“Bedlam #4”

Bedlam #4
(w) Nick Spencer
(a) Riley Rossmo
Image Comics

So after the first three issues, I became sold on the idea of Bedlam and all of the wonderful goodness it brings. Can the comic keep the momentum going with the new issue?

Things aren’t as nearly in your face in the opening scenes as the first few pages of the last issue were. We do get a very visual burn death in the opening pages, but nothing that really compares to the brutalness I felt from the cat opening of the previous issue.

A chunk of the issue is focused on Detective Ramira Acevedo and what essentially is a lot of the plot falling right into her lap. It is strangely coincidental that everything she needs to piece together the full story of who is actually behind the killings comes together for her in the span of a few minutes. Basically, after this issue, I still haven’t really seen too much of her detective skills put to the test. She does make a couple of connections, but it all seems rather convenient and doesn’t show off any real detective skills just yet.

I can see why she thought last issue that Press was the criminal, and I forgive that simply because we get the re-introduction of The First to Press. And with all the “special conversation” that First and Press have in this issue, I’m looking forward to the time when the two meet and they have shared knowledge of their history between each other.


Rossmo’s art continues to shine in this issue as it has in previous ones. Each scene has a color palette unto itself that shows some of the skill that Rossmo has with his art that Jean-Paul Csuka brings out in the coloring work. In fact, you can begin to see where the different worlds and settings will come together, as the colors begin to blend in with each other between the various settings. This is especially done well with the rooftop scenes where the more towards the ground you get, the more purple colored things are. This is important to note when purple is the dominant color in other areas of the comic.

Another art piece to notice is the reflective surface of The First’s mask. The First is the local super-hero that works with the cops who wears what looks like a modified biker’s helmet. The mask acts as a mirror and gives a couple of cool art effects when characters are reflected in it. When Filmore’s face is reflected in it, you get a half sense of Madder Red’s mask being reflected. Then again, it could just be my eyes playing tricks on me, but there is something creepy about the reflection.

So while there is some minor conveniences done in order to advance the plot, I’m not disappointed in my decision to stick with this book. Trust me, I sometimes tire of super-hero action between DC and Marvel, and so I rarely tread into other publishers who deal with the same genre. But there is something different with this comic that is making me stick around. Maybe it is the more adult take and gravity that this book is pulling off so far that makes me stick around. All I know is that it isn’t doing anything to make me regret spending money on it.