Real Name: William Nowlan

Identity/Class: Apparent mutant vs. mutate (latent superhuman powers catalyzed by experimentation);
    Canadian citizen;
    identity known to authorities

Occupation: Would-be conqueror;

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Former leader/controller of the Derangers (Breakdown/Esme Fernando, Laura Dean, Freakout/Arthur Amadeus van Krijg, Goblyn, Janus/Willem Vincent)

EnemiesAlpha Flight (Box/Madison Jeffries, Sasquatch/Walter (Wanda) Langkowski, Vindicator/Heather Hudson), Derangers (Breakdown/Esme Fernando, Laura Dean, Freakout/Arthur Amadeus van Krijg, Goblyn, Janus/Willem Vincent), Manikin/Whitman Knapp, Purple Girl/Kara Killgrave, Weapon Alpha (James MacDonald Hudson), Weapon X/Wolverine (James Howlett/Logan)

Known Relatives: Bedlamites

Aliases: Bedlam the Brain-Blast

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    died in his unidentified Arctic complex;
    formerly James Hudson's Department H laboratory base;
a provincial prison in Nova Scotia, Canada

First Appearance: (Within cocoon, named) Alpha Flight I#52 (November, 1987);
Alpha Flight I#53 (December, 1987)

bedlam-af-face.jpgPowers/Abilities: Bedlam can mentally control other beings, immobilizing them or forcing them to fight or perform whatever actions he commands. Bedlam can apparently also control the minds of others, although he typically prefers to take control of their voluntary motor abilities, despite the conscious mental resistance of his victim/pawn; he sometimes telepathically communicates with his victims while controlling their forms.

    He has great difficulty controlling minds without conscious thought, such as the mind of Wolverine when he is in a berserker fury, the mind of Madison Jeffries when submerged deep within a mechanical form, or the brain-damaged Freakout.

    Bedlam can cause a victim great psychic pain or perhaps even destroy their minds.

    Bedlam can enhance or reduce the mental and/or psychic abilities of others.

    Bedlam has extensive telekinetic abilities. He can form shields, redirect rapidly moving missiles, destroy high-flying aircraft, and generate explosive force sufficient to devastate a large building, such as Alpha Flight's Tamarind Island mansion. He could further create an immense building (acres in scale) in the remote Arctic, either by summoning materials from distant locations or by gathering existing local mineral ore. He could swiftly reconfigure materials into machinery, including climate control within his facility.

    Bedlam apparently had the knowledge to mutate or create artificial lifeforms (see comments)

    Sociopathic, Bedlam will readily kill others as he sees fit, although he perfers to control/manipulate them if possible. Though powerful enough to swiftly overpower even multiple foes, he often pauses to taunt his foes and reveal his plans.

    Relatively new/inexperienced with his powers and perhaps somewhat limited by his own insanity, Bedlam sometimes failed to appreciate he could telekinetically manipulate/imprison someone he could not mentally control.

    He wore a uniform and helmet that appeared to be metal, presumably affording him further degree of resistance to injury.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'8")
Weight: Unreveald (approximately
Eyes: Solid yellow (no visible pupil; pre-mutation eye color unrevealed
Hair: None (pre-mutation hair unrevealed)

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS /
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Volume 1: Alpha Flight entry / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - William Nowlan was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in a provincial prison in Nova Scotia.

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS) - Interested in James Hudson's proposition that his new exo-skeleton -- originally designed to expedite oil exploration -- could be used for Canada's defense, the Canadian government gave Hudson an unused site to use as his headquarters and bade him to locate or create a team of like-powered people to rival the USA's Avengers. 

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS) - Hudson covered all of Canada searching for people with extraordinary powers. bedlam-af-bandaged-full.jpg

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS) - Frustrated in his lack of finding anyone other than Weapon X (Logan), Hudson developed a device capable of locating those with latent powers that were not yet fully realized or developed. This led him to provincial prison in Nova Scotia and to William Nowlan. bedlam-af-bandaged-upper.jpg

    Desperate to gather a team of operatives, Hudson offered Nowlan a pardon in exchange for consenting to be experimented on to stimulate his powers, and Nowlan accepted.

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS) - Nowlan was transferred to Hudson's Department H base, wrapped in bandages, and prepared for experimentation.

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb)) - Hudson revealed his plans to Logan, assuring him he would train Nowlan to use his powers for good. Logan asked what Hudson would do if Nowlan turned out to not be so cooperative once he had gained super-human powers, but Hudson insisted they would cross that bridge when they came to it.  

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS / Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Nowlan, now mutated into the psychic-powered Bedlam the Brain Blast (as he was dubbed at some point by Hudson), attacked Hudson (now Weapon Alpha).

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS / Alpha Flight I#53 (fb)) - Logan fought back, but Bedlam shut down his mind and dropped him. bedlam-af-cocoon.jpg

(Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Bedlam nearly killed both Hudson and Logan.

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS / Alpha Flight I#53 (fb)) - Apparently mentally controlling his exoskeleton despite being physically paralyzed by Bedlam, Hudson subdued Bedlam and had him contained within a life support cocoon in a secret, sealed portion of his lab.

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) / Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) - BTS) - Hudson's creation of Bedlam was one of the reasons Logan left Department H.

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS) - When Department H was shut down and stripped of its machinery, the work crews failed to find Hudson's secret lab, which apparently had their own generators and life-support systems sustaining Bedlam.

(Alpha Flight I#52 - BTS) - Instructed by the Canadian government to determine a way for a nation of non-powered people to maintain control over their super-powered champions, Alpha Flight liaison Gary Cody slipped a "raider disc" into the team's Alphanex computer. Via this, he downloaded files meant only for founder James Hudson's eyes only; cracking their codes, he leaned of Hudson's previously secret efforts to create superhumans to fill a team to rival the USA's Avengers.

    Reaching the end of the data from the raider disc, Cody entered the long-sealed chamber holding Bedlam in an effort to learn what had come of Hudson's efforts and to see if it could benefit the Canadian government's goals. Finding the cocoon and life-support mechanisms associated with Bedlam, Cody attempted to unlock its secrets.

(Alpha Flight I#52 (fb) - BTS / Alpha Flight I#53 (fb)) - Bedlam was revived by Gary Cody, whom Bedlam then slew. Bedlam's release generated an automatic call to Wolverine with a recorded message from James Hudson.bedlam-af-full-vindicator.jpg

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Bedlam learned of the existence of the escaped former captives of Lionel Jeffries (aka Scramble/Omega): Laura Dean, Esme Fernando, Arthur Amadeus van Krijg, and Willem Vincent; he decided that they fit his own distorted version of a super-team (like what had been intended by Guardian/James Hudson, who had originally arranged Bedlam's empowerment). Ultimately, he intended the group to be the forebears of a new race under his control.

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Bedlam created a massive complex in the Arctic circle to serve as his base.

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Tracking down the escapees, Bedlam took mental control of and transported them to his Arctic complex. He forged them into a fighting team and then bound them in his base. At some point, Fernando, van Krijg, and Vincent were codenamed Breakdown, Freakout, and Janus, respectively.

(Alpha Flight I#56 (fb) - BTS) - Bedlam apparently (as theorized by Sasquatch) performed organic experimentations, creating a number of lifeforms (which Sasquatch/Langkowski would later identify as Bedlamites).

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb)) - Bedlam assaulted Maison Alpha during a training session for Alpha Flight members Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Sasquatch (Walter Langkowski utilizing Snowbird/Narya's body and going by "Wanda"), and Box (Madison Jeffries), along with Alpha trainees Purple Girl and Manikin. He caused an explosion that shattered the mansion and launched Box into the sky.

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) - BTS) - Bedlam swiftly subdued Manikin, Purple Girl, Sasquatch, and Vindicator.

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb)) - As Bedlam prepared to depart with his captives, Box arrived and told him he wasn't taking Alpha anywhere, but when Bedlam insisted he was, telekinetically deflected Box's missiles, and turned his psychic powers on Jeffries' mind, Jeffries was forced to retreat so deeply into his machine form that he no longer had a mind Bedlam could affect.

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) - BTS) - Bedlam transported Manikin, Purple Girl, Sasquatch, and Vindicator to his Arctic Circle base where they were imprisoned across from the still bound Dean, Fernando, van Krijg, and Vincent. 

(Alpha Flight I#53 - BTS) - Wolverine revived Box/Jeffries upon arriving at Maison Alpha, and Box tracked Bedlam to his base.

(Alpha Flight I#53) - Bedlam briefly linked the minds of his prisoners, allowing each to see the origins/recent histories of the others, and he was impressed to discover how Canada had cultivated such a crop of superhumans since his incarceration. Discovering Heather -- as the widow of James Hudson -- to be a living link with his creator, Bedlam linked his mind to hers, showing her how James had created him as well as how Logan and James Hudson had battled him, and how Gary Cody had revived him and been killed in respone. Appreciating from Heather's memories that James Hudson was dead (or, at least, believed to be dead at the time), Bedlam vowed to take revenge on her instead: She would either die or live to be subserviant to him. 

    Bedlam then released the two groups from their imprisonment and -- naming his first group the Derangers and transforming all except Dean into costume-- forced them to fight, with the winners to serve as the core to the new master race.

    As Box and Wolverine approached Bedlam's base, they submerged their minds within their machine and bestial selves. Detecting their approach, Bedlam telekinetically blew their ship out of the sky; unable to detect any minds left, he assumed them to be dead, but -- with Box having protected Wolverine within his metal frame -- they continued on ground in their virtually mindless forms. derangers-af-vs-bedlam.jpg

    Unable to stop tearing into the Freakout (who could not feel pain) due to Bedlam's control and fearing she might kill Freakout, Sasquatch reverted to her powerless form, "Wanda Langkowski." Paused by the beautiful form of Wanda, Freakout refused to accept Bedlam's orders to finish her. 

    Immune to her pheromone control powers, Goblyn (who had interdimensionally traded places with her twin, Laura Dean) assaulted Purple Girl. Janus' dual forms fought Manikin's multiple forms until Purple Girl took mental control of that Janus and forced him to relent, while Manikin's "ape-man" form punched back Goblyn, getting her off Purple Girl's trail. Breakdown's explosive power nearly shattered Vindicator's force shields. When Breakdown prepared to attack anew, Vindicator blasted her with a plasma-burst before she could explode, which kept her in her harmless steady state long enough for Purple Girl to take mental control of her.

    When Bedlam directly assaulted the heroes, binding Wanda with tendrils formed from the floors, Freakout leapt to Wanda's defense, battering Bedlam furiously. Unable to mentally control Freakout, Bedlam telekinetically summoned numerous wooden spikes that pierced Freakout's chest, killing him. 

    As the others united against Bedlam, he bound Goblyn in tendrils, apparently slew Breakdown with a telekinetic blast through her torso, forced Janus' two selves to strangle each other, and immobilized all of his other thinking foes.bedlam-af-death.jpg

    Wolverine and Box then arrived -- having submerged their conscious minds beneath their savage and machine natures, respectively; but Bedlam got Wolverine's conscious mind's attention by falsely stating that both Wolverine and himself were products of James Hudson's ambition; Bedlam was then able to take contol of Wolverine's mind and force him to attack Box. 

    With her body immobilized, Heather Hudson commanded her Vindicator armor to attack Bedlam. Lamenting that her command of the battlesuit would have made her a formidable addition to his team of super-slaves, Bedlam prepared to telekinetically tear apart both Heather and the suit. To save herself, Vindicator blew off Bedlam's head with a force blast, killing him. 

    With Mansion Alpha destroyed, Alpha Flight briefly adopted the base Bedlam created as their own.

(Alpha Flight I#56) - When Box absorbed the mass of Bedlam's headquarters and flew into space, "Bedlamites" attempted to take over Box; they were destroyed by Alpha Flight.

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Jim Lee, and Whilce Portacio.

    Bedlam received a real name in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover Volume 1: Alpha Flight entry.

    Bedlam did an impressive amount of work in an extremely short time. Gary Cody released Bedlam, which sent a warning to Wolverine, who apparently headed straight to stop Bedlam. In whatever time it took Wolverine to fly from New York to Mansion Alpha on Tamarind Island, Bedlam (not necessarily in this order):

  1. Traveled to the Arctic Circle and created a massive Arctic complex
  2. Mutated/created the Bedlamites
  3. Learned of, tracked down, captured, and "forged into a fighting team" the beings who would become the Derangers
  4. Ambushed and overpowered Alpha Flight, and then transported them to his Arctic Base.

    As Tamarind Island is in British Columbia, on the West Coast, that's perhaps 2500 miles away. If Wolverine thought it was an emergency, he could have gotten into an X-vehicle and been there in a matter of a few hours...maybe 8 or less hours or elapsed time.

    That is an insane amount of work for Bedlam to accomplish in a few weeks, let alone a few hours.

Profile by Snood.

should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)
Alpha Flight I#52, pg. 9, panel 1 (bandaged pre-experimentation; full);
            panel 3 (bandaged, upper body close-up);
        pg. 11, panel 2 (cocoon);
    #53, pg. 7, panel 1 (full, holding defeated Vindicator);
            panel 5 (face close-up);
        pg. 8, panel 4 (Bedlam's Arctic base, outside);
            panel 5 (Alpha Flight and Derangers bound);
        pg. 19, panel 1 (Freakout punching Bedlam);
            panel 8 (Derangers attacking Bedlam; Breakdown blasted);
        pg. 21, panel 7 (Vindicator blows his head off)

Alpha Flight I#52 (November, 1987) - Bill Mantlo (writer), June Brigman (penciler), Whilce Portacio (inker), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#53 (December, 1987) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Jim Lee (penciler), Whilce Portacio (inker), Carl Potts (editor)
Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates (aka Volume 5) - designed by Scott Bennie, David Martin, Chris Mortika, David Rogers, and William Tracy
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover Volume 1: Alpha Flight entry (2008) - Jeff Christinasen, Mike Fichera, Stuart Vandal, Mark O'English, Sean McQuaid, Madison Carter, Michael Hoskin, et. al. (writers), Jeff Youngquist & Jennifer Grunwald (editors)

First posted: 03/08/2018
Last Updated: 03/14/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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