When Marvel comics re-launched Spider-Man as “The Superior Spider-Man,” we saw a darker take on everybody’s favorite web head. With Otto Octavius’s mind in the body of Peter Parker, “The Superior Spider-Man” brought a lot of new ideas that satisfied new and long-time readers. As the months went by, we saw other Spider books get the “Superior” moniker, but the far-and-away more interesting publication (on paper) was “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man.”
The Sinister Six is a name that’s pretty big in Spider-Man’s history. Made up of the most dangerous villains in Spider-Man’s rouges gallery, The Sinister Six has done incredible damage and have hurt those closet to Peter Parker. This Sinister Six is not that Sinister Six.
Led by Boomerang, this incarnation is made up of Beetle, Shocker, Overdrive and Speed Demon. Yes, I know that’s just five members of a team called The Sinister Six, but Boomerang has a good reason for that. Now,you’re probably also saying, “Hey, I’ve never heard of these people. How much of a treat could they really be?” That’s another fantastic question because ehhhhhhhhh, they’re really not.
Made up with the most losery-of-loser Spider-Man villains, “Superior Foes” focuses on their backstabbing, deceitful leader: Boomerang, aka Fred Myer. A former disgraced baseball player, Fred Myer turned to a life of crime and since he’s Australian, he (of course) has a boomerang motif. With a crew of his own, Boomerang wants to make a big score, but he isn’t the best leader nor does he have the greatest crew. Shocker is coward who runs away at the sight of danger, Speed Demon is a lazy jerk, and Overdrive is competent but gushes over every big name hero or villain he comes across like a fanboy. Really, the most competent one is Beetle, but Boomerang hates her ideas.
Much like other Marvel titles in “Hawkeye,” and “She-Hulk,” “Superior Foes” is less about the super aspect and instead about the human parts that come with being a super villain. Lots of great small talk dialogueis expertly written by Nick Spencer, and “Superior Foes” has more in common with an episode of”Archer’ or “Louie” than any other super villain book I’ve read to date. It’s hard to pick out what is so great about the scripting of the characters because the conversations they have are so mundane, but that’s why certain arguments and conversation points are so great; it’s offering something that you don’t see in every book.
“Superior Foes” also wouldn’t have been as fun if it wasn’t for artist Steve Lieber. Every character is so expressive and emotional, and while his action is fine, Lieber’s character and background work is so fun to read.
“The Superior Foes of Spider-Man” is a fantastic read that works great as a introductory book for any reader. With a book of unknowns with no history to go along with, it works as a great pick-up-and-read experience. Titles like this are far and few between and even though “Superior Spider-Man” ends in May, I hope The Sinister Six continue to march forward.