Man, this book just gets better and better, I truly love it. Given that Hawkeye is taking ages and ages to get it’s next issue out, this title really has filled that street-level gap in the market, and it’s just one of the best, most unique superhero comics out there. The dialogue between all of the characters is just fantastic, and the way Nick Spencer twists and turns the plot is a joy to behold.
We open with the Sinister Six (really the Sinister Four at this point), who have just kicked Boomerang out of the group, getting ready to pull off the Silvermane Head-heist. Only, as we saw at the end of #3, Boomerang has sicced Luke Cage and Iron Fist on them. What follows is a really great action sequence, and it’s great to see that not only are Spencer and Lieber able to deconstruct and have fun with superhero tropes, but they can also do the basics well too. I also loved how it ended with Luke Cage pulling the Thunderbolts logo off of The Shocker’s costume, great little moment there. Plus, it’s always good to see Power Man and Iron Fist in action together, such a great team.
We then see what Boomerang is up to, first, angling for more time from Chameleon (who Spencer is doing an excellent job at rehabilitating as a villain, next to these chumps, he’s no joke, he’s like the Green Goblin) and then meeting a possible love interest in a bartender who knows him from his Baseball past. I can’t believe I enjoyed a 3-page scene featuring people arguing about the New York Mets so much. Boomerang then busts the rest of his team out of jail, and has them back on his side, ready to finally go get Silvermane’s head. But then Shocker plays his hand and reveals to Boomerang that he knows that ‘The Punisher’ was actually the Chameleon. Boomerang tries to play it off, saying that he just did it to impress the team, and that seems to satisfy Shocker and his eyebrows, and it looks like everything’s resolved. Boomerang reminisces about how being a supervillain is all about relationships, and staying friends with people like the Shocker, and we then see him go ask the feisty bartender out on a date, which, man, I’m surprised by how happy I was for ol’ Fred Phelps.
Spencer really is doing a good job at making you like these villains as people. Only, in an excellent final twist, we see that Boomerang isn’t going to trust Shocker, and has instead, tied him up in his trunk, and pushed the car into the river! What a bastard! Now, I doubt that Spencer is killing the Shocker off here, but it was a great twist and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
This really is a brilliant comic, and I would really recommend it to readers who lean more towards the crime spectrum than superheroes, Steve Lieber’s art is not your traditional superhero look, and it really works for this series, and it’s clear that Nick Spencer is drawing more from crime story influences than anything else. Hell, this issue features great references to Breaking Bad and Orange Is The New Black. If you’re looking to hook a fan of those shows into comics, this is one way to go. I am simply loving this book, and loving the fact that Marvel has something like this title out there, something with a completely different tone from everything else.