Review by: harpier

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Story By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Ryan Browne
Cover By: Frazer Irving

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.50

Though his methods are considerably more similar to 21st-century political terrorism, it turns out Spencer’s new villain is as madly and philosophically motivated as his last…and perhaps more importantly, as Madder Red. Speaking literally from the mouth of his victim/unwitting accomplice, he announces himself a savior, a man willing to induce the murderous birth pangs of a new freedom. And Press continues to see through the ruse of the crimes. Where Acevedo and her fellow police investigators follow only the most tangible clues, Press understands the rhetoric of violence.

Spencer too speaks this language. While the opening act of his new villain—-a series of public bombings in a cafe, city bus, university, and an office building—-is eerily familiar, his second act—-a dramatic epidemic of simultaneous suicides-—is unearthly and fully in keeping with the tone Spencer has cultivated in *Bedlam*.

However, “I’m a Victim Here”‘s finest and most surprising moment is its exceptionally quiet unveiling of the First, the rich only son of prominent business family and current city councilman advocating for an ‘extraordinary crimes’ task force, Matt Severin. Part of what *Bedlam* has negotiated so well is its contrapuntal perspective on superheroics, and as such casting the First as a Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark/Oliver Queen golden-child-turned-public-service-advocate fits the mold very well. As Press’s foil, Severin is more complete.

While new series artist Ryan Browne continues to underperform next to his predecessor Riley Rossmo, “I’m a Victim Here” shows considerable improvement over “Our Little Conversations”. Partly, no doubt, the longer turnover period allowed him more time to polish his style, but partly because it shows more of his own flavor than Rossmo’s, Browne’s artwork shines in this issue, particularly the opening flashback sequence between Madder Red and the First. He still hasn’t mastered the chaotic line movements of Rossmo and sometimes his faces get washed out or distorted by heavy shadows, but he seems to be finding his footing in the series.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 3 - Good

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