In Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8, we find everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, coming to the realization that they’re just unwitting cogs in fast-talking Boomerang’s self-serving schemes. The remnants of his Sinister Six want a little payback and what’s coming to them after being offered up as cannon fodder during the raid on the Owl’s hideout. The Owl, for obvious reasons, wants his portrait of Doctor Doom back and Boomerang’s corpse. The Chameleon wants the fabled “Head of Silvermane” that was promised to him. Boomerang’s girlfriend just wants to know what the heck’s going on. Everything is quickly coming to a head in this fast paced arc.
It’s going to take some quick thinking to get out of this hairy predicament and Boomerang seems to be a guy who might be able to pull it off. Forget the boomerangs. Fred’s real power is his mouth. Lord only knows that he can’t fight his way out of this mess. Has there ever been a super villain team leader that’s been beaten up as much as Boomerang? He’s received righteous beat-downs twice in this issue alone and neither of his assailants even have super powers. There’s absolutely nothing likeable about Fred.
Still, I find myself rooting for him.
For me, the enjoyment of this comic lies mostly in the keen mind and quirky writing style of Nick Spencer. Since issue number one, he’s been firing on all cylinders. If anything, the dialog and jokes are just getting better with each installment. There are so many things to recommend about each issue; from the numerous zingers that will each issue, such as Chameleon’s delight in a Katherine Heigl poster, to the “Odd Couple” vibe of Shocker and Silvermane.
However, the real magic is in the re-reading whereupon one finds a ton of hidden silly Easter eggs to delight all Marvel fans. Here are a few examples: The reference to an infamous “Thanks Obama” interwebs meme and the POTUS himself standing at a barbeque with the cast of Breaking Bad saying “You’re welcome!” left me in stitches. The comparison of Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, to his surly girlfriend is spot-on and hilarious. Boomerang’s Australian Hard Yakka workwear pants and often maligned Ed Hardy tee-shirt brought tears to my eyes.
I’ve been telling friends since this title’s inception that Superior Foes of Spider-Man is the loser’s “Ocean’s Eleven” and Fred’s own comparison validates that. Though, it’s obvious that Fred sees himself as more the Captain Jack Sparrow-type judging from his strange dream sequences.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8 marks the return of art team Steve Lieber and Rachelle Rosenberg after a one issue break. Personally, I’m glad they’re back. There was nothing wrong with the previous issue’s art team but their style just wasn’t quirky enough for me. Lieber’s art, though occasionally inconsistent, is improving with each issue. For instance, the thick contour lines in his ink work are very bold and dynamic. For me, the inconsistencies lie mostly in his background detail and character likenesses. I enjoy his attention to silly details, but his backgrounds sometimes come across as an afterthought. An example of likeness inconsistency is that Tombstone, minus crew-cut = Chameleon. Likenesses of characters vary from panel to panel, but even that doesn’t take away from the fun of Foes.
A highpoint in the art was his first dream sequence. The drawing style, that exudes a definite Mike Allred style, and Rosenberg’s vibrant colors provided a nice contrast to the sketchier, gritty style and coloring in the rest of the book. Cover artist In-Hyuk Lee produced a cover that, while attractive, has really nothing to do with the storyline (for some reason that’s always bugged me about past covers). Also, judging from the police line-up measurements on the wall, the tallest member of the team is 5’9″. My favorite D-list villain, the Shocker, has got to be taller than 5’6″!
All that aside, I really loved this issue. I need more of Fred’s love life and down time in the pages of this book, I’m dying to know why Dormammu keeps popping up, I’m curious who hired Bullseye, and I simply must know where all that pizza is going in Silvermane’s head! Nick Spencer’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man has been such an unexpected, pleasant surprise considering its unlikely rogue’s gallery of D-grade super losers.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8 continues the nearly masterful story of Fred (Boomerang) Myers and his deceptive fight to the top of the bottom of the heap.