Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

We mentioned this strange confluence a couple of months ago. Both published for Hallowe'en, two DC comics that may get missed in the telling. The first is Lot 13 from Steve Niles and Glenn Fabry, originally for Wildstorm's creator owned line, but a long time getting to publication. And this is your proper, classic, non-ironic modern ghost story. A terrible thing happened a long time ago… a family killed by a father who then committed suicide, have their corpses put on trial by a kangaroo court for crimes against God. You may be able to guess what happens next.

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

And then it's flash to the present. Or at least a few years ago, when the comic was originally drawn and new mobile phones looked like this.

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

A haunting past that the present day knows nothing about, check. Spookiness through modern technology, check.  Teenage hormonal activity kicked into high gear?Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Check. And someone, blissfully ignorant doing something that will seem very stupid indeed, despite all the clear warning signs…

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Check check checkity check check.

The other DC book is Ghosts. DC have issued a free 50% overship of this book, featuring Joe Kubert's final story, and a number of others besides. DC manage to use Neil Gaiman's name as big as they can get away with, despite him having nothing to do with the book. And the surprise killer story is actually the book's opener by Al Ewing and Rufus Dayglo, featuring a novel twist on the ghost, being literally haunted by the ghost of a life you never took, who then becomes physically corporate and begins taking over your own life. A spectacular idea, thoroughly explored, in and out, like a classic 2000AD strip. Which, who knows, maybe originally it was….

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

And it certainly is a diverse comic including early layouts and pencils for the Joe Kubert piece;

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

John Mcrea dancing the line between cartoony and horrific reality…

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire give us a rather more mercurial version of Randall And Hopkirk, Deceased…

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Phil Jimenez drawing something little more Fifty Shades

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Gilbert Hernandez showing how he should have drawn the Dead Boy Detectives

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Sorry, I mean "Neil Gaiman's Dead Boy Detectives" who also have a Ralph Steadman headmaster from Pink Floyd's The Wall…

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Which all go together to create one of the better Vertigo anthologies, with very different flavours and feels, since the days of Flinch. The overall effect is, well…

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Exactly.

The third book from DC Comics is Bedlam. An outstanding work from Nick Spencer and Riley Rossmo, and very possibly the book of the week.

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Okay, okay, it's not from DC Comics. It's from Image Comics. But it does star The Joker. Okay, it doesn't star the Joker, it stars Madder Red, or various versions of him. Basically this is a Joker comic with the handbrakes off and the Highway Code thrown out of the window. If you have been enjoying Death Of The Family, this could blow your mind. Bedlam is Gotham as if the whole place was Arkham Asylum – and draws from the original use of the name for a London asylum for the insane. There's no Batman, Robin or Batgirl, there are the people, the police, a superhero and… something else called the Good Doctor. And the idea that as well as the sick, psychotic individual, there's a structure that could monitor, help, sustain such people for their own ends. There are scenes that will remind you of Heath Ledger's Joker especially, as it pulls in influences from the likes of Saw, but this is far more of a mind game, a brutal attack and a scene which can't help but remind you of the Denver Dark Knight shootings.

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

Not for the faint at heart.

Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London. Who are hosting a Nick Spencer signing of Bedlam #1 today, as well as a gallery of Bedlam original art from Riley Rossmo and a Hallowe'en party tonight…

Three DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And BedlamThree DC Comics For Hallowe'en – Ghosts, Lot 13 And Bedlam

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

twitter   facebook square   instagram   globe