It was a very light release week after last week’s deluge, so I decided to roll the dice on some new books. Marvel’s Avengers A.I., Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and Deadpool Kills Deadpool were the new kids on the block this week — and all were surprisingly amazing. DC released their their first chapter of the Trinity War event — Trinity of Sin: Pandora — but that gets a big ol’ “meh” from me. Though I would have loved to have given the top spot to the resurgence of Hank Pym or to a Deadpool story that doesn’t wear thin, there was clearly a book this week that was far… Superior? … than the rest.
I have been really digging Superior Spider-Man. I thought the whole “Doc-Ock-as-Spider-Man” thing was going to be terrible, but it has actually lead to some fun stories, including The Superior Foes of Spider-Man. I originally wasn’t going to pick this book up; it looked like a blatant cash grab for Superior Spider-Man month. After reading it, I can say it’s still a blatant cash grab, but it’s a damn good blatant cash grab!
Nick Spencer (of Morning Glories fame) has spun us a tale of the hapless new Sinister Six, albeit with only five members. This new team consists of Boomerang, Shocker, Beetle, Speed Demon, and Overdrive. I’ve never heard of any of these villains (save Shocker), but Spencer gives this group of villains a real blue collar feel, similar to Flash’s Rogues. Unlike the Rogues, however, these guys are pretty pathetic. Speed Demon and Shocker pull off the crime of the century when they rob a pet store and steal a puppy from a little girl. Boomerang spends most of the issue in prison trying to get the rest of the Sinister Six to help him make bail. Beetle answers the call, but she attempts to rob a comic shop while knowing nothing about comics. All of this is comedic gold.
It’s only issue #1, and it feels like Spencer has been working with these characters for years. Their voices are distinct, and the humor flows naturally through them and the situations they are put in. The humor here isn’t forced, unlike last week’s Larfleeze #1, where every page seemed to have “LOOK! A JOKE! YUK YUK YUK!”. Spencer makes wonderful use of some great callback gags, including a rather intimidating inmate who has his prison signals confused.
The art for the issue is provided by Steve Lieber. He has a clean, cartoony style that works very well for this book. His facial expressions really help sell the punchlines. I am actually rather surprised how hard I laughed at an image of Shocker in utter dismay. I’m not 100% sure if Lieber is to thank, but some of the dialogue in the book is replaced with symbols and it is absolutely perfect. It reminded me of last week’s Hawkeye, and that is a very good thing. I’m going to have to look out for more of Leiber’s work!
Superior Foes of Spider-Man is a villain book where you will find yourself rooting for the villain all the way. They are assholes, but they are loveable assholes. The whole thing has a very Whedon/Firefly vibe, which I hope continues throughout the series. With Spidey-Ock acting like a total asshole, I may find myself rooting for the Sinister Six over the Webhead! So go out and get Superior Foes of Spider-Man. I wouldn’t recommend stealing it, unless you want to come home and find Hammerhead in your bathroom. Things could get stinky.