The Creeper Keeps on Kreeping
THE CREEPER #3 (of six)
THE CREEPER #5
DC Comics 2006
Story: Steve Niles
Artwork: Justiniano (pencils); Walden Wong (inks)
The third issue of this six-part miniseries has Batman chasing a few clues about the green-headed title character, sneaking around a Gotham City police forensic lab and swiping evidence. (I wonder if he intends to return it? Otherwise the police department will presumably be releasing Axeman who is in on murder charges.)
Jack/Creeper's ex-girlfriend Vera is suspicious about where Jack is since he is on the verge of missing the broadcast time for his TV talk show which he hosts (called "You Are Wrong") and Batman uses an "international database" to match blood samples off Axeman's hatchet to pin Jack Ryder as the Creeper. Meanwhile, Jack Ryder and the Creeper (the two are split personalities living in the same body, more or less like Two-Face/Harvey Dent) get touchy-feely with each other as they switch back and forth whilst battling Gavin, the teenage monstrosity who is a fellow victim with Creeper from the Dr. Yatz serum which changed them both.
My question is: If the Yatz serum revived an otherwise dead Jack Ryder (he was shot through the skull in issue #1) and produced the secondary personality (not to mention the name "Creeper," the red booties, red gloves and the rest of the outfit); and, if the same effect was upon Gavin the teenage burn victim (who has become a bloated hulk who eats everything in sight) is there going to be a second personality in Gavin, too? And will that personality have a vocabulary beyond "Gav eat skin! Gav grow!" and "Gavin want!" or "Doctorrr!" which is all the poor guy has mouthed so far. Or is this monosyllable personality the alternative personality, and the original one is buried away in the mass of flesh Gavin is hauling toward Gotham City (which is how Creeper #3 ends)?
Another question is: why does Gavin have (looks like) insect mandibles, but Creeper does not? Why does Gavin grow and Creeper does not? And why doesn't Gavin have red boots, green swim trunks and the red-fringe thing? (Gavin does have a sort've green fringe, but then Creeper has green hair...) You see, I'm looking for somekind of pattern here to explain Yatz' serum and its effects, besides it's awesome power to heal Ryder's headshot wound.
Batman and Axeman are presented as opposite moral extremes based upon the same premise of fighting ciminality. Creeper is, as is Jack Ryder, apparently a self-serving individual without any moral confusion (all he has done so far is fight for survival). The mobsters who originally financed the Yatz experiments are crude, primitive comic book killers who have as yet an unseen boss who wants a sample of the nanocell technology, the only samples of which are in Gavin and Creeper. Hopefully this hidden mob boss is a more elegant fellow than his minions who thrive on putting bullets into heads, and incidentally are/were Jack Ryder TV Show fans.
Justiniano's art is as hyper in issue three as the two previous issues, the inking is well done (by Walden Wong) and the colors are much too dramatic (they're by Chris Chuckry), but I cannot think how they could be better when the main figure is a prime-colored green, red and yellow character. Also, it seems like Justiniano/Wong use great slabs of black ink in a lot of their panels, not leaving a lot for a colorist to do.
There are three more issues to tie this series up. I look forward to having the many loose-plot threads resolved.
Creeper 1 and 2 (2006) Steve Niles and Justiniano
Creeper 3 (2006) Steve Niles and Justiniano
Creeper 4 (2007) Steve Niles and Steve Scott
Creeper 5 (2007) Steve Niles and Steve Scott
Creeper 6 (2007) Steve Niles and Justiniano
Creeper cover by Dick Giordano (1975) Detective Comics #447
Creeper By Ernie Chua (1975) Detective Comics #448
Original Page October 2006 | Updated Sept 2009, Sept 2011