fillmore makes the offer that he does. I don’t want to spoil it, but I’ll just say that it puts Fillmore in a more compromised state than what he was before, and the idea that he is trying to look for forgiveness for his own misdeeds just rings a little hollow to me.
I will say that the fight between Eric, our “angel,” and The First seemed very symbolic. You have this nude character just kicking the crap out of a fully costumed hero. It almost feels like the book is saying that the naked truth will always outmatch someone who hides behind a mask and walls. Mind you, this fight scene is playing out as Fillmore and the archbishop have their discussion, so it is pretty easy to pull this symbolism out of the fight.
The last third of the book feels like it tries to wrap up the dangling plot threads of the first five issues and give a little intrigue into the next story arc. It is a balancing act that really feels rushed and against the grain of the slower development of the first five issues of the series. I could see the argument for the placement of the character progression to have happened here or in earlier issues, but I’m not convinced to have them in one place or the other. It almost seems forced, but based on how the previous issues have panned out very well, I am more than willing to give this comic some more of my money to see what happens next.
I will say that there were a couple of Batman references that I noticed. The first one was a red phone. The second was a very Jim Gordon looking character. Coincidence?
The big question I’m left with at the end of the book is trying to figure out which character to be rooting for. There are some changes towards the end of the book for certain characters that really make me wonder if anyone in this story can be redeemed. Sure, Fillmore is acting like he wants redemption, but I’m really guessing as to if that is his intent or not.
And on that note, this story has me hooked for another issue.