Comic Book Review: Creeper #1

The Revolution has decided to give several of the Brave New World titles a try. The Creeper isn’t a character that I have really ever been a fan of and I have don’t know much about this character at all. So, I am approaching to this reboot as a “virgin” with no pre-conceived notions about this character. All right, let’s do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Steve Niles
Penciler: Justiniano
Inker: Walden Wong

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue starts with the Jack Ryder show “You are WRONG!” Jack is skewering Mr. Patterson, a conservative politician, who is against the use of cloning or Dr. Yatz’s nanocell technology. Jack continues to deride and insult Mr. Patterson. After the show is over, Jack goes back stage and talks to Vera, a production aid, and asks her if they are still an item. Vera says that their relationship is over ever since she saw him with the anchor from L.A. Morning. Vera then walks away and Jack is stunned that she would dismiss him.

We cut to Jack deciding to break into Dr. Yatz’s laboratory to get his own scoop before the big public premier party for Dr. Yatz’s nanocell technology discovery. When Jack enters the lab, he sees several armed goons beating up Dr. Yatz. The goons’ boss is Hagop Hewson. Hewson punches Jack in the face and tell his goons to keep an eye on Jack while Hewson continues to question Dr. Yatz about where the sample is located. Dr. Yatz says that the last of the nanocells are in the boy. That they healed the boy’s burns and that Hewson’s father should be happy with the results. Hewson responds that they paid for the experiment and want the results now. That they did not agree to finance a charity project.

Jack then takes out one of the goons and takes his gun. Jack then grabs Dr. Yatz and tells Hewson to back off or he will shoot the doctor and then he’ll never get the information about the nanocells. Jack then bumps into the doctor’s desk that turns on the recording of the promotional video for the nanocell technology. It shows how Dr. Yatz used the nanocells to completely heal a boy who suffered from third degree burns over 95% of his body. Dr. Yatz then grabs a syringe and says that this is the last nanocell sample and he can’t risk Hewson getting it. So Dr. Yatz stabs Jack with the syringe and pumps him full of the last of the nanocell sample.

Jack passes out and Hewson and his goons grab Jack and the doctor. We then see the boy who had undergone the nanocell treatment in his special container. He suddenly starts to morph and his cellular structure becomes highly unstable. The goons react in fear and blow away the boy. Hewson and his goons then leave the lab with Dr. Yatz and Jack.

We then shift to the Hewson Estate. They take Dr. Yatz and Jack to the edge of a cliff in the back of the estate grounds. Dr. Yatz says that his last sample is in Jack and there is no getting it back. That if Hewson kills Jack then the cells will die. Hewson says that he thinks the doctor is lying and can make him more nanocells. Hewson then shoots Jack in the head. The goons then throw Jack off the edge of the cliff.

We see Jack’s crumpled body lying at the bottom of the cliff. Suddenly, he transforms into the Creeper! We shift back to Hewson and his goons walking back to the mansion. They hear this awful laughter in the air. It is so loud that it hurts their ears. The Creeper then attacks. Creeper takes out the goons and tells the last goon to tell him boss that he has a new enemy. That the Creeper will be watching.

Jack then learns that he can turn into the Creeper and turn back to normal just by thinking. We see Jack back at the studio. Vera tells him that she was worried. That something horrible happened at Dr. Yatz’ lab. Jack responds that he hadn’t heard. That he had himself a rather funny night. End of issue.

The Good: This was a pretty good issue. Niles spins a pretty entertaining tale. I liked the pace of this first issue. Niles wastes no time getting this story moving, introducing the villain, establishing the origin of the Creeper and showing the Creeper in action. This was a nice example of how to pull of a first issue. It is important to get the reader involved quickly especially in the case of this title where we are only dealing with a 6 issue mini-series. You can’t have much fat or set up with just 6 issues.

Niles crafted some nice dialogue. I liked the character of Jack Ryder. He is fake, egotistical and has practically no morals. What a nice change of pace. It is refreshing to have a protagonist who isn’t all that likeable.

Niles has a nicely constructed story and delivers a good mix of action and drama. Niles blends some humor in with his dark storyline. That is part of what makes the Creeper so enjoyable. The Creeper is a “horror” based type of character. Yet, at the same time, the Creeper also is a “humorous” type of character. It is an unusual blend and quite enjoyable.

I also dig the Creeper’s character. The Creeper is like a super powered Joker who fights for good instead of evil. The insanity of the Creeper makes him a rather intriguing character. I love the insane cackling that sounds like it is coming from every direction and is so loud that it can hurt a person’s ears. That is a distinctive weapon that can be used to intimidate and disable criminals.

Justiniano’s pencils are pretty nice. I think that his art can be a bit average when dealing with regular people. However, his Creeper looks fantastic. Just an incredible rendition of the Creeper.

The Bad: The overall plot of this story is a bit thin. We have some rich business man who has funded Dr. Yatz’ nanocell technology for some unknown nefarious reasons. That isn’t the foundation for the most compelling or innovative story.

The issue reads a bit disjointed with the way it shifts from scene to scene. I liked the pace, but it was just a little bit too hyper the way it zipped from scene to scene. Plus, Niles fails to end this issue with much of a hook to get the reader anxious for the next issue.

I like Justiniano’s pencils and I thought he did a great job on the cover. However, I don’t like Wong’s inks. I think that Wong’s inks bring down Justiniano’s pencils. I’d rather see Justiniano ink his own work.

Overall: Creeper #1 was a pretty good issue. The art was solid. The story was also pretty good. The plot wasn’t amazing, but Niles made Jack and The Creeper rather interesting characters. I’m definitely going to get this entire mini-series. I think the Creeper is a pretty cool character and that this mini-series has some potential.