Posted by Tyler Olson On September - 6 - 2013 0 Comment

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #3 by writer Nick Spencer and artist Steve Lieber is a strange book. It takes a ragtag group of C and D list villains and somehow makes them actually relatable, enjoyable, and generally makes for a pretty fun read. The main star of this book is Boomerang and follows his life with the new “Sinister Six” as they try and pull off the next big heist.

For me, what really brings me back to this book month after month is the colorful character work throughout each issue. Spencer manages to make Boomerang, a no-name Spider-Man villain, the star of a monthly ongoing comic book, which is a sentence I would have never believed I’d be typing had you told me a year ago. Spencer’s Boomerang feels like an everyday normal guy living in New York, just trying to get by. Sure, “getting by” for him is trying to steal the cyborg head of an old mafia crime boss from a guy who calls himself the Owl, but I digress. Throughout the issue, we only see Boomerang in costume via flashbacks. Most of the time we’re treated to plain old Fred Myers, which helps this book to feel grounded in reality, almost like the super villain version of Hawkeye. Instead of an action book about a group of villains trying to pull off a new heist, we get an inside look into the psyche of a person who is questioning his life choices and may even be wondering if being a villain truly is the right path for him. This issue is very heavy with internal exposition delving deeper into Boomerang’s thoughts (even addressing his heroic stint in the latest volume of Thunderbolts). Sometimes all the exposition can be a little much, especially when you want the book to have some forward movement in terms of plot, but it is not overbearing. This book is also insanely funny. Learning about the myth of Silvermane’s head at the start of the book is a high point for me, as well as the Super Villains Anonymous meeting at the end. Extra points to Spencer for the Fight Club manboobs reference too.

superior spiderman

Steve Lieber also makes this book a must read. His style is perfectly suited for the tone of the book. His art isn’t too flashy and often very plain, but that’s a good thing. Boomerang himself isn’t flashy and is also plain, so the art mirrors the mood of the book completely. One of the benefits of having Fred Myer’s out of his Boomerang costume for much of the book is that we can actually see his expressions throughout the issue, and for me Lieber has some really stellar expression work. Seeing Fred trying to lie through his teeth with a toothy grin feels and looks very real for the character, adding more depth to the issue and to Boomerang. Although, some points of the book do seem a little rushed and are lacking some finer detail. Specifically, during the Thunderbolts flashback, some of the character designs are too sketchy and lacking detail. Lieber does draw a fantastic Fin Fang Foom though, so it’s hard to nitpick.

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #3 shows that this is a book that helps bring the superhero genre of comics back to reality in a sense and hopefully it’s a book that stays around for a long while.

Rating: ★★★★☆ Great

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Categories: Comic Reviews