Issue by Issue – Beware the Creeper #5

Writer – Denny O’Neil
Artist – Steve Ditko
Inker – Mike Peppe

When last seen, the Creeper had been battling one of Proteus’ minions, the man known as Sumo and while he had thought Sumo had fallen to his death, he still lives and does so long enough to pass on a message. The Creeper finds that it does not make any sense, at least not yet and so considers it a dead end in his quest to find the man who has made the Creeper a wanted criminal. Still, there is one lead that might pan out and that is Sumo’s companion – Bird, though when confronting him as Jack Ryder, the Creeper’s alter-ego, he is knocked unconscious before he is given any useful information. Be that as it may, he continues to track Bird down as that is his only lead and when they meet up again, they battle it out until Bird is killed with the Creeper ending up frustrated again. Elsewhere, Bill Brane and Vera Sweet, Ryder’s boss and the woman who delivers the weather are attacked at Ryder’s apartment by Ryder himself. Astute readers will realize that it is Proteus in disguise but the damage is done and the police are informed that Ryder himself is dangerous and branded a criminal himself. Denny O’Neil and Steve Ditko spin a fun web for readers to follow but at this point in the game, the Creeper should have caught Proteus. Be that as it may, it continues on and soon the two men do meet up and of course, they immediately enter into a fight which the Creeper means to win. The war between the two combatants goes on for pages and Ditko shines during this sequence, creating some thrilling moments between the two men as each tries to get the better of the other. The fight is soon taken underground into the sewers where Proteus gets the upper hand, much like has had through the past few issues of the book. He leaves the Creeper tied up there as the waters rise, threatening to drown him and with it looking like the end, finally reveals who he really is to the Creeper. This was a good issue that finally made some headway into the takedown of the Creeper’s number one big bad. While it does not quite end in this issue, one has to assume that it will in the next one given what transpired here. Altogether, this was solid fare that is sure to entertain.

3.5 out of 5

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