Thursday, October 7, 2010

Creeper as a Demon

There was a six-issue Creeper miniseries that came out in 2006. It firmly established his origin as purely scientific. Or at least as scientific as "multiple personalities brought on by smart skin that gives you a healing factor, a laugh that makes people's ears bleed and a green speedo that materialized out of nowhere" can be.

In fact, Creeper has always had a (pseudo) scientific origin. Originally, he was was given a device that switch back and forth between his Creeper wardrobe and whatever he was wearing. He was completely sane, but he acted insane in order to scare criminals. Later writers had him begin to show signs of genuine insanity, and eventually his origin was retold by Keith Giffen so that he actually was insane . . . at least when he was the Creeper.

In the 1990's, Creeper got a solo series which made both Jack Ryder and the Creeper genuinely insane. Jack Ryder suffered from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and a host of other psychological issues, which resulted in the creation of the Creeper persona. It was an excellent, if short-lived, series which had as much psychological drama as action.

The 2006 retelling of Creeper's origin doesn't really clearly fit anywhere within previous storylines, but it still maintained the split personality and insanity that the character had developed.

Then Keith Giffen turned the Creeper into a demon that possesses Jack Ryder in the poorly written Reign of Hell series. This destroyed the psychological drama that had made the character so interesting and intriguing, and essentially made him the poor man's Etrigan. Not only that, but it retconned the new origin that had been established two years earlier. And Keith Giffen should have known better, since he wrote the retold origin which made Creeper insane in the first place!

Sadly, rather than ignore Reign in Hell, Creeper is being even more poorly written in the current run of Outsiders . . . by Dan Didio. (I'll save my rant about editors not being writers for another time.) Creeper is now a dime-a-dozen demon with no signs of insanity and no signs of the character who I had grown to love. In fact, he was better written in Countdown . . .

I know DC Comics and Dan Didio don't give a damn about my opinion, but I'm going to ask this anyway: Please, please, please drop the "Creeper as demon" plot point. It was poorly written, poorly executed and poorly conceived. I miss the lovable maniac I grew to love . . . and I'm sure I'm not the only fan of the Creeper who feels that way.

1 comment:

  1. I could not agree with you more- on every single point. The Creeper is one of my favorite characters ever. That yellow-skinned wacky man caught my eye when I was but a wee one and wouldn't hasn't let go since. I would describe my relationship with him as forcibly obsessed. I do need to get that eye back after all.
    This might sound rather cocky, but I will fix all of this.
    It was the Creeper (plus Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, and a few others) who made me believe I could make comics, and I've taken it upon myself to rebuild the Creeper into the Creeper he should have been: The weirdest, ballsiest superhero ever.
    This will stop being big talk and start being a mission statement once I actually get hired by DC. Working on that.