As comics double-down on licenses to build up their offerings, hoping to bring in readers that are already fans of the movies they’re based on, Sumerian Comics took to NYCC 2023 to bring its American Psycho comic to con goers.

The comic, based on Bret Easton Ellis’s novel of the same name but more widely known for its adaptation starring Christian Bale, is written by Michael Calero and illustrated by Piotr Kowalski, with colors by Brad Simpson. It follows two timelines, if you will. One that views the Patrick Bateman murders from a different point of view than that of source material and another that finds a curious link to the killings in the present time.

American Psycho #1 takes a strange but appropriately dark dive into characters old and new that flirt with the idea of killing for their own twisted reasons, being that how they justify their actions is central to the concept of the novel and the movie. The read can be quite complex for people that have already seen the film. It really puts into question just how reliable its different perspectives can be, especially when considering how broken these characters’ moral compasses are and how they argue away the very need to human consideration when paired with rugged individualism.

Calero’s script does an excellent job of capturing the same excesses the book explores, framing the NYC of the 1980s as a place that’s sectioned off by class with various levels of accessibility. Those expecting a few Easter eggs on some of the film’s most iconic moments will get them, most notably a discussion on the music of one particular artist. Despite focusing on different characters, though, the book does come off as a legitimate extension of the world of American Psycho.

Kowalski clearly set out to make sure Patrick Bateman looked just like Christian Bale, and he nailed it. Anyone worried about this can rest easy. The art’s naturalistic stylings make the story feel appropriately grounded, which has the effect of making the death scenes go quite hard with big splotches of red marking the violence left in the wake of the story’s killers.

american psycho

There’s an interesting idea concerning justified killings, though, that might or might not extend throughout its 4-issue arc. Just how much it’ll play into the development of the characters involved in this take on the source material remains to be seen. What’s apparent is that Calero and Kowalski aren’t interested in settling for cheap throwbacks to the movie. There’s a clear interest in crafting a story that takes full advantage of what came before it so it can reach into different parts of the dangerous world that Patrick Bateman inhabits.

Sumerian have quite a special book in American Psycho. There’s potential here to create something that becomes essential to the narrative Bret Easton Ellis gave birth to. Fans will feel very welcome with this new chapter, while new readers will find enough character-driven violence to keep them asking for more. So dust off those Phil Collins records. Patrick Bateman is back.