The Creep #0
Written by John Arcudi
Art by Jonathan Case
Lettering by Nate Piekos
Cover by Frank Miller
Reviewed by Steve Seigh
The Creep #0 starts off with a bang, quite literally. Curtis Brinke has committed suicide, leaving his mother, Stephanie, grief stricken and in search of answers. That’s where Oxel comes in. Plagued by an affliction known as Acromegaly, a syndrome that results when the anterior pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone (GH) after epiphyseal plate closure at puberty, Oxel walks the streets as a freak of human nature. Putting the pieces together as to why Curtis felt he needed to shuffle off this mortal coil much too soon is not going to be easy, and old demons and emotions are going to come back to haunt you.
I liked The Creep #0 right away. Collected from The Creep chapters 1-3 originally serialized in Dark Horse Presents #11-13, it’s so far a story about loss and a wanting for answers to questions that should perhaps remain unasked. How deep do we really need to dig into a tragedy before we’ve hit rock bottom? Will the answers to a situation that is already hopeless quell your sorrow and grief? These are things you need to be asking yourself should life ever dump an irreversible horror into your lap. John Arcudi does a fine job of giving Oxel an oafish yet dignified sense of responsibility toward the bereaved. It’s felt in his actions as well as his disposition toward his most recent circumstances regarding his new case.
Another credit to the comic is its emotional artwork. Sorrow, suspicion, concern, and bewilderment aren’t always the easiest expressions to communicate on the inked page. Jonathan Case nails the mocking smiles of street thugs, that final clench of your facial muscles before pulling the trigger, or simply the blank stare of a nosy child on the Long Island Railroad. Oh yeah, I should probably tell you that I’m from Long Island, so it’s always a treat to see a story unfolding just a county away from where you live. But back to what I was saying about the art … it’s good stuff. It’s a little Hellboy and even a little Big Fish and I dig it.
Buy it. The Creep #0 feels like a good start in my opinion. I like the tone of it, I dig the color palate, and I think there is some great character work happening here. If the subject matter of suicide perhaps hits a little too close to home for you than I suggest that you tread with caution, because the book will be touching on that with some detail. The sorrow is very real and it will hit you if you let it. Beyond that I certainly think that this book would be worth your time if you’re looking for a good character driven comic book with a good sense of mystery behind it.
* This review was written while listening to the song “Misshaping Introduction” by Buke and Gase on repeat.