Review: Superior Foes of Spider-Man #16


Foes16-1“Look Out! He’s Gonna Shoot!”

‘How To Get A Head In Bad-Guyvertising’

WRITER Nick Spencer
ART Steve Lieber & Rich Ellis
COLOR Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERER VC’s Clayton Cowles
EDITOR Lauren Sankovitch

We’re coming to the end of the line, and it’s an all out brawl for control of the Maggia!

The end is nigh, True Believers. Just one more book left after this issue. *sob!*

SUMMARY: After a curveball start with a Punisher cameo, Fred comes under fire – literally – when he stops off at his girlfriend’s apartment to smooth things over. That goes about as well as you’d expect. What’s her hang up? It’s not like he kinda tried to use her as a human shield or… oh wait, that’s pretty much what he did awhile back. Yeah.

Meanwhile, probation officer Abner ‘Mach VII’ Jenkins tries to get some support on dealing with Fred and his gang from Tony Stark. Sadly, all Tony has to offer Abner is a half-assed pep talk and a quick hang-up. The former Beetle heads out to find Fred, leading to another hilarious slapstick moment with the wings on his armor.

Across town, Fred’s gang gets ready to meet with the Maggia representative to gain control over the crime family using Silvermane’s head. As an added genius detail to their plan they’ve disguised Silvermane’s head as Paul “Starchild” Stanley of KISS. Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber have deep comedy pockets, folks, and ‘Starchild’ Silvermane further proves that.

Back in the graveyard, Shocker – who was buried alive by his former teammates last month – is quickly losing hope and accepting that he’s going to die alive in his coffin. But when the night seems darkest he gets sprung by his movie-watching buddy, Hydro-Man. Yes, Hydro-Man – the same asshat who double-crossed Herman to the Maggia. Shocker quickly repays Hydro-Man’s thoughtfulness with an energy blast to the face, then moves on to repay his former teammates as well.

Foes16-2As the Maggia meeting starts, everyone’s double-cross comes into play at the same time. Tombstone (tipped off by Janice) arrives on the scene, followed by Madame Masque (tipped off by Speed Demon) and Mister Negative (tipped off by Overdrive). Tensions run high between the Sinister Several, the Maggia and all the interested parties – who also brought small armies of muscle – but then Silvermane kicks things off by essentially yelling ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater. All Hell breaks loose and it becomes a small war to see who will win control of the Maggia.

But what of our hero, Fred Myers? At first, Fred leads us to believe that the Owl and the Chameleon have caught up with him and that they are taking their revenge out of Fred’s treacherous backside. But in truth, Fred reveals that what he stole from the Chameleon’s safe several issues ago was in fact an appearance-altering serum. Turns out this is what Fred’s wanted all along. But why? As the first step in a new master plan, surely?

Nope. All Fred wanted to do was pitch a pro baseball game again. And that’s where we end.

ANALYSIS: I really enjoy the way Steve Lieber can show us sprawling scenes of carnage while moving the story along at the same pace. It almost seems like the story goes “slow-mo” somehow when he does it, and I’ve always liked those moments in this book.

Disguising Silvermane as Paul Stanley made me freaking lose it this month, as did Abner’s wing-gags again. My apartment’s got thin walls and my neighbors must think I’m crazy. I love that at some point Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber thought “What would really tie all this together? Screw it – paint Silvermane up like the Starchild.” Awesome. Just… awesome.

Where will the chips fall next month? There are still some things to resolve. Like who wins for control of the Maggia? Do they all beat one another down to the point that Mach VII arrives at the dock & takes the credit for apprehending them all? Does Shocker catch up with Fred? Even more important – does the Punisher’s cameo in this book spell bad news for our Sinister Several?

We’ll know in November!

REVIEW: A+

I can’t believe this is all over next month…

–George Berryman! 

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(10) Comments

  1. DCMarvelFanGuy

    Indeed. I have a question George? Have you/will you pick up the AXIS: Hobgoblin mini? It's written by Kevin Shinick who wrote the last two issues of Superior Team-Up! It's focusing on Kingsley and it shows him being a boss! Just wondering...

  2. DCMarvelFanGuy

    I can't believe it! We have a "definitive" Boomerang story. In the same way many consider "Killing Joke" to be the definitive Joker story, Spencer and Lieber gave one to Fred. Looking back at the series, it's all been building to this. The very first issue had Fred tell the reader his story about being a former pitcher for the Mets until he was caught in a birbery scandal that ended his carrer. Fred was so depressed that he was actually contemplating suicide until the Secret Empire showed up and offered him a chance to use his amazing throwing arm for their cause. Later in issue 6, we see Fred and his girlfriend (whose name I hope we really learn next issue. Lieber said that Nick has one for her in the script. Guess it will be a reveal...) attend a Mets game. Fred points out how much he hates Demang Pendak (The Met's new "star pitcher") since he's close to beating his record in pitching. Later on their date, Fred's girlfriend asks him if he ever missing playing pro-baseball. Fred shrugs it off and says he's totally fine. He comes clean, however, in a moment of suprising honesty from Fred. He says how much he genuinely misses playing baseball and would give up being whatever he claimed he was doing to go back! This brings us here... Where Fred is at, where all his machinations have led him, MAKES SENSE. I can't believe how fleshed out this series made Boomerang. I mentioned a while ago how when this series was announced I was one of the few people excited for it. That was due to my love for C-list villians and all the fun stuff you can write with them. When it was announced that the series would be from Boomerang's prespective, I was on board. I have collected Boomerang for years. Something about him always appealed to me. I don't know if it was his old funky costume, or the fact that he was never taken seriously. I remember reading Bill Mantlo's Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man issue 67. In that issue Fred was trying out to be Kingpin's assassin. Kingpin mocked him, calling him a second-rate Bullseye (which Spencer and Lieber actually reference in issue 9 of Superior Foes). This ticks Fred off and wants to prove himself by killing Spider-Man, which he fails miserably at. My point is, Fred was always the underdog of supervillians that always wanted to be a bigshot and Spencer and Lieber really ran with that. When I first picked up the series I expected a really fun book that shows these down on their luck villians trying to make a name for themselves. I did not imagine we'd be getting that along with a character study of Boomerang. I know I'm kinda rambling, but I have wanted a series like THIS for a long time! I'm so glad to have my faith in this series rewarded. Finally, I wanted to thank you George! I always look forward to reading your reviews! It's great seeing your favorite moments and gags and they're just really well written. Again sorry for rambling, this series just makes me feel so giddy every month. Whatever, I'll just leave it at that. Thank you George for these wonderful reviews and thank you Spencer and Lieber for this great title. See ya next month!

  3. Danbbqman

    Great review of this issue and of the entire series. I will miss it. It was fun to read - one comic where I got my $$$$ worth each and every issue. It will be fun to see how they wrap it up.

  4. QuilSniv

    Gonna be a shame that this is wrapping up before Christmas. This was probably the best title Marvel has churned out in a few years, and I enjoyed every last panel of it. Good review, George! Hope you love the finale as much as I will!

  5. AmFan15

    Yeah, the KISS part had me cracking up too...in fact, there's at least one laugh-out-loud moment in nearly issue. I can't remember ever reading a comic that had me laughing so hard as this series does. I'll be sad to see it go. BTW, what was up with that abrupt ending? I really liked the happy ending for Fred, but it seemed to come out of nowhere, and felt a lot like a final issue wrap-up to me. Doesn't the series have one more issue to go?

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