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The Creeper

DC Universe Classics
by yo go re

Any journalist who's any good at his job will be a little bit crazy sometimes.

Journalist Jack Ryder dug relentlessly for scandals to expose. Investigating a story, Jack met Dr. Vincent Yatz, whose invented nanocells were able to heal any wound and fight off disease. Under attack by mobsters, Yatz injected his only working samples into Ryder, who transformed into a yellow-skinned, furry-cloaked madman. Since then, the criminals of Gotham City have learnd to "beware the Creeper."

The Creeper is a Steve Ditko creation, which makes him a brother to Blue Beetle, the Question and of course, Spider-Man. He's somehow become part of Batman's extended cast in the years since, even though he doesn't really fit with the rest of the crew. He's a complete lunatic, a madman; sure, Bruce is clinically psychotic, but the only difference between the Creeper and the Joker is the caliber of person who falls victim to their actions.

But hey, while we're on the subject, let's talk about the figure's face. It's ugly! Hideously ugly. Difficult to look at in any sense of the word. See, Joker was originally based on the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs, but that's since softened. So as if to underscore Creeper's similarity to Joker, this figure's face looks like Conrad Veidt. It's, well, creepy! He's not a hero who will reassure people with his handsome countenance.

The figure's body appears to be new: well, the central core is mostly the same as Deadman's, but the limbs don't have the same "costume wrinkles" detailing that figure had. Perhaps they came from the same base body, but they didn't come from the same mold. The fur trim on boots and gloves is really wild, but the little striped underwear are just painted on: no sculpted edges. His red back fur is a separate piece, whatever it is - in at least one story, it was literally a shaggy red rug glued to his shoulders. It's held in place by a giant thick peg, which is good: the thing is a solid hunk of pvc, and weighs almost as much as the figure itself. It also sticks out 2⅜" from his back.

Creeper's articulation is great. Not only does he have double-hinged knees and elbows, but his had has an appropriate range of motion - he can look up and down and all around! The black fur blocks some of the range of the hinges, but it's still better to have them than not: even 1° of motion in there is more than we would have had otherwise. The wrists are swivel/hinge joints, so you can give him all sorts of menacing poses. The only downside is that the ankles are nearly immobile - possibly to help keep the figure stable even with that heavy-ass feather boa of his, but also possibly just due to some error in the process between idea and shelves. They barely hinge forward at all, and the backward motion isn't very impressive, either. Just a few degrees, really. As you can see from the photo, it makes it hard to get a proper squat out of him.

His piece of BAF Bane is the right arm, a plain arm without any sort of wrist-mounted control box or anything. He's wearing a black leather glove with cutouts on the fingers. Sadly, the arm is smooth - one of the coolest things about the old Bane was the sculpted hair on his shoulders and back. You know, small details that made him stand out.

The Creeper isn't a wildly popular character: he's more of a professional guest star, but that works for him. Similarly, this figure was never going to be the most popular one in Series 16, but it's still an example of a very good DCUC release. More figures should be like the Creeper.

-- 06/22/11

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