Issue by Issue – Beware the Creeper #6

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

With a stunning cover by Gil Kane, the final issue of Beware the Creeper begins where the previous one left off – with everyone’s favourite hero tied up in a sewer as the waters rise, ready to drown him at any moment. With this being the last book in the series, it is fair to say that the Creeper might not have been at the top of everyone’s list of favourite characters otherwise the book might have sold more to warrant more issues. As it is, Denny O’Neil and Steve Ditko did a solid job at trying to present a hero somewhat different from the norm and for the most part, it worked quite well. If there was one quibble, it was letting this particular story with Proteus drag on for as long as it did. It was not altogether bad in any way but it could have used a couple of more villains to punch it up a bit, to make it a little more exciting before this final showdown with the man who has been making the Creeper’s life so hard. As this story concludes, the Creeper manages to get himself loose with no amount of effort, the man half-dead and half-drowned by the time he reaches the surface. Suffice it to say, there is no rest for the wicked and he knows that if he does not get right on Proteus’ trail, the man could disappear forever. Everything for Proteus comes crashing down when he impersonates the wrong man and makes his plan too transparent for the Creeper to figure out. Greed it seems leads to mistakes and as such, the Creeper takes advantage of the situation so that finally he is able to defeat the man who has plagued him for so long. With this last book, O’Neil and Ditko wrap things up with a nice neat bow though it would have been nice to see the Creeper’s name cleared and to discover if Jack Ryder would have gone out with the weather girl or not. It is a little sad to see this series end as it definitely had potential, especially given that it only really had time to focus on one villain but for what it was, it was quite entertaining. Ditko really did a great job on the book, the opening sequence and layout of the panels a wonder to behold, giving it all a dynamism many of the books at the time did not possess. As it is, neither one of the creators nor the character would be enough to make this title last any longer than it did, though one can imagine just what might have transpired had it continued, even for a single issue.

3.5 out of 5

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