Kara O'Connor

Comic Review: Creeple Peeple #1

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IDW introduces a new sci-fi tale showcasing 1960s action figures with Creeple Peeple #1.

Creeple Peeple

 Creeple Peeple #1

Creator: Patrick D. Pidgeon
Writer: Matt Anderson
Artist: Tim Lattie
Publisher: IDW
Release Date: January 21, 2015

Try Creeple Peeple for yourself and pick-up Creeple Peeple #1 (of 3), Creeple Peeple #2 (of 3), and Creeple Peeple #3 (of 3) if this is up your alley.

Advertised as a “Weird Science Gone Wild,” IDW’s Creeple Peeple is sci-fi at it’s most stereotypical. Whether or not it’s an homage to bad ’80s movie-making or just poor writing remains to be seen, but aside from the humans in our story, the comic stars Creeple Peeple–action figures from the 1960s that look a lot like Treasure Troll dolls from the 1980s. Creeple Peeple may not make an appearance in this inaugural issue until the very last page, but the title gives away our fantastic friends from the word go.

The story begins in a mossy English bog in 1938. Men in suits dig up mummified corpses from muddy pits, looking for something mysterious. When our golden McGuffin is finally extracted from the dense sludge, it’s quickly snatched by the leader of the expedition. Holding the globe high above his head, the well-dressed trailblazer shoots laser beams from his eyes directly into the ball. Or maybe the ball shoots lasers into his eyes – it’s not exactly clear, and not a particularly great start.

Next, we fast-forward to present day at the illustrious Aberdasher College. Three hapless college students bemoan the pending loss of their beloved science department, which is a bit of a drag considering it’s their major. A quick and clumsy introduction to our three anti-heroes reveals Spige (the handsome white guy), Peabo (regrettable Asian typecasting) and T-Ray (a mousey blonde with glasses but with the potential to be really pretty if she would only try, sigh) as National Merit Scholars who’ve wasted their free ride with pure laziness. A giant spoon of over-exposition reminds us that: “Professor Bodkins is directly affected by the de-funding. As a geneticist her tenure and vital research would be wiped out. And we all know her research is driven by her daughter who was born with a genetic birth defect.” I know this about the professor because the characters told me – verbatim – with a lack of creative or realistic dialogue.

When Johnny Spige’s scantily clad co-ed girlfriend shows up fussing over whether or not their date is on, T-Ray gets jealous.  Of course, she and Johnny have more in common but T-Ray wears glasses. Yuck! And Ugh. This isn’t just Weird Science Gone Wild, it’s the trope-iest trope ever to trope.

Anyway, the three amigos come up with a plan to save their minimally beloved science department and possible continued education at AC. They decide they’ll use a 3-D printer to manufacture organs and garner attention for their college, thus saving the department that keeps them enrolled.  Hooray! The use of a popular and current idea like 3-D printing is fun but used in the most unethical way of all — self-gratification under the guise of doing something that could actually save lives.

Oh, and there are bullies, of course! One of them is even named “Horrid.” In case you forget how horrid he is, it’s right in the name. Said bullies overhear the well thought-out plan and you can bet your sweet college behind that they’re going to try and sabotage these geeks.

Of course, as you can probably already imagine, their plan goes terribly wrong. They grab the wrong “mysterious” bio-fluid and spill soda on the command keyboard. Derp. Everyone takes a quick nap and POOF, they’ve made something bad and ugly that is certainly going to cause mischief and/or wreak havoc.

The only aspect of this comic I DID actually enjoy was the art. The story itself was worn and trite. It lacked any real imagination, and I couldn’t decide if the writer and creator were TRYING to make this a hacky ’80s movie or if they truly felt confident with their choices. The dialogue felt forced and every single character was one dimensional. The bio-science seemed legitimate and technical but its phrasing often felt like reading from a medical textbook. The sexism was also slathered on pretty thick and I felt badly for T-Ray. Not because she clearly pines for her jock-y genius lab partner, but because she’s not a real human female. It’s probably frustrating to exist as a tired symbol of male insecurity.

In an industry where fantastic sci-fi like Saga, Sweet Tooth, and Alex and Ada are readily available, Creeple Peeple #1 falls extremely short. Even a 3-D print of their own story wouldn’t give it the depth it sorely needs. I give this story one dimension.

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