Another exemplary issue of Superior Foes, man, this book is just so, so good. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Boomerang is, after only 6 issues, one of the most well-written characters in mainstream comics.
The issue begins with Fred out on a date at a Mets game with that flirtatious barmaid (I can’t actually remember her name, or if it’s been mentioned, which could be me being an idiot, or maybe her identity will be a shocking reveal?), in a very fun scene. Nick Spencer’s dialogue is just fantastic, and Steve Lieber’s art sells the comedy as well as the awkward sparks of romance In the end, Fred and the girl bond over their hatred of one particular player, and Fred falls in love, seeing hilarious visions of their future together, which for some reason seems to include her cheating on him with a flame-headed guy (I think Dormammu? He’s been a running joke in this series) and having his kid. A weird fantasy to be sure, but Boomerang is a weird guy. We then get a moment of real pathos from Boomerang, as he admits to the girl how much he misses being a Baseball player. This really sells his motivation as a character, and just why he became a supervillain really, as he’s trying to reclaim that same feeling of glory and power.
And hey, considering he’s got the portrait of Doctor Doom’s real face, he could soon be about to get that glory. The next scene sees Fred at home, staring at the portrait (which is of course, always hidden from our view) and explaining not only the (very funny) history of the painting, but also of his plan to get it right from the very start of the series. This was a great scene, not only because it was funny, and it allowed Lieber to do some more cool stuff with the art, but an explanation for all of the various twists and turns really was necessary so as to stop things from becoming too confusing. Especially because as the end of this issue shows, more twists are in the pipeline.
So, Boomerang is gonna be rich as hell, all on his own, but what about the rest of the Superior Six? Welp, he’s left them for dead in the hands of The Owl, who continues to be an absolutely great villain, genuinely menacing as he threatens to kill and torture Speed Demon, Overdrive and Beetle to make them tell them where Boomerang is. Overdrive seems ready to rat, but interestingly, Beetle is very calm, and even demands to be set free in exchange for not revealing how easily they attacked the Owl. Why is Beetle so confident? It’s because she’s Tombstone’s daughter! Yep, she texts him, and he and his thugs come and bust down the Owl’s wall. This was a really great surprise, especially as it was a surprise for Tombstone as well. Beetle has been an interesting character throughout this book, mostly because she’s actually competent, and now we see why, she’s supervillain royalty!
As for Boomerang, he’s not left alone to dream of his riches, as his parole officer, Mach whatever-number-it-is-now, turns up to quiz him about how the Superior Six members he himself ratted out where rescued from prison by a guy with boomerangs. This was another hilarious scene, as Boomerang bullshits the idea that there’s a new Boomerang out there, and we even get a cool riff on the various new Supermen that showed up after Supes’ death. Almost funnier is the fact that Boomerang his the Doom portrait behind a poster of ‘The Ugly Truth’, and then the fact that Mach… I’m just gonna call him Abe, can’t leave through the window because of his wings, so he can’t do his cool exit line. He does leave, and Boomerang things he’s come back after another knock on the door, but nope, it’s Chameleon!
Man, this title is a tangled web of lies and confusion, especially with Tombstone and Chameleon back in the mix, and that’s not even mentioning the Shocker being out there somewhere with Silvermane’s head. Boomerang looked like he had won at the start of this issue, but now it’s all come back to bite him in the ass in the most glorious of ways.
I can’t praise this title high enough, it’s funny, it’s clever, the art is superb, just read it, now.