blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Beware the Creeper (2003) #3

Beware the Creeper  3

Almost nothing happens this issue. The cop starts investigating the missing sister, thinking she’s the Creeper. He teams up with her twin, Maddy, for a combination walking tour of Paris and detective snoop. He discovers all the things we saw happen last issue, which isn’t great plotting from writer Jason Hall. Depending on the final two issues, it sure seems like Beware the Creeper didn’t need five issues. Unless they knew it’d take artist Cliff Chiang until this issue to get cooking because, wow, the art’s great.

There are some big, complicated composition pages where Chiang’s got the Creeper hopping all over the Paris rooftops, but it’s also how the various reveals work. Before the cop starts investigating, most of the issue is just snippets of the Creeper’s hijinks, alongside contemporary reactions and media coverage. She’s the current hero of surrealism as she wages her prank war against the wealthy Arbogast family.

Now, I have a vague recollection of the finale reveal, so I’m going to baby step so as not to spoil, but as the Creeper targets this one family, people start noticing and asking what’s made them a target. The matriarch realizes it’s got something to do with her shitty son and sends him off to Germany, where he can carouse in peace, seemingly not being as violent to the call girls there. The Arbogast son is a prime suspect in the missing sister’s assault, something the comic laid so heavily into back in the first issue I thought it was Hall doing a red herring.

I don’t think so anymore. I think Hall’s just really, really obvious, and the setting and Chiang’s gorgeous art distract from the obvious plotting.

There’s also not much in the way of character development. Yes, the cop is moping over the missing sister and tries to seduce her twin as a stand-in at the Eiffel Tower, but what else is a French cop going to do? Hall plays the remaining twin, Maddy, as an enigma who has at least one big secret from the other characters and the readers. Again, Hall’s pretty obvious.

Or I’ll be entirely wrong and surprised. Fingers crossed. Either way, I can’t wait to see Chiang’s art. It’s magnificent this issue and has just been improving as Creeper creeps on.

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