Monday, December 30, 2013

"The End" Week: The Creeper #1,000,000!

He's had two reboots since--three if you count the Vertigo version--but this was my favorite, and a last issue I love: from 1998, the Creeper #1,000,000, "Insanitation"
Written by Len Kaminski, pencils by Shawn Martinbrough, inks by Sal Buscema.

Previously, Jack Ryder had become so frustrated with his insane alter ego/split personality the Creeper, that Jack self-medicated with a "new wonder drug." Jack may have thought it was just going to be like super-Prozac, but instead it has the unfortunate side effect of splitting him and the Creeper into separate bodies. Worse, different fragments of the Creeper's madness keep splitting off as well, leaving the original "a bag of bones, empty as a campaign promise after election day and as useless as complaining about it." In case that wasn't weird enough, since this was a tie-in to DC's One Million event, the Creeper of the 853rd century has traveled back as well, emerging out of the present Creeper's mouth.

Future-Creeper tells Jack, "for all to survive, one of you must be destroyed." He adds that he gets to pick which one, but Jack maces him and gets out of there with the Creeper. Laughing it off, the Future-Creeper starts rounding up, and consuming, the offshoot Creepers. Although he may be done for, Jack won't abandon the Creeper; finally accepting him as a part of him.

Which is apparently what the Future-Creeper wanted: putting the offshoots back in the main one, he also then puts Jack and the Creeper back together, reconciled. Finally in sync, Jack no longer feels that he has to fear or control the Creeper: "He's not my enemy," he narrates before switching to go into action. "He's my partner."

Meanwhile, back in the 853rd century, the Future-Creeper has a secret: when he put the offshoots back, he excised the self-loathing aspect; and he was the cause and solution of the time paradox. Sadly, the issue ends with the final caption "999,988 more such tales remain untold."

But the Creeper is pretty adept at coming back: Steve Niles did a reboot-update in 2006, which I don't remember loving; but had to be better than the New 52 version, that is some kind of demon that lives in Katana's sword or something. That one's especially disappointing, since I like the creators on it, but not the idea. (Nocenti had an awesome run on Daredevil, while Juan Jose Ryp did a batch of books for Avatar.) Maybe a more recognizable Creeper will emerge eventually.


Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

Damn! Now I gotta track this one done. It smacks of being Vertigo-ish by the sheer weirdness and cool made up imaginary futuristic talk by the future Creeper. Looks like a damn nice read.

I did't are for the NU 52's Creeper either, although that goes for a lot of the rebooted versions as well. The Question. The Phantom Stranger.

googum said...

I love that whole series: there's an issue with a guy in a Ronald McDonald-type costume who has a psychotic break, and the Creeper is really creeped out by him. Narrating, Jack wonders why the Creeper hates clowns: maybe the same reason Dracula hates mirrors...

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

Ha ha, right? That's funny. The Creeper actually being creeped out by someone.