Review - Bedlam #2

Just when you though things couldn't get any more deranged, Bedlam #2 from Image Comics amps up the strangeness and depravity.

The title is written by Nick Spencer, illustrated by Riley Rossmo and lettered by Kelley Tindall.

What happens when two fellow classmates from high school bump into one another? Usually, it's not anything like the encounter between Danny White and Eric. After a bit of catching up, the two find themselves in quite a predicament, which dovetails into the ending of the issue (more on that in a bit).

Meanwhile, Fillmore continues to work on his "rehabilitation," splitting his time between flashbacks from his treatment and the present. Fillmore is still coping with offering his assistance to the victim in need from the first issue, prompting those around him to monitor him closely. They're not too keen on his choices, but are tolerating them for a reason yet to be completely revealed.

Spencer is allowing Bedlam to take shape as a story, primarily through Fillmore Press. His flashbacks show a very damaged psyche, rife with thoughts of rats and flies. The rapport with the doctor is even more intriguing, prompting a sense that no one's safe in the world of Bedlam. That's hit home pretty well by the few pages at the beginning.

Those pages at first glance don't seem to have anything to do with anything. They play out like a scene from Dexter, where an individual takes an opportunity to find a victim for the sake of killing them. It's the murder that has the greatest impact of the issue, setting everyone (primarily Fillmore) up for some grand delusions.

Rossmo's art is equally as disjointed as Fillmore's fractured mental state. He adds in a bit more form in Bedlam #2, eschewing some of the looser illustrations of the first issue. There are some really fascinating panels that convey incomplete thoughts and emotions. Characters are detached from their settings. Lines slash through the pages. It's as if Rorschach himself threw all his inkblots into a mixer with some color.

The second issue of the series is living up to its name. Fillmore is an enigma of a character and the gruesome public display of death at the end of the issue really keeps your intrigue. The characters live in a somewhat contained universe with few characters, but that universe is so full of entropy that it actually makes for quite an enjoyable read.

Bedlam #2 is available now with interiors below.