FW Team-Up: Batman and the Creeper

Siskoid and Chris Franklin's coverage of The Brave and the Bold brings them to issue #80 (November 1968) by Bob Haney and Neal Adams, as Batman first meets Gotham's wackiest hero, the Creeper! Also featuring the first appearance of the Hellgrammite!

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Relevant images and further credits at: FW Team-Up Supplemental

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8 responses to “FW Team-Up: Batman and the Creeper

  1. Here’s my team up for the creeper he
    Goes on adventure with Elvira and Vampira to face hades and save the house of secrets and house of mystery from a fate worse then death a reboot?
    Can the creeper and his Harem of terror save the day ?

  2. Excellent coverage of a great issue! This is a missing piece in my Creeper collection, one I am always on the lookout for.

    I think the dissonance between buttoned-down, investigative reporter Jack Ryder and lunatic Creeper is really the juice for the character. I think it works even better when Ryder veers into a more conservative host and Creeper veers into more truly insane, adding even more distance between the characters.

    I did enjoy Giffen’s crazy Secret Origins twist that when he turns into the Creeper he also has hallucinogens in his blood explanation for the insanity.

    This issue seems like an okay way to introduce the world to the Creeper. The art is bananas here. As you say experimental and so unusual for the time.

    As for a dream team-up what about Creeper with Marvel’s Fool Killer. Maybe the whole issue Fool Killer is internally debating whether or not to off his partner.

  3. This was a really fun discussion, you guys seemed to be having a really good time.

    I had never thought it before until Chris mentioned, but, yes, Neal Adams hyper-realistic art style and Bob Haney’s goofy-ass plots were an odd mix. How does an artist make some of the characters and situations seem remotely real when Haney never really worried about any of that? On a related note, some of Adams’ layouts are a little too clever for their own good, but I guess that’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t.

    No offense to Anj, but some characters just don’t work in the lead role as a headliner. I think Creeper is one of those. Interesting to be sure, but just too odd for audiences to really care about as the star of a story. He works better (IMO) bouncing off others. Though a Creeper/Brother Power book, ala Hawkman and the Atom, might have been really interesting. Especially if you were high.

  4. and I think one reason the creeper’s first seris did’nt work is “Jack Ryder is a tough dude who with very little troble becomes tougher.” There was never much downside to or limit on jack being creeper

  5. I felt like I was on drugs reading this book. The panel layouts. The Creeper’s psychedelic colors, the weird dialogue, the cavalcade of mob guy names, Batman watching TV, the random judo chops. It was a lot.

    So, I’m glad you both took time to discuss how weird the story and dialogue was in juxtaposition with the art and our more modern interpretation of the characters.

    Really, the only way for me to describe what reading this book was like, would be to say, imagine Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” was exactly the same in every way but you replaced Robert Pattinson with the Adam West Batman.

    The Batusi done to Nirvana.

    As far as who Jack Ryder could have been modeled on, I wonder if he was more like an old time radio show host rather than based on a contemporary late 60s TV news man. Haney was born early enough to have radio as an influence, and back in the late 30s and early 40s radio was filled with sensationalism and brash characters. From the breaking news style that War of the World’s was presented in, to the populism of a Charles Lindbergh leading up to World War II.

    I don’t have any evidence and I haven’t done any research to corroborate this theory, but in my defense, no one is paying me to do that. Stop trying to be like Gordon and micromanaging me guys! I don’t work for you!

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