Comics Anonymous

THE CREEP #0 by G-Man

The first thing that’ll grab you from this Dark Horse release has GOT to be that Frank Miller cover but a good cover has never guaranteed a sure fire winner on the inside…..which way would Creep #0 take us?

With John Arcudi on hand we were surely onto a winner and with previous offerings like Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest and Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand already nestling in my “favourites” section from 2012, my hopes were high.  The basic premise of this issue #0 centres around a new case for a detective but that basic premise just doesn’t do the story justice as there is so much more depth on offer here.

Oxel, our detective, receives a surprising letter in the mail from Stephanie Brinke, a first-love from High School that he hasn’t thought about in years but still feels some bitterness towards after she broke his heart.  Steph is pleading for his help in investigating her son’s “suicide” a mere two months after his friends….a fact that the local police seem to fob off quite easily as not being suspicious in any way.

Oxel suffers from, Acromegaly, a condition where excess growth hormone is produced by the body causing some distinctive facial development.  I’m assuming this is where the “Creep” reference comes from but as the story develops, there’s much more of a “gentle-giant” edge to the character than you might initially have expected.  This is what Arcudi excels at – laying out a story with a simple premise and in such a way that we are able to take the hints & details dropped throughout the issue about the characters we see and absorb them.

We’re involved from the get-go and while the writing stands-out as a success, the high point for me is the glorious art from Jonathan Case – the panels he uses and the ability he has to capture flashbacks and delusional scenes with a simple adjustment to the colour pallet is amazing.  Making some unreal scenes feel real and adding shadow and detail with such care and attention that you could almost walk into the page.

What’s even more surprising though, is that in this issue the investigation has started, Oxel has begun his interviews and snooping – yet he hasn’t been to see Steph yet.  Something I didn’t realize until the closing scenes of the issue and that’s possibly down to the fact we get some clever narrative as Oxel reads the letter and some glimpses of her through flashbacks.  If anything, the issue manages to leave us with more questions than answers and yet somehow I’m still satisfied having read it……a strange thing and not as frustrating as I’ve had on other titles which take the same approach.

A “must-read” from Arcudi & Case and a definite addition to the monthly pull-list…..luckily I’ve already got the first few issues on-order.  Pick this up and see what you think and then keep getting it.



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