Review - Bedlam #3

A serial killer is on the loose. The police are grasping at straws trying to catch them and they've possibly gotten a break in the case when someone calls confessing to the crimes. Of course, that would be too easy now wouldn't it? Good thing it isn't; otherwise, you wouldn't be as enticed to read Bedlam #3 from Image Comics.

The issue is written by Nick Spencer, with art by Riley Rossmo, colors by Jean-Paul Csuka and letters by Kelly Tindall.

Fillmore Press is spending some time with the police, confessing to crimes. He wanted to get the attention of the police, offering them a somewhat sobering assessment of the crime spree they're currently chasing. That assessment informs them that the killer has grander ambitions than just killing and Fillmore's plan to save people doesn't quite, well, go according to plan.

Bedlam is a comic that's very deranged, but isn't apologetic about it. What other comic would open with a psychiatric patient being submitted to a companion test that involves almost 100 dead cats over 100 days? That opening sets the tone of the issue and fits within the framework of the series, as the killer kills because he thinks he owes it to his victims.

Pitching Press as the key to the current crimes (as well as a backlog of others) through his history is interesting. It offers a unique view of the crimes and while a criminal solving crimes isn't original, Fillmore is about as deranged in this case. The level of depravity in the comic keeps the reader on their toes, ensuring their entire attention is focused on the characters and the story.

Rossmo's art has a way of being either extremely appropriate or inappropriate. There are some panels that are very indicative of the story itself, such as the opening panels showing the companion tests. The last page is sort of a big reveal, but the art itself almost incomplete. It's not bad and is probably something of a metaphor for the story, yet it would feel better if it looked more complete.

The third issue of Bedlam is the latest in a great series, touching on some of the darker parts of humanity. Fillmore is a calculating individual, doing what he thinks is right despite how much it may hurt him in the long run. The series is shaping up to finish off strong, with either the killer being caught or getting away. It's a rather blanket assumption about the direction, but it's one that will feature some great twists along the way.

Bedlam #3 is in stores January 23 with interiors below.