Review: ‘The Creep’ #3

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With an intriguing main protagonist, The Creep #3 delivers an enjoyable crime tale with gripping plot twists. The storyline examines loneliness and isolation through the eyes of a disfigured loner. As he strays from the rest of civilization, the loner becomes cut off and drifts off into madness. It’s hard to escape feelings of melancholy and sadness while reading John Arcudi’s character driven crime story.

WRITTEN BY: John Arcudi
ART BY: Jonathan Case
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: November 14th, 2012

A pair of teen suicides has been causing a lot of grief in a small town. While no one else wants to get involved, a disfigured private eye, named Oxel Karnhus, finds himself investigating the seemingly solved case. Riddled with doubt, Oxel wonders if he will uncover the truth at the crime scene. With no help from the local police, Oxel finds himself in an unlucky and tough situation. As nighttime approaches, Oxel must wander through the freezing snow to discover the truth.

Dealing with a rare condition, Oxel suffers from acromegaly, an excess of growth hormones that causes enlarged physical features and height. Though he’s a grotesque man, Oxel is a deeply flawed and relatable protagonist. No matter how good of a person he is, Oxel is always seen as a freak. Because his mind is plagued with doubt and self-pity, Oxel might not realize the suicides are more than they appear.

If you enjoy classic crime novels as much as I do, you will definitely get a kick out of “The Creep”. Oxel is the anti-Mike Hammer, he is desperate for companionship from women rather than fending them off. Arcudi steers the mystery into different directions throughout the issue, leading up to a nice final few pages. By sticking to Oxel’s perspective, readers discover the important clues at the same time he does.

Jonathan Case captures the silent atmosphere and saddening loneliness that Oxel feels everyday. On Oxel’s bus ride, Case uses wide shots of to enhance Oxel’s yearning for acceptance. Oxel has no one to talk to as he is surrounded by empty seats. Outside the bus, not a single person is around and the mountain range represents how detached he is from reality. As Oxel walks into the dead zonbe of the woods, his radio is completely useless and his lonesomeness because all the more potent.

With the lack of dialog during the dream sequence, Case is able to draw upon Oxel’s constant fear of failure without words. Flashes of Oxel’s past and present crash into one another as they reveal his darkest fears. Case illustrates a surreal hallucination when Oxel imagines what happened before the suicides.

With a spectacular final few pages, “The Creep” #3 provides ample reason to see how the mystery is resolved in the concluding chapter.

Rating: 4/5 skulls

Reviewed by Jorge Solis