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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Beware...the Creeper 5 - Proteus reveals his face to the Creeper

Mike Peppe does the inks on Beware...the Creeper 5 (Jan/Feb 69), which gives a very different look to the O'Neil and Ditko tale.

The story picks up immediately after the conclusion of the last issue. The Creeper goes to check on the Sumo, from Offalia, and hears his relatively unhelpful dying words.

But things just keep getting worse for Jack Ryder. Proteus, who now knows his identity (the Offalians revealed this last issue, they knew it as well) impersonates Jack and appears to try to kill Bill Brane and Vera Sweet. Jack gets arrested for the murder attempt, but convinces Brane that it was Proteus disguised as him, for the sole purpose of stopping Jack Ryder's investigation. Brane sees the logic in this, and Jack gets released from jail.

There is a fun dream sequence page, with Jack envisioning a number of people as Proteus.

The climax of the story finally brings the two together again. Proteus openly confirms that he knows Ryder is the Creeper, and claims that he could have pulled off all manner of amazing criminal feats were it not for the hero. That appears to be a bit of an overstatement, but Proteus clearly has a major hate on for the guy. He flees into the sewers, knowing the Creeper will follow him.

The battle does not end at all well for the hero. Proteus gets the better of him, and chains him to a grate, leaving him to drown. Before he goes, he alters his face to show Creeper his true identity. The Creeper is not surprised, claiming to have figured it out already - and I guess the dream sequence was loosely meant to imply that. But the reader is not allowed to see who Proteus really is.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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