Filed under: Comic Reviews, Dark Horse Comics | Tags: Dark Horse Comics, Frank Miller, John Arcudi, Jonathan Case, Mike Mignola, Oxel
After enjoying issue #0 of The Creep (reviewed here) – I was keen to see where John Arcudi & Jonathan Case would take us on this dark, detective story.
Opening with Oxel reading a letter from his old friend and ex-old flame, Stephanie Brinke, asking how his investigation is progressing we get to see another side of his life. Paying for the female attention his condition obviously prevents, Case continues to make us feel sympathy towards our main character ….something that seems in contrast to both this and the issue #0 cover. Where Frank Miller (#0 cover) and Mike Mignola (#1 cover) seem to have aimed for the dark and almost B-Movie horror look of a goon, whereas our main artist holds a much more subtle approach. An approach that matches Arcudi’s writing style and direction with the character.
Oxel is still very much on the case introduced in issue #0 as the apparent suicide of Stephanie’s son has worked its way under his skin. His interviews continue and we get a glimpse of a lengthy meeting with Steph’s ex-husband about his son – another old-friend that seems at ease with Oxel even with the passage of time and the obvious changes in his appearance. The discussion brings all the usual awkward talk of how things ended in their marriage and how strained the relationship between him and his son had been.
Oxel heads for home and loses himself in his head – meanwhile the general public show their true colours as they take their shots at him for being different from “the norm”. With Case drawing Oxel as a character we feel sympathy towards; Arcudi adds to that with these moments of Oxel vs the world. He reaches the sanctity of his flat and gets back into trying to understand why the suicide happened…..it all ends with him finally calling Steph and telling her he’s going to help find out what happened to her son. He mistakenly calls Laura, the mother of the other suicide victim and we see the cracks that are appearing in Oxel’s thinking.
The darkness is still here in this title…..which the subject matter demands but there is something intriguing about the journey Oxel is taking as we get to see more and more about his life and the condition he has. Seeing the impact that has in the case he’s trying to solve and the obvious strain it exerts on him. It’s a slow-burning story in comparison to other titles on offer but I think that’s where the sympathy card from both the writer & artist is helping.
A welcome escape from the usual titles I read and one that I take time to read and soak in….still a favourite.
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