REVIEW: The Creep #1

by

Dark Horse’s newest noir miniseries continues on with issue #1. Hooray for zero issues! Starring a unique lead character, is this book a thriller or just plain filler? Hit the jump to enter the world of The Creep…

THE CREEP #1
Writer:  John Arcudi
Art and Colors:  Jonathan Case
Editor:  Scott Allie
Assistant Editor:  Daniel Chabon
Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price:  $3.99

Previously in THE CREEP Seeing as how this is a first issue, one might think that the book is ready to give you a fresh start…a new character and story are just waiting to be discovered by the reader. That’s right, a first issue is a guaranteed great spot for a new reader to jump into a series.

As it turns out, this is 100% untrue…If you missed out on the Zero issue, you missed a heckuva lot and will be completely lost this issue.

Issue #1 is *ahem* part two of the Creep’s tale. In issue #0, we were introduced to our protagonist, a private dick who suffers from acromegaly, a disease in which the body’s growth hormone runs rampant. The easiest example to think of in our world would be Andre the Giant. The Creep’s condition has caused him to grow into one ugly sucker who sort of resembles Lothar from Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer. Despite living in a ghetto where he is repeatedly mocked and insulted, the Creep takes it all in stride and accepts a case from an old flame involving the suicide of her teenage son and her friend.

THE BIGGER THEY ARE…

As mentioned, the numbering of this book will completely throw you, as this book’s plot is a straight continuation of the previous issue and there is no recap.

Instead, we find the Creep holed up in his tiny apartment in the embrace of a lady of the night, moping over his old flame. There are some classic noir moments here: The P.I. knows that the dame who just entered his life seeking help is bad news, yet takes the case anyways. As he discusses his past relationships with his companion for the evening, the dialogue really pops. The reader will really see that this guy has a good heart and is incredibly lonely and lovesick, as I imagine someone with this type of disorder would be.

The scene segues to a character from last issue, the teen suicide’s homeless grandfather, who is either hallucinating or giving us a hint that something supernatural may be involved with the boy’s death…There’s not much of a way to tell this issue. Considering the grandfather’s current mental state, a hallucination is probably the best bet, but not a lot of time is spent on this moment. As with many classic detective stories, this could be our red herring for the issue.

The rest of the book is divided with the Creep’s investigation into the case, during which he meets the deceased boy’s jerk of a father, and more glimpses into the life of the Creep.

This is a book that is very light on action, but is packed with substance. The pacing of this issue is very well done, and the characterization is top notch. While it borrows many tropes from the clichéd detective story, it hits these beats nicely and the condition of the lead character makes the tale feel fresh. There are a lot of questions about the case that pop up in this book…including a great one about the point of investigating suicide as a crime anyways…that will get the reader thinking. This is a tale I’m invested in, and I definitely want to see how it plays out.

CLEAN ART FOR A GRIMY STORY

The art on the book is pretty good quality, and somewhat reminiscent of Michael Avon Oeming’s style. Most of the attention is given to the characters and backgrounds are sparsely detailed. The coloring is a bit too bright for the story. A book like this is begging for black and white or grayscale. One huge caveat that I must point out: Case makes a brilliant choice many times in the book. Whenever the Creep is imagining a scene, whether he is thinking of the events caught in a photograph or fantasizing about the person on the other end of his phone call, the art shifts to a somewhat hazy, dreamy state. I thought this was genius. Not only does it make these ideal scenes pop when compared to the rest of the book, it really makes the Creep more sympathetic. It’s almost as if he is constantly seeing good things happen to the rest of the world while stuck in his own misery.

BOTTOM LINE: A GREAT FOLLOW-UP, NOT A GREAT FIRST ISSUE

My final rating can’t help but be colored by my disappointment upon opening the book and finding it to be a continued story. Zero issues seem to be all the rage these days, but I’ve never been unable to get into a series when picking up the first issue. It felt very much like a bait and switch and almost made me lose interest in the book altogether. That would’ve been a shame as I very much liked what I read. This is a solid detective book with the added twist of a disabled hero. It deals very directly with the pain I can only imagine results from a teen suicide and how the parents would be affected. Each character is quite unique and well-developed, and the emotions expressed by each feel true to life. The content will hold your interest and pique your curiosity…but for Creep’s sake, make sure you track down that zero issue first.

Rating: ★★★★☆