In Review: Jeepers Creepers #5

This final chapter tosses out all the previous elements that made this series stand out.

The covers: Four to fly to for this final installment. The A is by Stuart Sayger and features a bust shot of the Creeper in jacket and hat, holding an ax before the reader. His jacket contains the images of several skulls. The background is black and makes the image of the Creeper a bit difficult to make out. The villain has taken to the air and appears to be diving at the reader on the B by Kewber Baal with colors by Schimerys Baal. Like an owl from Hell, the Creeper shows his sharp teeth as his jacket billows out behind him. Crows are seen in the background as is a full moon. Very nice. The C was created by Kelley Jones with Michelle Madsen providing colors. Emerging from behind an unholy tree, the Creeper holds his latest victim by one hand, ready to throw it among the skeletons that are in the foreground. His face appendages are open, telling the reader he was not expecting to be seen. The coloring is awesome with a vivid green for the background forest, the Creeper, his victim, and the tree a dead brown, and the mountain of skeletons dull ivory. This is outstanding. The Incentive cover is by Sayger and it’s a textless version of the A cover. It also has different colors, with the background being in yellow and orange. This is a much more striking image as the Creeper is more clearly seen. Overall grades: A B+, B B+, C A+, and Incentive A+

The story: Marc Andreyko had Devon taken by the Creeper in the previous issue and this opening shows he’s not been able to do much since. He awakens to find himself hanging upside looking at the Creeper who is sharpening some bones. Additionally, Devon is only wearing his underwear and he’s tied up over a pool of blood. He screams, “Just kill me already, you ugly mother — !” The Creeper is instantly face to face with him, causing the young man to shut up. He’s trying to understand what the monster is doing. The beast dips its hand into the crimson fluid and paints a line from the man’s naval to his chin. It then sniffs Devon and swats his face with the remaining blood. Devon believes he’s being seasoned with ‘murdered victim blood sauce.’ This is an interesting predicament for a victim of the Creeper because this has never been shown in any film. The creature flies off momentarily, leaving its victim to eye the knife sharp shard of bone. What happens on 6 was a complete surprise that had me wondering what the action could signify. The intentions of the Creeper are made clear on 9 and the reader will experience the same chill as Devon. An expected action occurs on 10 and 11, leading to a required skirmish. It’s on 14 that a surprise occurs that grows in power on 15, for no one has really been this smart before in a Jeepers Creepers film. The next two pages tread familiar water and didn’t impress. Much better is what’s shown on 18 and 19, leading to the only way this story should end. This ending is expected and I wish it had gone in a different direction. 18 introduced an interesting element into the mythos of this character, but nothing came of it. I enjoyed this issue up until Page 16 and then it became predictable. It was sad to see that many of the interesting elements of the previous issues dropped in favor of a familiar ending. An ultimately disappointing conclusion. Overall grade: C-

The art: Because of the new elements into the Creeper’s attempted killing of Devon, artist Kewber Baal gets to create some memorable new frightening images. The opening page is a nicely cinematic beginning with Devon opening his eyes, ending with him seeing the Creeper upside down. The second page is a full-paged splash showing the youth hanging upside down himself. His scream that starts Page 3 looks great and the confrontation in the second panel is excellent. The sick actions of the creature on the fourth page are good, with the blood being particularly disgusting. I didn’t predict any part of Page 6 and it’s a terrific sequence of panels. The reaction that starts 7 is great. 9 has Baal’s visuals showing what the Creeper plans on doing without any text to explain it. He does a great job, showing he’s a great artist. The full-paged splash on 11 is awesome, being worthy of a movie still. The action that follows on 12 and 13 is also good, with the motions communicated very clearly; I especially like the last panel on 13 because that’s the reaction that the reader wants and needs to see. Another full-paged splash is shown on 14, but it doesn’t work. The character is too far from the reader and it’s colored too darkly to clearly see what’s happening. This should have been the payoff moment for the series, and it’s not. I do like the actions occurring in the middle of 15, because I felt every one of those actions and was cheering. Pages 16 and 17 are too loosely constructed, with the characters and setting too simplistic. The character that dominates those pages doesn’t resemble the character shown earlier. 18 and 19 have really cool reveals and the way the panels lead into the next is incredibly smooth. But there’s no background. There’s no setting. It took me out of the experience. It was like a film running out of money and the climax was shot against a curtain. The final three panels on 19 and the first on 20 are terrific. There’s much to like, but there’s also some things to regret about these visuals. Overall grade: B

The colors: Jorge Sutil has the unenviable position of having to color a book set entirely in a cave. There must be dark panels or elements of panels in this book, but he still has to make the illustrations visible to the reader. The first two pages accomplish this well, with Devon’s skin looking incredibly real in this dark locale. The Creeper’s body has him almost blending into the walls, but that’s the way it should be shown. When there are moments of intensity and no backgrounds, Sutil uses bright colors to exacerbate the situation, such as at the top of Page 3. The blood is a perfect dark crimson to make it stand out each time it appears. The Creeper’s action in the first panel on 13 earn a dark red for the background to show that it’s a do-or-die moment. Page 14 is too dark, with it very difficult to see this payoff moment. A dark red returns for the background on 15, because…well, you’ll see. Colors are absolutely key for the penultimate panel on 18, which leads to the true payoff at the top of 20. Overall grade: B+

The letters: Sounds, narration, yells, Creeper speech, dialogue, and weakened speech are what letterer Taylor Esposito brings to this book. I’m so happy that the narration is given a different font from the dialogue, and even the Creeper gets his own unique font when he speaks to show how far from human it is. The weakened speech neatly pulls the reader closer into the book, and the yells mirror how the reader would deliver Devon’s lines. The sounds, many of which are sickening, are spot on. A well done job. Overall grade: A

The final line: This final chapter tosses out all the previous elements that made this series stand out. An expected conclusion further lessens what this story could have brought. The visuals go from hot to cold, which matches the plot. My hopes were raised for this finale and ultimately brought crashing down for one of familiarity. Overall grade: B-

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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