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A villain's book done right.
Marvel has learned a lot from the success of Hawkeye, the best selling non-traditional superhero. Marvel has learned to trust their creators and let them tell the stories they want to tell no matter how off beat they may be.
Superior Foes of Spiderman is a concept that seems forced and a deliberate cash in on the “Superior Spiderman” name. A book dedicated to a bunch of C-list villains seems like something that is destined for mediocrity and a short shelf life. However, Superior Foes of Spiderman is a pretty cool book.
I’ll admit that Nick Spenser’s Marvel work has never really stuck with me. I think he did a Sercret Avengers arc during Fear Itself that was pretty nifty, but, other than that, I am drawing a blank. I love his creator owned Morning Glories, and, hearing him promote this book as “the one [he’s] wanted to do since [he] was a kid,” I was eager to see what Spencer had in store.
The book is narrated from the first person perspective of Boomerang, long term Spidey villain who has seen better days. Throughout the issue we get to see Boomerang’s origin, his perspective on his villainous teammates, and manipulations of said teammates. A lesser writer would have made this into a forgettable one-shot and wasted everyone’s time, but Spencer injects a wicked sense of humor into the book. Boomerang’s opinions on his loser teammates and own failures are hilarious. The moment that stands out the most in my mind from this book is Speed Demon stealing a little girl’s puppy just because she called him stupid. Superior Foes of Spiderman has one or two laugh out loud moments due to the color commentary that the villains provide during their own individual heists.
Steve Lieber reminds me of a less refined David Aja. Most of his artwork seems flat but maintains an exciting level of dynamic. The only downside is that sometimes the quality of his art (especially his facial expressions) will change from panel to panel.
Superior Foes of Spiderman is an example of how a book about villains should be done: smart, humorous, not over seriously and generating empathy for a villain. Superior Foes of Spiderman was a pleasant surprise this week. Spencer’s humorous take on such a shady and dysfunctional group has me dedicated to at least picking up the next issue.
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Written or Contributed by Steven Harris
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