It should be noted that this is a double sized issue. You get about fifty pages for $3.50. Throw in the fact that it's a great comic, you can't go wrong.
Nick Spencer tells the story of Madder Red, a big time criminal terrorist. He's said to have killed thousands and the opening pages show just how cruel he can be. After taking a theater full of children hostage (and pretty much killing everyone inside), it turns out he had already made plans to harm even more random children. This is a psychopath on a different level. We get to see more about how he operates and the actual level of crimes he's willing to commit, unlike the 'crazed villains' in most comics.
Spencer takes the typical criminal vs policer commissioner angle to a different level. There may be some comparisons between Madder Red and Joker but you clearly get the sense that he could be more of a threat than Joker.
Of course there is a bit of a twist.
What elevates this great story is Riley Rossmo's art. If you've ever seen any of his work, you know it immediately sets the mood for the story. His style is complemented by Jean-Paul Csuka's colors. The limited use of colors (just red) mixed with the shading really emphasizes the art on each panel. It's a great looking story even if the subject matter gets a little dark.
Just the sinking feeling in the pit of stomach as you see some of the acts Madder Red is willing to commit.
If you're looking for a new comic to check out, BEDLAM is one to pick up. Besides being oversized for the price of a single issue. Nick Spencer and Riley Rossmo bring us a dark and creepy story that will make you feel uneasy...but in a good way. It's a darker look at the role a crazed psychopath plays in comics and the way the story is presented along with the art is definitely something to see. It's a "mature comic" for good reasons. Image Comics does it once again with another great new series. Get this now so you don't regret having to search for it later.
It's already sold out with a second printing on the way. Check with your local comic shop to see if they still have a copy.