“The Creep” was written by John Arcudi and is a traditional detective series set in 80’s New York, but its lead, Oxel Karnhus makes the series feel fresh. Oxel has acromegaly, which makes him disfigured and intimidating, but actually his bones are brittle, so he is unable to solve problems through violence. More than that, Oxel is a kindly person, also creating a contrast with many comics characters. Combine that with poignant mystery writing and “The Creep” has a special place among detective comics.
“The Creep” has a chance to be an American version of “The Singing Detective” and that is exactly what television needs. There is also something liberating about a comic where the protagonist cannot fight his way out of trouble. Visually, I always related to Dale Eaglesham’s version the most.
Sadly, “The Creep” was paired with a much higher profile detective story, Frank Miller’s “Sin City.” Maybe it was never going to have a large audience, but that was a deathblow. It resurfaced recently, but perhaps its intelligence and sensitivity is a better fit for a premium television series.