Nick Spencer (Writer), Steve Lieber (Artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist)
The Story: Boomerang has to deal with Mach VII trying to reform him as he tries to make sure the job he is about to pull can get done.
The Review: We all love the big noble characters. Those that go on saving lives, fighting evil and trying to be decent people altogether. Thos beams of optimism might not be our favourite characters, yet there is something absolutely endearing about those optimistic do-gooders that can warm the heart of a lot of people and bring in readers.
However, this is not a series about them, as Superior Foes of Spider-Man instead deals with the scumbags, those that are traitorous, egoistical and just plain unsavoury. The characters here cannot really achieve redemption and don’t want to even grasp the concept for themselves as they manipulate, cheat and besmirch each other. It is, without a doubt, inncredibly fun to read as the tale of Boomerang, the villain who bites off more than he can chew, continue trying to manipulate the failures of his life into victories.
Nick Spencer gives us an insight into how the small-time crooks of the Marvel universe see and deal with things, providing the readers with a point-of-view given by Boomerang. Not only are some of the concepts interesting on their own, the way they are delivered on the page is simply hilarious, as the writer balance the serious with a certain dose of realism that manage to make the world of costumed criminals rather silly, or at least as silly as it’s supposed to be. The narration given by Boomerang is simply great, as the character really has a voice that manage to be endearing, funny, yet also show the readers how he thinks. It really brings out some quality entertainment to the forefront of the issue.
Much of the entertainment, however, comes from the misery and the trouble that constantly assails the character, as he goes into deeper trouble with each passing moment. From Mach VII following him around, to the rest of the Sinister Six giving him trouble while passing by the meeting between low-ranking super villains, Boomerang is never really in a winning position. His misery becomes out entertainment, which is one of the basis for humor.
How he interacts with the other characters is also a winner, as each characters have a distinct voice, from the optimistic Mach VII, the defiant Beetle to the rather cowardly Shocker, Boomerang sees them as nuisance or enemies to be confronted in some ways, which does enhance the villainous themes of the book. With some of the subplots moving along rather nicely along with the main one involving Boomerang and his quest for Silvio Silvermane’s head, the book has a very nice balance in this book that is rather rare to see in most book these days.
The only thing that hurt the balance just a tad is Steve Lieber, who has some small weaknesses when it comes to this book’s art. Make no mistake, though, as he is mostly solid on this title, providing some very potent facial expressions and enhancing the humor and the silliness just enough so that it doesn’t become overbearing. His mix of realistic and super heroic in the designs and the backgrounds really do manage to give this book a unique visual style that brings some of the best elements of the book. What’s much less enjoyable is just how rough the lines and details look. It does help in giving a distinct look to the book, yet distinct does not necessarily mean better as it makes the character look a bit stale in some panels, as if the book was rushed artistically in some small moments.
Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors, all the while, seems to be a bit unbalanced in some places, as it really goes toward some extremes quite quickly without letting the readers appreciate some of the contrasts. Some panels are simply brilliant, mind you, yet there are some pages where a little diversity in the colorization could have helped, like the one in the dinner with a heavy focus on the light effects or the abundance of grey and dull colors when Boomerang speaks to his crew. Still, the rest if fairly strong and does deserve praise, like the scenes with Silvio Silvermane and the history of Mach VII.
The Conclusion: There may be some very minor weakness in the art and colorization in some places, yet this issue delivers plenty of humor, a rather interesting view on the criminal world of the Marvel universe and a balance between absurdity and realism that is really smart, all thanks to Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber and Rachelle Rosenberg.
-Hugo Robberts Larivière