Vincent Yatz
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Showcase Vol 1 #73,
(April, 1968)
Created by Steve Ditko (writer and artist)
Don Segall (writer)
In-story information
Partnerships Creeper
Notable aliases Dr. Yatz
Dr. Vincent Yatz
Dr. Emil Yatz

Expert scientist

Vincent Yatz is a fictional character, that appears in comic books published by DC Comics as a supporting character of the Creeper. The character was created by writer and artist Steve Ditko and Don Segall.

Publication history

Doctor Vincent Yatz injected Jack Ryder with a serum that gave him the ability to transform into the maniac creature known as The Creeper. He was created by writer and artist Steve Ditko and Don Sagall in April, 1968.

In his original appearance during the Silver Age, Yatz was called Emil Yatz at the time, and was a defector from the Soviet Union who was assigned Jack Ryder, a disgraced television host, for security purposes. He's kidnapped by mobsters who intend to sell his secrets and discoveries to the Soviets. He is taken to a masquerade ball being thrown by the leader of the mob, and held there. He and his captors are followed by Ryder, who disguises himself in order to enter the party. When Ryder is recognized as an intruder and shot, Yatz injects him with his special serum in order to save his life, and accidentally leaves an activator device in his wound. When the pair are again attacked by the mobsters, Yatz is killed in the process.

During the Bronze Age, renamed Vincent Yatz, his miraculous invention was retconned to two (sometimes given as only one) mechanical devices that are capable of storing "imprints" and which also grant increased physical attributes. Yatz surgically implants the devices into Ryder in a bid to save his life after the latter has been attacked and drugged by a group of criminals which also turns him into the Creeper.

In the Modern Age, Yatz's origin was retconned to its present explanation. For his new origin Yatz is seen to be a shady scientist who made illegal dealings with gangsters for funding on his experiments, including making deals with the Joker.

Fictional character biography

Dr Yatz was approached by Jack Ryder, a TV host turned network security investigator when he loses his former job, is assigned to investigate the case of Professor Yatz, a scientist captured by criminals and about to be turned over to Communist spies for shipping back to the Soviet Union. Since the place where Yatz is being held is throwing a costume party, Ryder buys a costume made of odds and ends, including a green wig and a red sheepskin "cape." He finds Yatz, but not before getting cut in the stomach by a knife. Yatz heals his wound with a special formula of his devising, and plants in the wound an activator, whose mate the costumed Ryder has in his hand. The activator allows Ryder the ability to dematerialize or rematerialize his costume at the twist of a dial. The professor's formula also energizes him physically. Yatz is shot dead, but Ryder, in costume, defeats the hoods and spies. In the process, he is branded falsely as a crook, and becomes wanted by both the police and underworld under the name of "the Creeper".

Rebooted origin

In 2006, a new version of the Creeper appears in the Brave New World one shot, published following the events of Infinite Crisis. In the one shot, Jack Ryder is now the host of a controversial TV show, You Are Wrong!, promising $1,000,000 to the person who catches the Creeper. Following this, a six-issue Creeper mini-series revealed the new origin, seemingly taking place during Batman's early years.

This version sees Dr Yatz as a scientestlike before, and Jack Ryder, sensationalist host of the TV talk-show "You Are Wrong", goes to get a scoop on Doctor Yatz’s big unveiling of artificial nanocell technology. He arrives early, only to find that gangster, Mike "Hagop" Hewsen and his gang are trying to strong-arm a sample of the nanocells from the Doctor Yatz. Thanks to some self-defense training, the captive Jack overpowers his captor and takes his gun. After that Jack takes Doctor Yatz prisoner himself and attempts to get Hewsen and his men to back off and leave the building with both of them unharmed. Not wanting to leave the last sample for the gangsters, Dr. Yatz injects it into Jack Ryder, to his surprise. Then things start to go wrong, and Hagop Hewsen and his gang overpower Jack Ryder and Dr. Yatz. They drag them off, shoot Jack and throw his body off a cliff. The nanocell experiment that was injected into Jack Ryder quickly transforms his body, and The Creeper is born. He quickly dispatches his captors but Dr Yatz gets kidnapped by Hewsen and gets taken to Hewsen's father Bolo Hewsen at their mansion.

While Jack Ryder is learning what it means to be The Creeper, a horrible abomination that used to be a boy named Gavin Sullivan who was experimented on by Yatz is feasting on the flesh of innocents. The Creeper convinces Jack to let him take over, and go beat Mike "Hagop" Hewsen to a pulp. Meanwhile, Bolo Hewsen is mad at his son "Hagop" for the violence he inflicted (last issue). He continues to push Dr. Yatz for his secrets though, until he is attacked by the horrible experiment-gone-wrong from Dr. Yatz’s lab. In secret, Batman meets with The Creeper. But, as soon as Batman leaves, he is attacked by the Axe-Man! By the time that The Creeper subdues Axe-Man and makes his way to Hewsen Mansion, it has been leveled. The Creeper finds Bolo Hewsen there, and learns that "Hagop" is dead, thanks to the creature that attacked. The Creeper learns information that leads him to believe that this creature is from Dr. Yatz’s lab, and he also learns that Dr. Yatz, who is no where to be found, may have mis-appropriated large amounts of money that he was funded by Bolo Hewsen into his nano-cell skin technology project. The Creeper goes to track down the monster, but it doesn’t take long before the monster finds him.

The Joker soon arrives in town and takes Bolo Hewsen up a building and throw him out a window. Vera Sweet covers the TV talk-show "You Are Wrong" while Jack Ryder, remains missing. Vera reports on the mysterious, new "costumed citizen" the Creeper. Meanwhile, the Creeper heads to Gotham Tombs, a long-abandoned prison, seeking Dr. Yatz. He instead finds the abomination formerly known as Gavin Sullivan, who knocks him out. Back at the station, Vera Sweet is attacked by the zombie of Mike "Hagop" Hewsen reanimated thanks to Joker and Dr Yatz's combined genetic formula. Luckily, Batman is on the scene. The Creeper wakes up to find out that he is a captive of Doctor Vincent Yatz, who's working with Joker.

Batman arrives to tussle with the Joker. Dr. Yatz decides it’s time to depart. Leaving Creeper and the abomination formerly known as Gavin Sullivan strapped down, he knocks-out the Dark Knight by injecting him with a serum from behind. Before leaving, the Joker tells the Creeper that they are family because there was Joker Venom in the concoction that Dr. Yatz injected him with, which turned him into the Creeper. The Joker then goes to shoot Batman, but discovers that he has the wrong gun – a gag gun. The Joker and Dr. Yatz leave. Batman wakes up in time to see the Creeper transform into Jack Ryder in a plan to escape his bondage. This is not news for the Dark Knight Detective who was already aware of the secret identity. The Creeper is afraid of what Dr. Yatz and the Joker are up to, so he stays behind to investigate while Batman goes to catch them. However, what the Creeper finds is deadly – dozens, possibly hundreds of people who have been turned into Creeper-like monsters, Dr. Yatz remotely releases the monsters and the Creeper makes a brave attempt to fight them all, but the numbers are just overwhelming and he soon succumbs.

On the "deserted" prison-island of Gotham Tombs, the Creeper battles for his life against a ton of Dr. Yatz’s Creeper-like experiments, when suddenly, Gavin Sullivan comes to his aid; Amazingly, the monster the Creeper unplugged from being drained helps him defeat the creatures by throwing them into the water, where they explode due to underwater mines. However, Sullivan still has a desire to eat human skin, so the Creeper kicks him into the water, where he explodes as well. Batman suddenly shows up in the Bat-Copter and provides the Creeper with a lift.

Batman confirms that Joker Venom was one of the ingredients in the concoction that Jack was injected with when the Creeper was created, and offers Jack an antidote that should destroy the alien cells. However, the Creeper is not happy about it and punches Batman, leaving Batman to give Ryder his freedom of choice.

Jack returns to the TV station that broadcasts his sensationalist TV show "You Are Wrong" to break news that Dr. Yatz is a no-goodnik, and appeals to viewers to keep an eye out for him. The station then receives a call that a cab driver spotted Dr. Yatz, and the police are apprehending him - and find he was infected by Joker venom but still alive. Finally, Jack Ryder is faced with the ultimate choice: "To Creep or Not To Creep? He, of course, chooses “To Creep!".

Powers and abilities

Dr Yatz is an extremely intelligent scientist, who was able to create a nanocell serum that cures virtually all wounds, as well as creating superhuman physical attributes in a person. Vincent Yatz has no special powers, but he is a brilliant scientist with a background in genetic engineering.

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