Issue by Issue – Beware the Creeper #1

Writer – Dennis O’Neil
Artist – Steve Ditko

There is a masked man named The Terror and he is not very happy as he was betrayed by someone named Jurgen who had been revealing things he should never have revealed to a television reporter. Said reporter arrives just in time to get some names from Jurgen before he dies, murdered by The Terror. As it is, Ryder is going to be reassigned to another story, his boss believing that it died with Jurgen and as Ryder knows that he must continue on his path no matter what he is told, The Terror continues to make power moves to consolidate his reign as a crime boss. Scripted by Dennis O’Neil using his Sergius O’Shaughnessy penname and drawn by the one and only Steve Ditko, the book wastes no time getting into the thick of the action as it begins with The Terror and continues with The Creeper, that being Jack Ryder. What is most interesting about the Creeper is that he is essentially a man in a costume but that costume he wears is a part of him, a form of technology that allows him to turn instantaneously into a civilian or hero while also allowing him to do all kinds of marvellous things. As the book progresses, Ryder, as himself and as his alter-ego, manages to run into all manner of trouble as he goes through his list of names looking for The Terror until eventually, he runs into the villain himself. Ditko does an amazing job with his pencils and while his panels are fairly standard as far as panels go, what he showcases are some action-packed scenes that generate a lot of excitement in the reader, a compelling song and dance between hero and villain that lasts until the final page of the book. O’Neil tells a good story, filled with a couple of twists and turns and while he does little to explain the origins of the Creeper, he does pepper in little bits and bobs as to his powers and personality and so forth throughout that an origin is unneeded – one can simply enjoy the hero for who he is and what he is trying to do. The character design is interesting and while it might strike fear in the hearts of evildoers everywhere, it is a little bright should the need to skulk and hide in the night warrant it. Altogether though, this was a fun, fast-paced first issue that gave the reader everything they needed to enjoy it.

3.5 out of 5

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