An engaging mystery, with a classic protagonist, The Creep #0 (originally introduced in Dark Horse Presents, previewed HERE) was painful and poignant, with writing which possessed a sensitivity often lacking from mainstream comics. It opens with a young boys’ (Curtis) suicide, which we subsequently learn follows the death of his best friend (Mark), by his own hand, two months earlier. Neither of which the police investigate. Therefore, the bereaved Mother (Steph) seeks help, from an old flame, Oxel, who is a private detective, who suffers from acromegaly – a long term condition, in which too much growth hormone is produced, usually the result of a noncancerous tumour of the pituitary gland, causing the body tissues get larger over time, resulting in physical deformity – none of which she knows about. The issue centres on whether or not Oxel will confront his past and take the case, with a classic Frank Miller cover.
The Creep #1 (previewed HERE) is as utterly compelling as #0. Arcudi’s characters are some of the most well-written in comics today – they are human, with faults, flaws and the opportunity (oft unrealised) for redemption. It’s an honest tale. It opens with Oxel ruminating over his chance to resolve many a demon, despite the worsening of his condition. His anger is as apparent as it was in #0, as is his unrequited love. Whilst still working the background of the case, Oxel interviews our victim’s (estranged) Father, with possible clues deposited in their frank conversation. Arcudi’s plot is expertly crafted; layered and nuanced. Our ‘hero’, Oxel’s character arc at this point is far from clear, is reminiscent of Hammett’s Sam Spade.
Writer John Arcudi, previously known for his excellent work on B.P.R.D with Mike Mignola, who supplied the wonderful cover, and Jonathan Case, creator of Dear Creature and artist of Green River Killer, possess a synchronicity which, I imagine, is the envy of creators the industry over, akin to Bendis and Maleev on Daredevil or Azzarello and Risso on 100 Bullets. The contrasting styles of Case’s art are a wonder, particularly the delicacy of the flashback/hallucinatory sequences. Not only will I continue with this superb miniseries but follow these creators for years to come.
This is a series I’d highly recommend, not only to those who like comics and the genre, but anyone with an interest in a well written, character driven story. It is a fine example of how good comics can be.