Nick Spencer (Writer), Steve Lieber (Artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist)
The Story: Boomerang is a manipulative scumbag who bites more than he can chew as he tries to keep his partners happy, the deals he have in check and the law off his back.
The Review: I love villains. While this does not mean that I enjoy evil things being done altogether and that am unable to find satisfaction while reading the good guys, there’s something really entertaining about reading those who are usually antagonist in most stories. Titles like Secret Six and Thunderbolts understood that scumbags and unsavoury characters makes for a fun read, allowing for their rather non-civil traits to dominate their beings as they went into trouble.
The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man begin to show a better handle on what makes villains so interesting. While the debut issue was pretty okay, this issue really start to show what it can do in order to interest us readers in the tales of the Sinister Six and their misadventures.
The first of many improvement start with the characters themselves and their interaction, as we get a bit more from all of them. The way each characters have their defining traits and how they are used in the story makes for a rather likable bunch, amplifying on the fact that they are C or D-lister, taking the likeable loser aspect to a certain magnitude. With Shocker being the naive, yet kind one, Overdrive being the self-obsessed and Beetle being the smart but reserved member, everyone gets a bit more focus on them as it makes the team appear more cohesive in their lack of team-spirit and collaboration.
However, if there’s a character that really shine, one that makes this comic endlessly fun, it would be Boomerang. Serving as our point-of-view character and narrator, the way he tries to manipulate everything as he juggle with too many elements at once makes him rather fascinating in prospects of the fact that he is perhaps the biggest scum in the whole team. Seeing him deal with his parole officer, his team and other elements makes us see how being a villain in the Marvel universe can be tough, but also manage to make us see several aspects that aren’t covered in many books. The parole scenes are especially entertaining thanks to the fact that it must be something that close to every villain go through, yet it seems to be one of the first time that the readers can see that front being covered. Boomerang in himself is written closely to the way Jeff Parker handled him in his tenure on Thunderbolts, which is great in itself.
The plot is also worth a positive mention, as in a mere two issues, Spencer manages to give the readers several plot points to latch unto, proving that the title is actually going somewhere. It’s not just villainous shenanigans as Boomerang tries to keep his team happy as he tries to settle his debts. Several scenes promise further development, each of them with potential of its own for twists and fun times that we can look forward to. Will Shocker do something about what he discovered? Will Boomerang succeed in paying what he owes to the Chameleon? I don’t know, yet I want to find out. That’s a good sign.
If there’s perhaps an aspect that is a bit weaker, it would be the art of Steve Lieber. It’s really not bad at all, as he manage to have a rather spectacular pacing as well as some terrific body language, taking advantage of the humorous and extravagant aspect of some scene really well, yet his lines and some of the details are especially rough. The faces themselves are expressive, yet a bit unrefined thanks to this, which makes it a bit weaker than it could very well be. Several aspects of the background also suffer from this, which isn’t that grating, yet it feels a bit disappointing to add several elements that look a bit sketchy behind the action and the characters.
The colorization by Rachelle Rosenberg, though, is pretty good, even if it’s a bit too subdued here. The super villain angle is covered pretty well as it creates a sharp and rather extreme contrast with the more realistic depiction of the surrounding environment, yet it’s not accentuated enough to provide for something that goes out of its way to impress. It is perhaps the result that Rosenberg tried to accomplish, yet it feels a tad too restrained for its own good as the darker colorization from several of the villainous scenes to mellow out the contrast in the first place. It’s competent colorization, yet Rosenberg can do better.
The Conclusion: Despite the fact that the art is still finding its footing in some areas, the villainous angle and the many plots provide us a very fun read as we follow the exploits of the likeable losers that are the Sinister Six.
-Hugo Robberts Larivière