After diverging a bit from the main plot last issue to cover the new Beetle’s origin story, we get right back into the thick of the Sinister Six’s epic adventures in this issue. In case you’ve forgotten, Boomerang stole the Owl’s portrait of Doctor Doom’s face and then left his team behind to be killed. The new Beetle’s dad just so happens to be Tombstone though, which ultimately saved the team from being eaten alive by rats. Meanwhile, Boomerang has some problems of his own. Chameleon has figured out that Fred has double crossed him and has come to his house to get retribution. Pretty epic, right?
Undersea treasure, president Obama and nude bartenders; being knocked unconscious is pretty eventful if you’re Fred Myers. When he comes around though, by having his head dunked in a toilet bowl, Fred quickly realizes that he’s in the company of Chameleon and one of his men. Chameleon is after the head of Silvermane, the target that Fred was supposed to have captured before fooling everyone and grabbing Doom’s portrait instead. To be fair, Myers doesn’t even believe that Silvermane’s head actually exists, though we all know that it does and is in the possession of the irresolute Shocker. After retrieving the head from a junkyard back in Superior Foes of Spider-Man #5, Shocker is now storing his new treasure at his rat-trap apartment, much to the displeasure of the very talkative former crime lord. Elsewhere, Speed Demon and Overdrive are stunned to find out that the Beetle’s father is Tombstone. “I think he’s killed, like, a thousand people,” mutters Overdrive in disbelief. Beetle shrugs it off though and the three spread out to try and find our protagonist, Boomerang, whom they now realize has screwed them all over.
Back at Fred’s apartment, a very unhappy Chameleon’s interrogation of a very uncooperative Boomerang is going nowhere. Feeling as if knocking Fred unconscious is optimal to hearing him make excuses, Chameleon orders his goon to clobber Myers in the face and then ransack his apartment. After awaking from another odd dream sequence (this time involving the bartender, pirates and Dormmamu), Fred finds that his priceless stolen portrait has been taken by his former employer. That’s when the lovely bartender shows up for her scheduled date with the ex-pitcher that drinks at her bar. Fred, still shaken by his encounter with Chameleon, opens the door with a deadly boomerang in hand, shouting “Want some more, huh?!” The bartender wastes no time taking her boyfriend to the ground with a classic knee to the crotch, throw-you-over-the-shoulder self defense move. “Thought you were somebody else,” says Fred, brushing it off.
At a dimly lit bar, Myers orders two “cheap” whiskeys and after some prodding by his girlfriend he begins to explain what he really does for a living. Despite a bit of hesitation, the bartender eventually warms up to the fact that her kinda-sorta new boyfriend is a super villain. After a pep-talk in which the bartender tells a downtrodden Fred that “you should want to be the best super villain there is,” a suddenly confident Boomerang kisses his admirer. From a rooftop across the street, Bullseye watches the exchange through the scope of a sniper rifle.
Other than Fred having his painting stolen and then revealing his identity to the perpetually unnamed bartender, not a whole lot actually goes on in this issue. That’s OK though because writer Nick Spencer nails the dialogue on what may be the funniest installment of the series yet. From the wild dream sequences to the awkward date scene, this issue had me literally laughing out loud from start to finish.
We see the welcome return of Steve Lieber taking back over the artistic duties of the book after skipping last issue. I’ve commented in the past about how well his quirky art fits Spencer’s humorous storytelling and this issue is no exception. The dream sequences in particular are lots of fun. They’re bright and vibrant (kudos to colorist Rachelle Rosenberg) with lots of little details that you may not catch until your second or third reading. I have a feeling that Spencer may have chosen to throw the Beetle origin story on us last issue so that Lieber could pencil this continuation of the Sinister Six’s adventures on this ish.
This is one of the funniest funny books I’ve read in a long time. When Spencer and Lieber are together and running on all cylinders, this may be my favorite comic on my pull list.
If you’re a Daredevil fan (like me), you may be asking yourself the question, “Isn’t Bullseye kind of dead?” The answer to your question is sort of (he was actually found being kept alive within an iron lung in Daredevil (Vol. 3) #27. The reason that he is shown at the end of this comic though is not because this book takes place out of continuity (I don’t think). Instead, your concerns will be addressed in Superior Foes of Spider-Man #9. I know this because I’m currently living in the future.