The Creep starts off with a literal BANG as John Arcudi spins a plot about a couple fishy cases of suicide needing the skills creepy investigator, Oxel Karnhus. Oxel suffers from a condition known as Acromegaly which causes deformations in growth, as well as nastier stuff like enlargement of body tissues. His hideous appearance disturbs those he comes in contact with on the case, despite the fact that he’s not such a bad guy. The Creep appeared in the original “Dark Horse Presents” series from the late ’80s but he still fits so well in the Dark Horse universe, and it’s easy to see why Arcudi wants to explore him again. The idea of a “The Creep” is intriguing, and the artwork is fantastic but be warned, this #0 issue is not loaded with thrills.
WRITTEN BY: John Arcudi
ART BY: Jonathon Case
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASE: August 1st
Oxel is a private investigator who, as previously mentioned, suffers from the acute malady Acromegaly which alters his facial structure and according to the text makes his voice sound distorted. This creative spin on the hardboiled detective is what I like most about “The Creep”; the idea of a big creepy man being some sort of detective is brilliant because this man is anything but inconspicuous and suave. The story centers around a long lost lover who contacts Oxel about the suicide of her son and his friend, and she asks him to investigate the incident. The events unfold as a slow ride down memory lane with nothing extraordinary happening. The most exciting part of the story is a hallucination by a hobo that Oxel seeks out.
Although a slow start is customary in a first issue, I found the end of the issue to be a bit dry. I imagine it’s because this #0 issue is the collected edition of shorts that appeared in “Dark Horse Presents” and it had to be a closed-ended story. I’m curious to see how Arcudi is able to continue Oxel’s tale with longer arcs because there’s a lot of potential here.
Jonathan Case’s artwork is what really propels the book and brings it to life. Case is the artist behind the “Green River Killer” graphic novel, so it should come as no surprise that he absolutely kills it in “The Creep”. As Oxel reminisces to his handsome college days, the art flows with his memories giving you another perspective on Oxel in elegant fashion. This same style comes back in the hobo’s hallucination as he comes upon a starving bear fresh out of its hibernation. This is an area of the book that I would love to see more of in the upcoming series.
Great creativity in both the idea and its artistic paneling, but it does lack the bang for your buck factor as it’s not the most exciting tale. There is potential in this story, and Arcudi is known for his creativity, so as a fan of Dark Horse I’m hoping the next one will bring a little bit more pow!
Reviewed by – GreenBasterd