Comics : The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1

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This review was first published on: Jul 2013.

Background...

In Superior Spider-Man #1, the new Sinister Six first appeared. It consists of Boomerang, the leader, and his teammates, Shocker, a new Beetle, Overdrive, and Speed Demon. Superior Spider-Man outsmarted and brutally beat them all in front of many news people, sending the Sinister Six to jail. But this issue takes place before that issue, before Doc Ock became Spider-Man. This takes place before the Sinister Six's fall...

In Detail...

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1
Sep 2013 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Boomerang Escapes Jail
Editor:  Tom Brennan
Writer:  Nick Spencer
Artist:  Steve Lieber
Cover Art:  Marcos Martin
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  Rachelle Rosenberg
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Articles: Boomerang, Chameleon, The Shocker, Speed Demon

Our story begins with Boomerang reflecting on fighting Spider-Man in the sky. While doing so, he thinks, "Spider-Man is the only one anybody ever talks about. Nobody's ever like, 'Hey, what about Boomerang? What's up with him? What makes that guy tick? Where's he from? What does he do in his spare time? Does he have any pets? And hey--Why does he keep letting this guy beat the holy hell out of him? Is he mentally ill? Is it a sex thing? How does a loser like that even get out of his bed in the morning?'"

Then, Boomerang goes back to where it all started going wrong. He was pitching and remembers how a guy bribed him to throw it to the batter of the other team to give them a home run. Once he did it, after the game, it was revealed on the news that he was taking brides. In Boomerang's apartment, he was holding a gun, watching the news, considering suicide before a group of people in red hoods and robes. He asked them, "Is this some kind of sex thing?"

He remembers how he told them that he's Australian and they made him Boomerang. "Guess I should be glad I didn't end up some kinda kangaroo guy," he thinks. "For the record, I got no idea who ratted out those jerks. Seriously, it wasn't me. Oh yeah? Fine, show me the tape then"

Continuing with his reflection, he remembers fighting Silver Sable and Spider-Man with the Sinister Syndicate from ASM #280. After "stashing for a down payment on a new costume", he got a crew of his own. He looks at "the pretty boy driver", Overdrive, "a pretty girl theft", Beetle, "an advance guy who specializes in being the pain in the butt", Speed Demon, and Shocker, "a coward." Together, they are the new Sinister Six, and he's aware that there's only five members.

"All of this means you're probably thinking things are looking up for old Fred [Myers]," he thinks while reflecting on a meeting about the group's next crime. (The group members aren't even paying attention in the meeting, with Beetle on Twitter, Shocker staring at the Beetle in love, Speed Demon asleep, and Overdrive thinking about off-roading.) You'd be wrong. While he was running after most-likely violating rules, Boomerang was webbed to a light pole. "No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, this song always ends the same way...Webbed up, hanging off a light pole. Sleeping it off in a jail cell--Trying to get someone to feed my damn birds. (See? I do have pets.)"

Now, in jail, Fred is talking to James (Speed Demon's real name) and Herman (Shocker's real name) about feeding his birds. "I would, it's just-- Your apartment, it's really far out-- Queens and all--," Herman says hesitantly. "It's creepy is what he means. It smells like internet pornography. It's the kind of apartment smart hookers don't go into," James exclaims.

They come to the conclusion that Fred is a pirate because he owns a bird. Fred, obviously tired of his friends, says, "No, James-- I am not a pirate." James replies, "Good. 'Cause take it from the guy who used to be the Whizzer--Costume change this late in life, it's bad for the personal brand." Fred tells them that if they just pick up the seed from the pet store and put it in his place, the lady next door will feed the birds. After a second of thinking, James says, "Thing is, he could pull off the eye-patch."

Later, at the pet store a little girl has decided that she wants to buy a white puppy with brown spots around his eyes. Speed Demon and Shocker walk in wearing their masks and trench coats. "Y'know I had a dog just like that when I was your age. Called him Skippy. We used to go everywhere together. Everywhere. I'd go, I'd be all like, 'C'mon, Skippy!' And there we'd go. Miss that damn dog," Speed Demon tells the girl. She asks what happened to Skippy. "Well, one day my mom sold him for drugs," he says.

"But, hey-- Maybe you could name your dog, Skippy too, yeah?" Speed Demon says. The little girl ignores his request and names him Inspector. "That is a stupid name for a dog," he says, which makes Inspector unhappy. Then, he gets in a fight with the little girl, calling each other stupid. Speed Demon ends the argument, saying, "All right, okay, fine, you know--Maybe I am. But guess what? I'm the stupid guy that's robbing you right now!" Everybody in the pet store just stands around, not frightened at all.

The cashier asks if Speed Demon is serious. "That's right, ******! Now gimme what's in the register!" he replies. The cashier says, "Stop cursing so much. You're upsetting the cats." Shocker and Speed Demon get Inspector and the specialized bird seed Boomerang wanted to leave.

Later, in Boomerang's apartment building, Speed Demon and Shocker are climbing a set of stairs with Inspector and the bird food. Shocker asks Speed Demon why he isn't just running up the stairs, to which he replies, "Hey, do things get lighter for you if you if you start running up stairs while you're holding them?" They finally arrive at the apartment door and figure that they forgot the keys.

Shocker suggests Speed Demon runs to get them, but he doesn't want to run in the Manhattan traffic. "I say we just leave it here in the hall. Who's gonna steal birdseed?" Speedy says. Shocker shows that they stole birdseed and Speedy just runs to get the keys. When he gets back, they find that the door was unlocked.

When they get in, they find that somebody is already in the apartment. "Hey, crackhead/junkie/confused teen--we know you're here!" Speedy yells. Shocker opens the door to the bathroom and finds Hammerhead on the john, reading the paper. When he finishes, Speedy says, "You, uh, forgot to flush." Hammerhead replies, "Yeah, it'll smell like crud in here when Freddy gets out, won't it?"

Then, Hammerhead reveals that he's the old lady who's going to "feed the bird" and that the whole errand was all just an operation. The bird food is really a bag of diamonds and the man at the pet shop would have willingly gave them to them if they just asked. "Well, sue me for showing a little initiative," Speedy says. Hammerhead asks where the rest is, and Speed Demon leaves Shocker to get beaten.

Later, at a hospital, Herman is in a hospital bed, injured, and James is on the phone with Fred. He tells him that Herman is angry that they were sold out and Fred says that they wouldn't have gone if they knew about it. "This hospital is boring," James says as Herman flips him off.

Fred explains that he has a job and the jewels were Hammerhead's cut because it's on his turf. The shipment got delayed by the origin bomb attack (which happened in the first Avengers Vol. 5 arc, if I remember correctly) and Fred offers to let them in on the deal. He reveals that he needs to be bailed out of jail if they want to continue the job and needs them to move fast because he's having a "poor job making friends" in prison. Next to him, another prisoner starts pretending to cut his neck as a threat.

Soon, Beetle is holding up a comic book shop for the bail money and the nerds behind the counter start talking about how hot she is. Beetle points her pistol at them and asks which comics are valuable. A chubby nerd replies, "Well, that depends--What are you looking for? One in one hundred variants? Low print run Indie titles?" One of the nerds pulls out a comic that is hot on Ebay, but the other says it sucks. The two nerds get in a fight over what sucks. (Sounds like a regular day at comic con.) "You know what? Just put them all in the box for me," Beetle tells them. One done, Beetle and Overdrive leave quickly. Overdrive holds up a comic book, saying, "I didn't even know they still made these things."

In prison, Fred is escorted by the police to Hammerhead's cell because he wants to have words with him. "Well, look who it is--Freddy boy!" our favorite mob boss says in his cell. Fred corrects him, saying that Hammerhead no longer does the old gangster voice. "I reserve the full method treatment for paying clients," Chameleon says as he changes from his Hammerhead form. Fred says that he is getting his payment and Chameleon tells him that coming and going from prison isn't as easy as he thinks it is for him.

"Well, you did get to beat up Shocker. That was fun, right?" Fred confirms. Chameleon tells him that his group will serve him without charge since he kick-started them. "It may be a weakness, but I worry for you. And what these lackeys of yours will do to you when they find out there is no job for them," Chameleon says. Fred asks for his diamonds back and, when escorted away, flips off the guy who was threatening him earlier.

Later, the rest of the Superior Foes have bailed Fred out and he picks up his boomerangs as he leaves jail saying they're not loaded. He thinks, "One of these days, it's gonna happen for me. I'm gonna get the drop on him. I'm gonna beat the rap. And I'm gonna run this town. Laws of odds alone says one of these days, it's gonna happen, right?" While walking the streets, he sees the man he flipped off in jail and he punches Fred in the face. "My only problem being--It sure as hell ain't today."

In General...

When I first heard of this series, I figured it would be terrible. I mean, I would be crazy not to after the hilariously bad, villain-centered series, Deadly Foes of Spider-Man and it's even worse predecessor, Lethal Foes of Spider-Man. But, as far as opening issues, I think this may be the best of all of the new Marvel NOW! launches.

The problem with the original Deadly Foes of Spider-Man miniseries is that the writer of that series thought that he was writing the *ahem* deadliest villains there are in comics. But the characters in that series sucked and the writer's ignorance of the fact made it very unenjoyably, along with many other factors. In this series, the five characters are wimpy and Nick Spencer was smart enough to recognize it. So, he put them in their everyday situations and, instead of turning it into a dark villains book, made it completely light-hearted, which I thought was absolutely genius.

I will always prefer a fun and witty story over a dark one. I can appreciate a dark and gritty story as much as the next guy, but I find that fun stories are far more creative and innovative, two factors that I always look for when reviewing comics. It isn't often that I laugh when I'm reading my Wednesday comics fix, but this one had me rolling on the ground. It's just nonstop fun! This comic has at least three jokes that will surely get a chuckle out of you.

Steve Leiber's artwork is great. His pacing for the humor and facial expressions really amaze me. The one factor that I enjoyed most about his work was this nifty trick where a thought bubble was placed over a character's head with a simple picture inside depicted what they were thinking. This is the type of innovation that I look for in comics. Plus, it isn't often that I recognize a colorist in my reviews, but Rosenberg's colors flow very nicely with the artwork.

Overall Rating...

It really doesn't get better than this, folks. It's a fun, innovative, light-hearted story that sets up the series terrifically. We need more of this!