Comics : The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4

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This review was first published on: Oct 2013.

Background...

Fred, because he now has Abner Jenkins as his parole officer, has been ousted from leader of Sinister Six. After suffering through a horrible meeting of Super Villains Anonymous, Fred told Abner about his old group and asked if he had anyone he could pit against them. Abner called Luke Cage and Iron Fist to confront the Sinister Six.

Also, the Sinister Six plan on carrying out Fred's mission to retrieve Silvermane's head. Of course, little do they know that Fred was only doing it for the Chameleon for helping get him out of jail. Actually, Shocker knows all about it, but is too much of a coward to tell the team.

In Detail...

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4
Dec 2013 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Fred saves Sinister Six; becomes leader again
Editor:  Tom Brennan
Writer:  Nick Spencer
Artist:  Steve Lieber
Cover Art:  Marte Gracia, Paulo Siqueira
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  Rachelle Rosenberg
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Issue
Review
Articles: Boomerang, The Shocker, Silvermane, Speed Demon

In someplace awful in NYC, the four remaining members of the Sinister Six are discussing how the Beetle in the new leader. After bossing her teammates around and degrading them, Beetle leaves her them. Shocker, Speed Demon, and Overdrive all talk about how they aren’t confident in their new authoritarian boss. Sadly, five minutes ago, they all voted her into the position.

Speed Demon suggests a vote if they should cut Beetle from the team, but they all become hushed when she returns. They prepare for their mission to retrieve Silvermane’s head and Shocker is about to inform Beetle about Fred’s deal with the Chameleon. But before he can, Luke Cage and Iron Fist burst through the wall.

Startlingly, Luke Cage picks up a chair and hits Overdrive with it. Beetle, not knowing what to do, Beetle follows the hero’s advice and shouts, “Get em’!” Speed Demon attempts to punch Cage while Iron Fist kicks Beetle. Shocker clobbers Cage and pours some washing detergent on his face, which is met with an ungrateful knuckle sandwich.

Subsequently, Beetle accidentally shocks Shocker in the back and Iron Fist takes down Speed Demon. In a final blow, Cage throws a brick and knocks Beetle out. Towering above the fallen villains, Luke Cage calls the police while Inspector yaps at him.

Later that day, Fred is talking to the Chameleon who is in jail. The Chameleon is displeased that Fred hasn’t carried out his job and has separated from his teammates. Fred becomes defensive and Chameleon gives him an ultimatum with a 24-hour time frame: “I will have a head in my possession. It will be Silvio Silvermane’s-- Or it will be yours.”

When Fred walks into the bar afterwards, he finds that his usual bartender isn’t present. Instead, there is a snappy lady who recognizes Fred from when he played baseball. When she mentions how he got a lifetime ban from the league, they get in an argument. The disagreement becomes a heated dispute when Fred insults her hometown, Philly. She demands he leaves, but when Fred tells her that he overpaid for his drink, she suddenly becomes increasingly pleasant.

Later in a police transportation vehicle, the four members of the Sinister Six are arguing with each other. Herman is about to reveal Fred’s deal with the Chameleon when the back of the vehicle explodes. Fred, in his Boomerang costume, stands in the rubble and helps them all out.

While relieving them of their restraints, Fred discloses to his teammates that he will have complete control of them and they will go to the Owl’s base tomorrow. Overdrive modifies a motorcycle on the side of the road and Fred says, “Tomorrow, we show em’ all who’s in charge now, and it ain’t Charles-- It’s the Sinister Six!”

At the base, Shocker requests that Fred heads outside for a private conversation. Shocker explains that he watched Fred’s discussion with Chameleon and asks why he lied to them. Fred fibs that he wanted to impress the team by defeating the Punisher and he has to collect Silvermane’s head as an appearance fee for the Chameleon. Herman believes him and the two hug it out.

Later, Fred decides that he needs more me-time and asks his bartender lady-friend if she wants to go to a Philly game with him. She agrees and he walks to his car outside. Fred drives his car to an overhead pass that is closed for construction. Then, he gets out and contemplates, “When we pull this job tomorrow, we do it as a team. We play it straight, we watch each other’s back, look out for each other. Everyone gets their share.”

He pushes his car over the overhead pass and reasons, “Yes sir, from now on, me and my crew-- We gotta stick together.” Shocker is tied up in the trunk of the car, plunging into the sea.

In General...

Although the series may have gone off its road of consistency last issue, this issue promises that it is back on track. Now, when you look at overall story progression, this issue mainly takes back the events of the last issue. But it shows promise that something exciting will happen in the next issue with some splendid new additions.

First, let’s get down to business and talk about the Sinister Six’s battle with Luke Cage and Iron Fist. It was short, but I’ve been yearning for a battle and got what I wanted. The Sinister Six fought so lame, it was hilarious and the art captured it terrifically. Steve Lieber knows how to make a bunch of C-lister villains brawl like sissies.

Second, the characters are all very rich and there are many great character interactions. Specifically, I was impressed by Fred’s conversation with his new lady friend. Their relationship looks interesting and I look forward to that baseball game. I was also contented with the tenseness of Fred’s discussion with Shocker and how deranged Fred looked when he pushed him into the ocean. (Page 18, Panel 1.)

Lastly, I was captivated with Steve Lieber’s art. As you may have read earlier, I was very satisfied with his portrayal of the Sinister Six’s battle. That type of a clash is something I’ve never really seen before and it really impressed me. Although the conversations and emotions are well drawn, I am still unhappy with how sloppy the line work is in some sections of the book.

Overall Rating...

There were some great character interactions and the battle was great. Although little really happened, this holds promise for the next issue.