Only drawn by the artist for one issue, and one cover,

there are plenty of great occasions to champion the twenty page Brave and The Bold story in #80, cheaply reprinted in Best of the Brave and Bold 4.

That’s the final panel of it, and the best part of it, the panel’s deliberately crooked. Try to scan it as I did, I came across the realization that it’s just a little bit offset by the (normally very strict) panel lining of the comics. And the sound effects trailing around him always let sound be conveyed in a medium often silent or overburdened with dialogue.

And it’s not just the sound effects that make this page great. It’s also the perspective, of reading it frmo top to bottom, seeing Creeper descend, take stock of a situation with violence and light banter, and then see someone running off, scared, towards the reader. Unable to run away like that goon hued in blue.

The perspective plays don’t stop there, and Neal Adams certainly will come up with more daring perspectives to tell stories from, but they just seem especially tight here. Check this one panel where we see The Creeper bound up from one of The Goon’s perspectives.

really helps you get into the mob mentality, especially with those smiling profiles looking up at an easy night’s work and a great story to tell over a beer.

Fortunately, someone is there to punch them. And when Neal has Batman punch, man does he let you feel that punch. Look, it’s comin straight at you!

And this is 1968, mind you. Not even hung over from the summer of love, and comics already have Batman punching its readers in the face. To demonstrate how striking these comics must have been to read at the time, well, here’s what the other Batman title looked like [all in a time, of course, before Denny O’Neil started writing and eventually became the group editor of the Batman line]

And, yes, that snotty green guy in the background is Mister Freeze, before, and this is one other influence on the Batman mythos that is hard to understate, Paul Dini and Batman: The Animated Series.

But all of that matters little to the creeper.

And, honestly, there is very little else to say about this comic besides Neal’s ingenious usage of perspective as well as how much of a joy it is to see his incredibly realistic and dynamically staged Creeper. Only Jim Aparo could come close to matching the realism of the absurd that this comic does, and he does it well, but it just isn’t the same.

Coming up next: either some of the original Creeper Comics, or maybe something else Neal Adams drew. Until then, think about what makes Neal Adams and J.H. Williams III similar!