Oh how we’ve missed you Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber. After two consecutive fill-in issues, we finally get the original creative team back for this edition of everyone's favorite comic book featuring the wacky adventures of Boomerang and friends. That means a long awaited return to the main plot of the title which left off with a cliffhanger after Superior Foes of Spider-Man #9. The new Beetle and Overdrive (who have figured out that they were betrayed by their leader Boomerang) finally met back up with Fred Myers. Fred himself was busy duping the Owl into thinking that the Chameleon had stolen the priceless painting of Victor von Doom’s face (when in fact it was Fred himself who had stolen the portrait) causing what is sure to be an imminent gang war.
Nick Spencer immediately pokes fun at the long time gap between progression in the main plot by writing "doesn't it feel like we've been standing here a long time?" on the opening splash page. Overdrive and Beetle immediately begin to question Boomerang who they know has double crossed them. Fred blames the Chameleon, saying that it hasn't really been him leading the Sinister Six this entire time. The Owl attests to this fact (since Leland Owlsley himself has been bamboozled by Fred as well) and offers all three of the bad guys a job.
Elsewhere, Hydroman is in the midst of over eating and ratting out Shocker to the crime boss Hammerhead. The increasingly plump Hyrdoman explains to Hammerhead that Shocker is in possession of the fabled head of Silvermane and he is willing to lead him straight to the Shocker's apartment for a fee.
Outside of Shocker, the remaining members of the new Sinister Six are eager to land another job even if it means working with both the man that double crossed them and the man who tried to kill them. After Fred's former girlfriend gets a moment to punch him in the face for not even attempting to save her after she was captured in issue #9, the Owl introduces a whole room full of b-list villains to aid the Sinister Six on their impending job.
If you hadn't guessed already, the big job that the Sinister 16 is about to undertake is the siege of Chameleon's heavily fortified base. As expected, a huge over-the-top battle that includes giant lizards and tons of explosions await the group of villains as they enter the base. Fred knows exactly where to go though and just like when he stormed the Owl's base back in Superior Foes of Spider-Man #5, he simply takes the elevator to the right floor. Once there, he knocks out the Chameleon (who was posing as Mirage, one of Fred's new teammates), and directs Overdrive to the portrait (who snags it and runs). Fred isn't actually after the painting though. It happens to be a fake. Instead, Fred looks much more interested in the recessed safe that was hiding behind the painting.
Across town at Shocker's apartment, Herman Schultz has finally had enough of Silvermane talking him down. He's been screwed over by both Boomerang and Hydroman and he's just not going to take it anymore. He grabs the chatty head and stuffs into a gym bag. He then launches the bowling bowl that was in the bag out of his apartment window. Just outside the window is a gun-toting Hammerhead. Things are about to get real.
After the dismal fill-in issue that was Superior Foes of Spider-Man #11, this is an absolute breath of fresh air. It does, however, feel like the momentum may be a bit off here. Is it just me or is this installment quite a bit less funny than the first 9 issues of the series? The jokes fall a little flat in some places and the whole "storm the castle" bit was much better done the first time around. Still, we see progress in the plot, we see more of what seems to be Boomerang's master plan and we even see Shocker grow a pair. Couple that with the much appreciated return of Steve Lieber's fantastic artwork and Rachelle Rosenberg's stellar coloring and we have ourselves another winner from the brain trust that brought us this crazy concept to begin with.
It might be an issue or two before Nick Spencer gets back into his comedic rhythm. Still, Spencer crafting a tale about Boomerang and the rest of the sinister misfits is 1,000 times better than whatever the hell issue #11 was.