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The Creeper #1

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The Creeper #1

Credits

  • Words: Steve Niles
  • Art: Justiniano
  • Inks: Walden Wong
  • Colors: Chris Chuckry
  • Story Title: Beware the Creeper
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 2, 2006

TV sensationalist host Jack Ryder is not a nice man, but when he transforms into the Creeper he’s definitely far from being nice.

I recently read an article on writer Steve Niles in Fangoria magazine, and after finishing the piece I knew instantly that the guy is one of the hardest working creators in comics. Funny enough, Steve has been working in the industry since the early 90’s when he wrote several Clive Barker related projects for Eclipse (now defunct), but it seems he’s only getting some major notice now. I am certain though that a book like The Creeper should really help to push Steve’s profile straight into the stratosphere, and it’s great to see the writer get that much deserved recognition.

With this first issue of The Creeper, Mr. Niles decides to handle the character of Jack Ryder as a selfish leftist thinker who’s been given his own TV show to spread his rant. Jack reigns as a king on the airwaves and in the opening scene he’s found in a heated debate over the use of artificial cell technology. Of course Jack is all for it and after badgering his guest (who’s against it), he struts proudly much to the chagrin of the show’s producers. The scene then shifts to Jack paying a late night visit to the scientist responsible for creating the Nanocells, but he isn’t the only one showing up to the dance. In fact a shady deal is going and Jack finds himself in a whole heap of trouble, so it seems to be the perfect scenario for the Creeper to burst out.

You really have to hand it to a veteran like Niles who seems to be in his element with this type of gritty horror infused story. Much of the dialogue conceived in the first half of the issue perfectly outlines Jack Ryder’s character as a man who is essentially a creep (pardon the pun though) by nature. What I find interesting with that aspect of his characterization is the juxtaposition of that held against Jack becoming the Creeper. This of course lends to the idea of a moral lesson to be learned, but at this juncture I cannot say if Steve’s writing is pointing towards that outcome. I will say though that he’s off to a good start here, and he’s enriched this new version of the Creeper with a darker twist than I have seen with previous incarnations.

It’s also important to note the presence of artist of Justiniano is strongly represented here on this opening issue. He is ideally picked to illustrate this series given his manic style of drawing. I’ve always liked his work and I can remember first seeing his pencils on the Beast Boy limited series of a few years ago, and he is approaching the Creeper from a similar perspective. He also works well in tandem with inker Walden Wong and it’s great to find a symbiotic relationship such as these two, and know that both can find some success in sequential storytelling.

This series is just one of several new projects to spin directly out from the Brave New World special, and it’s nice to have the Creeper retuning to the DCU in a big way. In the past the Creeper has appeared in a number of cheesy storylines that have not done the character any justice, but thankfully that isn’t the case here. Instead you’ll find a much darker version at play and we should thank Steve Niles for that. Let’s just hope he delivers all the way through with this series.

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