Comic Book Review: The Creeper #2

The Revolution enjoyed Creeper #1. I am not familiar with the original Creeper, but I certainly enjoyed this new take on this character. I thought that Niles did a nice job developing Jack Ryder. I’m curious to see how Niles handles the Creeper’s character. The first issue was basically just an origin issue. Creeper #2 is going to be a better indication of this mini-series. This is the issues where we will see what Niles is going to do with this story. Let’s stop wasting time and hit this review.

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

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We see two guys out camping. Suddenly, they are attacked from the creature from Dr. Yatz’s laboratory in the last issue. The creature says it needs their skin so it kills both guys and takes their skin.

We then shift to Jack Ryder’s apartment. Jack is having a discussion with the Creeper in his head. The Creeper wants Jack to let him loose so they can get revenge on Hagop Hewsen for trying to kill Jack in last issue. Jack feels like he is losing his mind. Creeper finally convinces Jack to go after Hagop. We then see the Creeper jumping through Gotham. Now, Jack is a voice in the Creeper’s head. (Very Firestorm-ish.)

We cut to the Hewsen Estate. Papa Hewsen bitches at his son Hagop for killing Ryder. Papa Hewsen never sanctioned murder. Papa Hewsen is honestly trying to be legit these days. Hewsen then meets with his captive, Dr. Katz. Hewsen tells Dr. Yatz that he took his money and failed to perform any of the work that Hewsen paid him for. Hewsen tells Dr. Yatz that he is going to keep him captive on the Hewsen Estate until Dr. Yatz finishes the work that he was paid to perform. Dr. Yatz then is escorted out of Hewsen’s office. Suddenly, the monster from the beginning of the issue busts into Hewsen’s office and is shouting for Dr. Yatz.

We cut to Creeper crossing paths with Batman. Batman asks if he is a good guy. Creeper says he thinks he is. Batman responds that if he isn’t a good guy then they will be meeting again. And with that Batman swings off.

Creeper is star struck from having met Batman. Creeper then crosses paths with some psycho named the Axeman. The Axeman is the villain that the Batman was chasing. The Creeper and the Axeman engage in a rather spirited dispute. The Creeper ends up taking out the Axeman and leaves him tied up for the Batman.

The Creeper then arrives at the Hewsen Estate and sees the home in shambles from the attack by the monster. Papa Hewsen confronts the Creeper. Hewsen tells the Creeper that a monster attacked them and killed his son, Hagop. Hewsen says that the monster was looking for Dr. Yatz. Hewsen said that Dr. Yatz escaped during the fracas. Hewsen tells the Creeper that he gave Dr. Yatz millions of dollars to develop soil treatments for food growth in Hewsen’s homeland where starvation is killing off his people. Hewsen discovered that Dr. Yatz was taking Hewsen’s money for Yatz’s own experiments to develop something called Smart Skin. The Creeper says that he will track down both the monster and Dr. Yatz.

We see Creeper leaving the Hewsen Estate and then suddenly running across the monster. End of issue.

The Good: I thought Creeper #2 was just an average read. I thought the scene in Jack’s apartment where he is talking to the Creeper in his head was great. Niles does a wonderful job crafting the dialogue between these two characters. This scene helped to contribute to the dark and unbalanced mood of this comic book.

Niles is doing a nice job fleshing out the personalities of Jack Ryder and the Creeper. The idea to have them have separate minds and personalities and be able to talk to the other is an interesting twist. The Creeper has always been a character that is extremely unhinged. The reader is left to wonder if the Creeper is really talking to Jack or if Jack is becoming deranged and is simply hearing voices in his head. And the Creeper hearing Jack in his head when the Creeper is in “control” could very well just be the Creeper being insane.

I do think that the Creeper and Jack actually have a Firestorm style of relationship. It is appealing and makes for some great and entertaining dialogue which keeps the scenes lively. Plus, it feeds into the unstable insane feeling of the Creeper’s personality.

The scene with the Creeper at Hewsen’s Estate was well done. Niles have us a nice twist with the revelation that Hewsen is actually not the bad guy that the reader thought he was. And that Dr. Yatz is much more sinister than the reader thought initially. This Smart Skin experiment sounds pretty interesting. I’m certainly curious to learn more about the good doctor and his Smart Skin experiment.

Niles gives the reader an ending that promises a massive brawl next issue between the Creeper and the Monster. That should provide for some solid entertainment.

Justiniano’s artwork was fantastic. His style is certainly an acquired taste and I would understand if many readers just can’t get into his style of art. I might not like Justiniano’s art on many other titles; however I think his style fits The Creeper perfectly. Justiniano’s artwork compliments the dark and deranged mood that Niles is crafting. I love how Justiniano draws the Gotham city skyline all warped and out of whack when The Creeper is hopping across the building tops of Gotham.

The Bad: The opening scene was your stereotypical monster attacks campers scene. It wasn’t anything great and I am not that interested in the monster. At this point, he is nothing more than your typical monster. There isn’t much about this character that I find interesting or original. As far as villains go, this type of monster is probably my least favorite style of villain.

The scene between Hewsen and Dr. Yatz didn’t get me anymore interested in this monster. The fact that the monster is the experiment from Dr. Yatz’s lab that we thought was killed in the last issue didn’t make me all that much more interested in its character.

I thought the extremely brief meeting between Batman and the Creeper was totally unnecessary and exceedingly anti-climactic. The leaser for this issue seemed to promise much more interaction between these two characters. Niles also delivered an unconvincing Batman. Batman is very protective of Gotham and despises other Capes operating on his turf. I expect a bit more from Batman upon stumbling across a new metahuman in his backyard than what we got in this four panel scene.

The scene with the Axeman fighting with the Creeper was unnecessary and failed to add anything to the story other than a mindless fight scene. And not even a very good fight scene.

The Batman and Axeman scenes were totally pointless and not needed in this issue. I would rather have Niles use those pages toward developing a more interesting villain and plotline for the Creeper than what we got with these two scenes.

By biggest problem is that The Creeper is only a six issue mini-series. I feel like a good portion of this issue was a total waste and that the story lost some focus and got bogged down a bit. With just six issues to work with, a writer really needs to stay focused and deliver a nicely paced story with a definite purpose and direction. I don’t get that feeling with this mini-series. I don’t think Niles has really crafted much of an interesting plotline for this mini-series. I liked Creeper #1 because it was a good origin issue, but it didn’t do much to establish a plotline. Creeper #2 did establish the plotline for the rest of this mini-series, but it feels a bit uninteresting.

Overall: Creeper #2 was a pedestrian read. I think the Creeper is a pretty cool character with plenty of potential. However, Niles hasn’t delivered much a story that really grabs my attention. If you like horror-style monsters and action then you will probably enjoy this comic book.