Time may have passed between The Creep #0 and #1 but the story picks up almost right where we left off. This is a strong character based detective story and this issue is not loaded with heart pounding action. I doubt any of the issues in this miniseries will be action-packed. Rather, Arcudi and Case’s “The Creep” is a slow burn that revolves around a dark and dirty mood. This book is not for everyone; if you’re new to comics “The Creep” #1 can be a tough read that doesn’t do much to develop a plot. But, I wouldn’t bail out just yet.
WRITTEN BY: John Arcudi
ART BY: Jonathon Case
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASE: September 12th, 2012
Oxel, the detective namesake of this book, suffers from a condition that has deformed his facial features, making him an ugly sight to behold. However, this doesn’t change the fact that he’s still human. In the first few pages of the issue, Oxel displays his natural thirst for female companionship with the likes of Annie the hooker. This was one of the more titillating parts of the issue because it shows that Oxel cares more than he lets on. He snaps at his whore for spilling alcohol on a picture of Curtis; the boy who’s suicide he is investigating. Over the course of the issue the reader gets to know Oxel intimately as he pursues his investigation. The story moves at a lethargic pace as Oxel internally argues with the nature of this case and whether there truly is something to investigate. The lacking violence and the use of crafty flashbacks keep the issue going, but the only real conflict in issue #1 is when a kid on the street insults Oxel and tries to entice him into a confrontation. It seems Oxel momentarily loses his composure, but soon reins in his anger and walks away. As his headaches get worse, it seems Arcudi is building up some clever foreshadowing.
If you know Jonathan Case’s work, you know how well his panels flow and how well he captures elements of crime fiction. But if you’re not partial to the genre, it may be hard to spot. The style of the art lacks crudeness, and it does not come with a realistic edge you may expect from such a gritty detective book. Case works wonders as his art style changes during flashbacks; it takes on a sketchier look and the colour pallet takes more of a pastel hue. Perhaps it’s not the typical detective/noir art style, but Case brings Arcudi’s characters to life with exaggerated facial features.
Oxel comes decision that these “suicides” are worth looking into, which leads me to believe the story will pick up. New readers should be wary due to the lack of action, but fans of dark, and I mean really dark, detective fiction will undoubtedly enjoy the lethargy.
Reviewed by – GreenBasterd and Lonmonster