Superior Spider-Month begins!

Superior Foes Of Spider-Man #1 is brought to us by the creative team of Nick Spencer (Morning Glories) and Steve Lieber (Whiteout) and in it comes the story of the villains of Spider-Man: Boomerang, Speed Demon, Shocker, Overdrive, and Beetle. They make up the five members of the Sinister Six. Yeah, the math is off but the book isn’t. You wouldn’t think that a book focusing on second tier villains would be interesting, I certainly didn’t. I just figured I’d read the first issue write this review then be done with it but this book actually turned out to be very entertaining.

This is very much about the villains and not Spider-Man which is refreshing. Boomerang is in jail and manages to work a scheme to get out and get his gang back with the promise of a job that pays big time. Unfortunately, he’s on the hook with the Chameleon who will likely want payment for putting this all together.

But enough of this boring blah, blah review stuff. This book doesn’t deserve that. Look, people, this book will surprise you. It may notSuperior Foes Of Spider-Man have the action and intrigue of Superior Spider-Man but it has a few things that many books lack these days: characterization and a sense of fun. It’s the combination of Spencer and Lieber that makes this thing work. Lieber’s art matches the quirky style Spencer writes these characters with as well as the unique tone of this series. It’s the things like the situations Shocker and Speed Demon get into that makes this books something worth looking, it keeps this from becoming a generic ‘bad guy book and makes it book with characters that are quickly becoming fully formed.

One thing I was worried about with this book was having constant references to Spider-Man and their dealings with him. It was refreshing to only have the web-slinger mentioned once or twice and having the book focus on the Sinister Six, allowing them to begin to shine in their own twisted way. Again I go back to the few scenes with Shocker and Speed Demon, in particular when they go to the pet store to get Boomerang’s bird some seed, truly one of the many shining moments in this issue. Another I would mention is the unique use of the old Comics Code Authority logo.

Look, I can go around and around about what I like about this book but the bottom line here is it was good. Really good. I expected this to be a one-and-done, read it and forget it issue like so many of the Marvel NOW! books have been for me but this book was actually something different and deserves all the attention it’s sure to get. On a personal note I would like to add that while I’m sad to see Journey Into Mystery end in August I’m also glad to have this book which has a lot of the same charm as well as the expressive and fun art that Journey has. It doesn’t make losing Journey any less painful but it certainly does help.

And if all the nice things I’ve said here isn’t enough to get you to look at this issue then consider this: It’s only $2.99!