Low-Stakes Horror In Bedtime Games #4

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Mr. Bedtime and his nightmares have captured Owen, Avery, and Jamie with the help of Wally. He can get the book from Owen’s little brother, Charlie, and he has the quill; now he only needs the ink. With these, Mr. Bedtime can bring the teens’ own nightmares to life and trap them in his servitude. Can our heroes escape this terror?

Bedtime Games #4 cover by Conor Nolan
Bedtime Games #4 cover by Conor Nolan

Bedtime Games #4 brings its story to a climax with a lengthy explanation of Mr. Bedtime’s plans and his attempts to torment and exploit Owen, Avery, Jamie, and Wally.

Unfortunately, the eeriness and horror of the book all-but dissipates this issue. Mr. Bedtime is less mysterious and threatening when he explains his entire MO like a classic comic book villain. It plays out like a superhero comic too, as you know that the heroes are going to resolve this crisis as soon as Bedtime finishes explaining his schtick.

His accompanied nightmares are a bit underwhelming too. Of course, there is a murder clown. The other two are some kind of feminine spirit and a mask that can morph into others.

All that said, Avery, Owen, Jamie, and Wally are decent characters, and you can’t help but feel for them given how well the miniseries fleshed them out. The comic does get a little hokey in its conclusion, not helped by Owen attempting to rebuff all the platitudes he expects from Avery about Charlie’s illness. The comic strives for greater meaning when it should probably relied on its themes of friendship and chosen family. Thankfully for it, that theme shines through regardless.

Bedtime Games #4 art by Conor Nolan and Kelly Fitzpatrick
Bedtime Games #4 art by Conor Nolan and Kelly Fitzpatrick

Conor Nolan’s artwork gives the book an appropriate visual resemblance to a storybook. Unfortunately, it results in Mr. Bedtime looking a bit more like a used car salesman than a genuine nightmare creature. That said, the style works when it’s not actively trying to be scary, and Kelly Fitzpatrick’s color art is atmospheric and effective.

Bedtime Games #4 is a somewhat disappointing conclusion to this otherwise great horror miniseries. It’s not scary, but it’s cast of likable and relatable leads keep the book from being an outright wash. If you enjoyed the first three issues, there is no reason to not stick it out. Beyond that, there isn’t a lot of reasons to pick up this final issue.

Bedtime Games #4 comes courtesy of writer Nick Keller, artist Conor Nolan, color artist Kelly Fitzpatrick, letterer John J. Hill, and cover artist Conor Nolan.

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