“The Superior Foes of Spider-Man” #1 Review

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Steve Lieber

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1 is a self-aware, off-kilter series that delivers a fun take on b-list super-villains. At the heart of this story is Boomerang, who take us through the issue, as the character that captures that feeling of thinking you’ve outgrown your high school friends.

Delivering a basic villain origin story, and set up for a heist plot, Nick Spencer sells the issue on the comedy alone. Boomerang’s apathy and acceptance of his life as a failure sets the tone for the pathetic, self-deprecating comedy in this issue. Spencer shows the various members of The New Sinister Six as comedic in their own right; Boomerang’s sarcasm, Shocker’s stupidity, Beetle’s superiority complex, etc.

The narrative of the issue goes a little off the rails as the focus switches between characters. With so many zany sub-plots and asides with the various cast members, the main focus of the issue gets a little muddled. However, Spencer manages to anchor the focus of the issue twice, with the inclusion of Hammerhead and the Chameleon, respectively.

The danger of so much b-list comedy, is that the supporting characters begin to resemble caricatures, diminishing the comedy. This happens in the pet shop scene, when the owner is so unresponsive to the stick up, that it feels unrealistic. Luckily the comic book store scene managed to  use the stereotypes honestly, to add to the comedy.

The art from Steve Lieber elevates the comedy, by using the repetition of panels and clever inclusion of visual gags, like the Comics Code of Authority logo as censorship.

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1 is more than your typical odd-ball villain outing. Packed with several subplots, and a well-introduced cast of characters, the series shows promise of being a privileged look at the lives of hilariously terrible villains.

Score: 8.7/10