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Bedlam, Vol. 1
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Bedlam, Vol. 1 (Bedlam)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  1,239 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
One of the hottest new series of the year gets its first, new reader friendly-priced collection! Fillmore Press was once Madder Red, a homicidal maniac and criminal overlord who ruled the city of Bedlam. Now he's been cured of his mania, and says he wants to help protect the place he once terrorized - but can he be trusted?
Paperback, 184 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Image Comics (first published October 31st 2012)
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)
Nov 08, 2015 Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE) by: Hunger For Knowledge
So, Bedlam, Vol. 1... *cough nervously* This graphic novel was damn near brilliant, but oh so disturbed. As in, psychopath-like sick.

(I'd say it depends - or both)

TRIGGER WARNING : Loads of violence, including against children and animals.

See this trigger warning above? Frightening, right? You should think so. Truth is, what we get here with Fillmore Press, former serial-killer named Madder Red is the embodiment of what an antihero is : ten years earlier, on his journey of gratuitous violence,
Paul Nelson
Bedlam by Nick Spencer Chaos and anarchy rule in Bedlam, courtesy of Fillmore Press aka supervillain Madder Red who opens the show with a massacre at the opera during a school field trip. He then plays cards with a little girl whilst waiting patiently for the local superhero vigilante to arrive and save the day. Captured by the Police, you might think it's game over but do mistakes really happen to the cleverest homicidal maniac on the street. Apparently not there's another play and its more vio ...more
Jan Philipzig
Social rehabilitation and reintegration are generally not an option for a super-villain. After all, a super-villain is supposed to be quintessentially "evil” rather than a mere victim of circumstance, and a truly evil disposition is not something that tends to change with a more sympathetic or stimulating environment. As a result, the conflict between the superhero and the super-villain can never be resolved - ka-ching!

Madder Red, the protagonist of Bedlam Vol.1, used to be one such super-villai
Sam Quixote
10 years ago Madder Red terrorised the city of Bedlam before he was stopped by superhero The First. Now, a new serial killer is in town and a reformed Madder Red decides to help the cops catch him - but does he secretly have a different agenda?

Bedlam is sort of a look at the man behind the Joker (represented here by Madder Red) - who made the Joker who he is? Was he always evil or was he made to be evil? Unlike the Joker though, Madder Red gets better (I’m ignoring the godawful Batman: Going Sa
May 13, 2013 Kurt rated it it was amazing
There is a montage of dead kittens in this book. It has an important context - the unspeakably evil villain is institutionalized, and as part of his therapy, his doctors give him a kitten for companionship. Which, because he is so unspeakably evil, he kills in a horrific fashion, which leads to a montage of the creative ways he murders the next ninety-five kittens until FINALLY, he learns to love the ninety-seventh kitten and begins his moral awakening as a functioning member of society. It is h ...more
David "proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party"
Dave's Quick Judgement -

- A disturbing yet brilliant look into the mind of a psychopath.
- Story is intensely gripping.
- Flashback sequences add much depth to an already compelling lead character.
- Antagonist and supporting cast are interesting enough to not be overshadowed by such a mesmerizing protagonist.

- Sick! So sick! Sicky-sick! Mega-sick! Infinity-plus-one degrees of sickness here!
- Did I mention the story is really sick?!?

Ordinarily, I mi
Scott (GrilledCheeseSamurai)

What would happen if the Joker or any mass murdering lunatic (think, Dexter, Hannibal Lector) were to suddenly become a good guy...or at least not sick in the head...or at least not completely nut job deranged?

That's the gist of this story. A psychopath killer, very reminiscent of The Joker, helps cops solve crimes.

But it's more than that.

The art and coloring really set the tone for this comic - combined, they make it something really special. The pages pop with gruesome details that help the cr
Sep 17, 2016 Seba rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics-rev
More like 4,5

The team Spencer- Rossmo - Irving blew my head with this seemingly "unknown"comic. Bedlam is the story of former mass murderer maniac Fillmore Press, a.k.a Madder Red and his journey to help (?) the good citizens of Bedlam, after almost killed everyone in it.

The opening scene is amazing, scary and shocking. Madder Red has killed almost everyone at this philharmonic concert in downtown Bedlam. Bodies everywhere, blood everywhere and there's only him playing a poker hand with a little
May 01, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing
So I picked this up on a whim. I liked the art and it was only $9.99 so I gave it a shot. The guys at the comic shop didn't even know anything about it. I am so glad I bought this! The way I've been describing it to people is imagine if everyone thought the Joker died in an explosion but he really went to get help for his sickness. And imagine that he actually gets "cured" and decides to help the police find serial killers. That's basically what this book is about. It's more of a thriller than a ...more
If you liked Christopher Nolan's Joker in the The Dark Knight, but thought he was maybe just a bit too tame, then Bedlam might be the graphic novel for you.

Fillmore Press, otherwise known as Madder Red, is a sociopathic serial killer with a body count numbering in the thousands, and a particular affinity for killing women and children. He and his gang have terrorized the city of Bedlam for years.

But then one day Fillmore is cured, and he's decided to protect the city.

This is absolutely a fantast
Nov 21, 2015 RB rated it liked it
The concept of whether or not a man, a serial killer, can be cured and re-habilitated and work in society once again in any form is the question "Bedlam" wants us to ask but sort of forgets this question in favour of a black-and-white, good-and-bad, way of seeing the world and these simplistic modes do nothing for the elements that make this lavishly drawn tale worth reading. For "Bedlam" is stuffed with absurd and over the top horror and violence that is pleasing to look at, including and espec ...more
Amazing ! Ilustrações fantásticas! História pungente e sem arrependimentos! Adorei completamente. A sequência dos gatinhos foi super perturbadora e horrível, mas foi uma maneira brilhante de ilustrar a evolução da personagem. São coisas como esta que me fazem admirar esta forma de arte. Há coisas ditas aqui que não poderiam ser ditas de outra maneira.
Emma Darcy
Dec 30, 2015 Emma Darcy rated it really liked it
I feel like how much I loved this reflects badly on me psychologically XD....
Nov 01, 2013 Boots rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
i'm pretty sure i should have hated this as being ridiculously derivative, but hoping that it's totally self-aware and trying to make a commentary on certain themes in modern comic books, i enjoyed it in spite of myself.

the artwork is really hard on your eyes (scrawled, messy, with characters who are very little form and mostly just expression), but to be honest it kinda grew on me; by the end of the volume i was a fan.

"the first", the mysterious shadowy analogue of batman is just a distant th
Callie Rose Tyler
Mar 27, 2015 Callie Rose Tyler rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Well that was violent.

I walked into this book knowing absolutely nothing. It was recommended to me by Goodreads and had an amazing rating so I snagged it. So perhaps my knowing nothing about it is why it was difficult for me to follow for the first 30 pages or so. There is a lot of flipping back and forth to different timelines but once I figured it out the story was pretty smooth.

The look of this book is what really sets it apart. The style is harsh and dark and grim and matches the story quite
Collin Huster
Feb 16, 2014 Collin Huster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
When you mix 7even, A Clockwork Orange, Dexter, and The Killing Joke Joker you might end up with something similar to this comic. This is one of those, I don't know if it's ok to read this because it's so incredibly dark comics but man is it good. Madder Red is a crazed homicidal maniac who undergoes a forced procedure away from the society he had harmed and tortured and made into a forceful good person who much like Alex in A Clockwork Orange is sick of the idea of violence and hurting people. ...more
Harry Sabs
Feb 03, 2014 Harry Sabs rated it it was ok
On the whole it was alright. A bit contrived in places though – no spoilers, this is only a broad opinion. It just felt to me that the author was really trying to recreate a ‘Joker’ character, maybe mixed in with a little ‘Hannibal Lector’. It didn’t feel original; it felt as though it was setting out to shock for the sake of shocking.The character was trying a bit too hard. I had hoped that his appearance would be similar to that of the front cover (with face paint) but the weird helmet/mask/ w ...more
Julie Luther
May 15, 2015 Julie Luther rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2015
Aw, I really wanted this to be good. The violence was too all over the place for me. Some of the characters were randomly horrifying but didn't explain much about them. There wasn't a whole lot of character development other than 'this guy is absolutely insane' and 'these are the good guys'. Yes, I'm sure it gets more in depth in the next volumes but the first volume just didn't have enough in it to keep my attention. I have nothing against the violence, obviously a comic about a homicidal mania ...more
Drown Hollum
Sep 05, 2013 Drown Hollum rated it liked it
The art in this book is wonderfully intuitive, and a perfect compliment to Spencer's dark narrative. BEDLAM is essentially a what if Batman scenario, where an irredeemable villain is reformed, using his specialization to assist the police. BEDLAM dangerously walks the line between powerful violence and immature gratuity, managing to remain outside the realm of absurd most of the time, while occasionally dipping a toe into a groan worthy and uninteresting atrocity. BEDLAM is interesting, beautifu ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Leslie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This first volume was enjoyable but quite confusing. I feel like the author can't really put his ideas clearly on the paper. Or maybe it's like that on purpose.
I quite like the drawing. It's fits the story actually, it's very untidy, sketchy, and in a way it adds to the confused side of things. But since it's told from an ancient psycho serial killer point of view who got through some brainwashing to become "nice", i guess all this confusion makes sense.
Still i feel like reading it a second ti
Koen Claeys
May 27, 2013 Koen Claeys rated it it was amazing
Creepy and clever thriller by the fabulous Nick Spencer (Morning Glories), drawn by the ever-fantastic Riley Rossmo (Proof, Cowboy Ninja Viking, Green Wake). I didn't read the summary on the back cover which made the ride more surprising. If you're in for a dose of gore and tension, this might be the ideal comic.
Apr 04, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it
Really great series so far. It's pretty twisted and dark so if you are into that you should definitely check it out. I look forward to seeing where it goes now that this first story arc is complete.
Jan 05, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I really didn't like this until pretty much exactly 50% in. Then everything went mad and i couldn't put it down.
Nadine VonTerror
Pretty gruesome,but the story its kinda meh.
Plus all the biblic stuff.
Not my thing.
Too long for what it is. Did like the art.
Jan 02, 2017 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Dark, twisted and violent.
Johnny O'sullivan
Jan 19, 2017 Johnny O'sullivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Terrific! Very dark and disturbing, but also a very compelling read.
Cinthya Brenes
Jan 16, 2017 Cinthya Brenes rated it it was amazing
That was goooooooood!!!
Feb 23, 2015 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, favourites
One of my favourite comic books, up there with Outcast.

First of all, I love the premise of this book. It's "cured" psychopathic serial killer kinda story. You're constantly wondering if he's still "evil", and what exactly IS evil. It challenges the idea and philosophy of evil. You have so many questions, and answers are revealed steadily, bit by bit. It feels as though Fillmore Press/Madder Red (the main character) is really in charge. He may seem unstable, but it looks like he's in control of w
Paul Cutting
Sep 28, 2016 Paul Cutting rated it really liked it
A nicely twisted story delivered with gusto (and guts!). On to Volume 2!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.
Nick Spencer is a comic book writer known for his creator-owned titles at Image Comics (Existence 2.0/3.0, Forgetless, Shuddertown, Morning Glories), his work at DC Comics (Action Comics, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents), and for his current work at Marvel Comics (Iron Man 2.0, Ultimate Comics: X-Men).
More about Nick Spencer...

Other Books in the Series

Bedlam (2 books)
  • Bedlam, Vol. 2

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