Issue by Issue – Beware the Creeper #2

Writer – Dennis O’Neil
Artist – Steve Ditko

The second issue of this ongoing series starring The Creeper opens on the television station where Jack Ryder works when all of a sudden his alter-ego breaks in and kills the reporter that was going to report on his identity. That of course is not possible as Jack Ryder is the Creeper so whoever is masquerading as him has just created a whole lot of trouble for Ryder and for himself. Ryder means to get to the bottom of this and is given the name of a local mob guy who runs a gambling business and it is there that he first goes, looking to find the person responsible so that he might clear the Creeper’s name. It is when confronting Legs Larson that the Creeper meets the man behind it all – Proteus. As Larson dies, having been shot by Proteus, he gives The Creeper some records which prove a vast criminal network which is the item that will draw the villain out of the woodwork later and into a battle with the hero of the story. Dennis O’Neil and Steve Ditko give readers a fun time in this second issue and it is even more enjoyable than the first as Ryder gets a little more of the spotlight than the Creeper. Proteus is an interesting villain, though one has to wonder if he was inspired by The Chameleon from The Amazing Spider-Man. Whether he is or not does not necessarily matter though as the story captures the attention of the reader so much that one never really thinks about it, only whether Ryder or The Creeper will be able to stop the man and his criminal reign. Eventually, the two end up facing off and when all is said and done, it looks as if Proteus has been defeated but it does not like Ryder would have hoped, put The Creeper in the clear. In fact, it solidifies The Creeper as a murderer wanted by the police, a criminal at large as Proteus and the evidence is all gone. How Ryder moves forward with this should be quite intriguing as he will now have to evade the law while trying to fulfill it. O’Neil also throws in some comedic scenes throughout which Ditko draws perfectly, all of them involving a woman named Vera whom Ryder met in the previous issue. It was humourous then and even funnier now as he keeps trying to avoid her and readers also have to wonder if Ryder will eventually fall in love with her despite his best efforts to get rid of her. All told, this was a great book that keeps its audience coming back for more.

4 out of 5

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