Jack Ryder, the Creeper, is a hero who takes the appearance of a yellow madman. Originally caused by nanotechnology, he later learned the Creeper was a Demon.
Jack Ryder is an outspoken television newscaster and reporter for a Gotham City TV station. As Ryder, he is the anchorman of a show in which he deliberately antagonizes his guests in order to raise attention on hot topics, like stem cell research and medical nanotech. During his research on the revolutionary "nanocells" therapy of Doctor Vincent Yatz, he discovered a experimental mixture which enabled the body to regenerate to the point of completely replacing the skin of a badly scarred burn victim, not to mention the ability to heal practically any injury of any kind. Ryder was caught by mobsters when he attempted to steal Yatz's newly discovered technology. Unable to escape, Dr. Yatz injected his last sample of (still unstable) nanocells into Jack Ryder, as an attempt to keep it safe from the mobsters. Immediately afterwards, the mobsters shot Ryder in the head, seemingly killing him. However, the regenerative substance of the nanocells interacted with his body chemistry, thus resurrecting him as the Creeper. Ryder dispatched his opponents, and soon discovered that he was able to call forth his bestial alter-ego at will.
Eventually, the Creeper would encounter Batman for his first superhero team-up and together they captured Hellgrammite. He met the rest of the Justice League of America when Batman asked them to help determine whether or not he was an outlaw. During the recruitment drive, the Creeper was deemed more suitable for Justice League reserve status, rather than as a regular team member, despite Batman's recommendation.
A while later, Jack started having troubles with the transformation trigger until he couldn't return to normal and remained Creeper for longer than he wanted. Creeper sought help from Ishmael Yatz, the son of Vincent Yatz, in order to have a cure created for him, but Ishmael double-crossed him, leading to a brutal fight between them. They were eventually stopped by Batman and Creeper returned to normal as a result of Ishmael's own treachery.
Some time after this, Jack Ryder reported the apparent crimes of the Batman and he decided to bring the vigilante to justice by going after him as the Creeper. He confronted Batman at the Gotham Zoo, where after a brief struggle, they joined forces to fight some lions and interrogate the man who released them. It was then that Creeper realized Batman had been framed and they decided to work together to solve the case. The two heroes discovered the secret hideout of the League of Assassins, who were behind the whole plot. Creeper provided vital assistance to Batman against the League and after the confrontation, the Dark Knight was able to clear his name.
Shortly after this, Creeper had to clear his name after he was falsely accused of a crime commited by the Joker. The confrontation with the Clown Prince of Crime caused Creeper amnesia, but upon reversing the transformation to Jack Ryder, he recovered his memory and captured the Joker, taking him to the authorities. Creeper then assisted Batman in capturing a drug-lord kingpin, who was one of Jack Ryder's coworkers at the TV station. In a similar situation, Batman and Creeper teamed-up to stop a paper monster from terrorizing Gotham.
Eclipso tricked the Creeper into taking up one of the dark crystals, thus putting him under his control. The Creeper was later freed by Bruce Gordon, along with all the other enslaved superheroes. The Creeper and Gordon teamed up again to try and defeat Eclipso when they made an initial foray into the South American territory that Eclipso had conquered. This led to an Eclipso-possessed peasant throwing the Creeper (and himself) off a cliff and plunging to their deaths. However, with the intervention of a stunt squad, their lives were saved.
Several other heroes joined in the fight against Eclipso, including Major Victory, the original Steel, Amanda Waller and Wildcat. They formed a team called the Shadow Fighters. Despite being caught and escaping once, the Creeper was eventually killed by Eclipso when the team re-invaded the country Eclipso was ruling. Several hyenas, possessed by Eclipso, tracked down the Creeper and tore him to shreds. Most of the infiltration team was slain; only small parts of the Creeper were actually recovered. The remains, along with the other dead heroes, were stolen out from under Eclipso's control by surviving Shadow Fighters.
With his remains recovered, there was enough left to regenerate him. It has been strongly suggested that the convoluted Dr. Yatz origin of the Creeper was an implanted memory (or otherwise false), and that his actual origin was somehow related to his longtime villain, Proteus.
When Neron told Lilith, the Mother of All Monsters, to call her children home, among those who responded, was the Creeper, who was physically Jack Ryder during one of his shows. He was shocked by this news.
After spending time alone traveling in Kahndaq, the Creeper was approached by Alfred Pennyworth. Pennyworth was reforming the Outsiders after the death of Batman and invited the Creeper, and several other heroes, to be part of a team in order to keep the villain Hush from exploiting his resemblance to Bruce Wayne. The Creeper accepted the offer and disguised himself as a high-level employee of WayneCorp, as an excuse for him to accompany "Wayne".
Powers and Abilities
- Creeper Form: The Creeper's powers are physical in nature, as a result of Yatz's invention. Jack Ryder can transform into the Creeper virtually instantaneously, and vice versa.
- Accelerated Healing: Which enables him to heal from virtually any wound. Indeed, gunshots and stab wounds have healed in a matter of minutes. It even allowed him to return from death when his body regenerated after being torn apart by Eclipsed hyenas.
- Enhanced Reflexes
- Hypnotic Intimidation: Apparent intimidation/hypnosis ability as one of the thugs was apparently mesmerized after an encounter with the Creeper.
- Pain Inducing Laugh: His laugh is depicted as being physically painful to the ears of his victims.
- Superhuman Agility: This enables him to perform amazing feats of acrobatics and leaping, as he can jump high enough to scale any building. He also seems able to climb walls with little or no difficulty.
- Enhanced Speed
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Strength: His strength is enough to send grown men flying with only one punch.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): These combined abilities make Creeper a formidable fighter, incorporating brawling techniques with his physical prowess. A signature move is jumping onto the backs of his opponents and throwing them off balance.
- Following his debut in Showcase #73, the Creeper was given his own series. Beware the Creeper, written by Dennis O'Neil and plotted, for the first few issues, by Ditko. The series only lasted six issues and the major storyline of the series was concluded six years later in Super-Team Family #2.
- Around the time the Super-Team Family story was published, the Creeper was reintroduced in 1st Issue Special #7. After that he appeared in solo strips in Adventure Comics running from issue 445 through 447, World's Finest running from issue 229 through 255, and The Flash running from 318 through 323.
- Apart from this, the majority of the Creeper's subsequent appearances have been in guest roles.
- Over the years, the Creeper's personality underwent changes by different writers; at times his deranged behavior was depicted as only an act to frighten criminals, while at other times he seemed genuinely psychotic. DC gave the Creeper another chance in a solo entitled The Creeper, lasting 12 issues including the one millionth, Len Kaminski focused on the break down of Jack Ryder's sanity as influenced by the Creeper and making many references to the previous continuity.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- The Creeper's origins have changed several time over the years.
- Originally, Jack Ryder became the Creeper when he was powered with a serum given to him by Doctor Vincent Yatz, a scientist being hunted by the mob. The serum gave him enhanced strength and agility, and a second mechanical device allowed him to phase his costume in and out from his surroundings, so he could become the Creeper almost at will. Ryder chose a cackling and maniacal facade to frighten criminals.
- After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Creeper's origins were different. While Ryder had been on the trail of a local mob boss at a masquerade party, he was captured, beaten, and injected with hallucinogens. Shot and left for dead, he was rescued by Doctor Yatz who implanted him with a device to keep him alive. The device meant to keep Jack Ryder separate from the Creeper accidentally imprinted the drugs in his system, causing the Creeper's activity to be genuinely psychotic. His garish costumed disguise was also imprinted with him, as the Doctor had no time to remove it. In this form, Ryder eventually began to believe that he and the Creeper were two completely separate people.
- After the Infinite Crisis, the Creeper appeared with a new origin once more. Ryder was accidentally injected with experimental nanocell technology, which additionally gave him regenerative capabilities. He found himself able to switch back and forth between being the Creeper at will.
- It has been revealed that the Creeper is a demon of some sort.
- The Creeper is laughingly referred to as The Giggling Ghoul, The Macabre Manhunter and The Leaping Looney.
- Jack Ryder was born to the publisher of a successful Union Dispatch. His father's history would influence Jack's own future—but so would his mother's. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia while Jack was still a child and died in an institution.
- The Creeper Recommended Reading
- 212 Appearances of Jack Ryder (New Earth)
- 55 Images featuring Jack Ryder (New Earth)
- 11 Quotations by or about Jack Ryder (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Jack Ryder (New Earth)
|Outsiders member |
This character is or was primarily a member of the super-hero team known as the Outsiders, in any of its various incarnations. They are a black ops team dedicated to fighting evil and taking the fall in public opinion that bigger groups like the Justice League cannot, started by Batman to avoid being crippled by public relations needs. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Outsiders members" category.
|Batman Family member |
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Batman, and a member of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Family members" category.
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
Secret Society of Super-Villains member