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Bedlam, Vol. 1

(Bedlam #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,546 ratings  ·  138 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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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,546 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ 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
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well that was definately unique
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
L. McCoy
So for those of you who have read this, remember towards the beginning of this book (somewhere in the first chapter) Madder Red talks about his idea for a TV show where this man’s wife is trying to kill him but the poor guy has no idea yet still keeps avoiding it? I would watch that show.

What’s it about?
In the city of Gotha... Bedlam there was once a psycho-killer that called himself Madder Red, he was the Joker to their Batman pretty much (there is a superhero character in this book). Now he’s
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
Paz R.M.
4.5 stars
What a delightful read.
I mean, this totally made sick to my stomach, like I wanna-lowkey-puke-right-the-fuck-now, but, ya know, I kinda loved it.

I find the idea of this rehabilitated serial killer fascinating. The flashbacks of the madder red were, sick, yes, but captivating too, because the artwork is fucking beautiful to watch. (And the weird "sketchy" kind of look works perfectly too.)

The character design + the colours that were used in the old days of terrible murders were fantasti
May 13, 2013 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
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, image

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 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
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bedlam has an interesting art style - the chaotic lines are like a reflection of the main character's mind. One part was upsetting to me as an animal lover: if you don't want to see it, skip the first few pages of chapter three. It felt a bit like a crime drama for the second half, but that kept my interest going as my mind tried to piece it together. I'm a little confused about the doctors and nurses, but perhaps that is explained more in the next issue. Overall, a good read with a satisfying e ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
Mar 27, 2015 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
May 01, 2013 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
Liz Janet
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well... that was unexpected.
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 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.
James DeSantis
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Be closer to a 3.5. A lot of fun, with some great shots, though very confusing at times. When you start getting into it, gets better. I didn't love the ending too much but the rest was engaging, and the main character has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. If you like horror thriller, you'll really enjoy this.
Emma Darcy
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I feel like how much I loved this reflects badly on me psychologically XD....
Kristian Dobson
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Clockwork Orange meets Silence of the Lambs.

This comic was great. It's so gloriously violent and entertaining to read. The artwork is sketchy and raw, but it suits the tone perfectly. The flashback sequences being in black and white except for the colour red is a particular highlight.

Highly recommended.


...I haven't been so hooked by a graphic novel since I picked up Uzumaki, Vol. 1 . And exactly like when I picked up Uzumaki, I am swearing because the comic book store has closed for the day, and now I have to wait before I can see about getting the next one in the series.

Spoilers for the first twenty-odd pages follow.

Like it says on the tin: the generically utterly evil technically-not-supervillain-because-no-superpowers-but-come-on-now Madder Red has, after years of therapy, apparently been
Nov 01, 2013 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
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Of the modern crop of popular writers, Nick Spencer is one of my absolute favorites. Morning Glories, Existence 2.0, Superior Foes of Spider-man, I could list all of his books that I love, but that isn't the point of this review. The point is to talk about Bedlam, what is good about it, and what could be better.
The concept in itself is pretty great- Take one of the most vile super villains you could find, who has zero qualms about murdering children, and see what happens after he undergoes a pr
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy Godiva. This was an absolutely brilliant, completely twisted tale. Filmore is a disturbed, seemingly helpless man desperate to help the city of Bedlam. However, he was once the extremely prolific serial killer Madder Red. As Madder Red he brutally murdered thousands, including children (yes, this is shown). But after a decade of "therapy" from a doctor with very unconventional methods, Madder Red is ready to be Filmore Press again. And when a new serial killer arrives on the scene, Filmore ...more
Collin Huster
Feb 16, 2014 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 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 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, graphic-novels
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 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
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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).

Other books in the series

Bedlam (2 books)
  • Bedlam, Vol. 2
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