- Series: Spider-man
- Hardcover: 376 pages
- Publisher: Marvel (February 16, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0785198377
- ISBN-13: 978-0785198376
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Superior Foes of Spider-Man Omnibus Hardcover – February 16, 2016
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The book is in the large oversized format and reprints all the covers and the alternative covers and Steve Lieber's commentary for issue #17. The inside cover is a different illustration wrap around cover then the pictured dust jacket. It is nicely sewn binding with no gutter loss. Priced cheaper then the three individual Trade Paperbacks a great bargain.
Nick Spencer of Morning Glories fame really impressed me with the writing here,all told from the perspective of Fred Meyers (Boomerang). While others have been singing his praise this is his first offering which really connected with me.
Steve Lieber of White Out fame keeps his serious gritty style. I think this help adds to the humor, rather then switching to a sudden cartoony style.
While Boomerang is the focal character it also focuses on the other four members. The Shocker who is murdered more then once. Speed Demon who is physically fast but mentally slow. Overdrive who has one of the lamest powers. Plus the new female Beetle, who is the daughter of Hammerhead. The story of Sinister Six , now consisting of only five members is actually quite intricate with numerous surprises. Giving a condensed version would probably not do it justice. It revolves around the group trying to recover the head of Silvermane. We get a good helping of other Marvel characters who get mixed of in the plot like: Mirage, Hydro-Man, The Owl, The Chameleon, Hammerhead, The Punisher and The Black Cat.
Issues #10 and #11 consisted of multiple smaller stories done by fill in writers and artists. While these are fun little vignettes, they don't add much to the central story and kind of stalled out the main narrative flow. The editors of this volume have corrected this problem by pulling these two issues out of the sequential order and adding them after the conclusion of issue #17. While this might be a controversial decision, I think it was the right one.
Not being a big Deadpool fan, I don't find many Superhero books that make me laugh, but this one really did.
My Highest Recommendation.
Collecting all 17 issues collected from the tradepaperbacks as follows below:
The Superior Foes of Spider-Man Volume 1: Getting the Band Back Together(issues 1-6)
The Superior Foes of Spider-Man Volume 2: The Crime of the Century(issues 7-11)
The Superior Foes of Spider-Man Vol. 3: Game Over(issues 12-17)
Our series stars long time Spidy villain, Boomerang, who now leads the Sinister Six, consisting of Shocker, Speed Demon, Overdrive, and the new Beetle (yes their only 5 of them, but it keeps the mystic of not knowing who the “6th” member). Following their defeat in Superior Spider-Man #1, and the loss of their sixth member Living Brain, Boomerang finds himself in prison. His gang won’t help him out because lack of money (and proper team work), so Boomerang plays a scam on prison cellmate and super villain Chameleon, who gets Boomerang out of jail in return to steal the head of long time mob boss Silvermane. Boomerang convinces his crew this is the biggest job they could have, yet the crew is unconvinced. It doesn’t help Boomerang’s parole officer is a former friend/villain to him and another mob boss named The Owl has a hand this scheme, where things get massively complicated for Boomerang who is scheming everyone with his lying and false façade he actually knows what he’s doing (did I mention it also involves a painting of Victor von Doom in the mix?). All things come to ahead when Boomerang and all his dealings make everyone go after his head.
It might sound a tad confusing, but writer Nick Spencer makes for a fun and purposely convoluted story of Boomerang trying to keep his Sinister Five—ahem, “Six”—crew together, get his own personal life in order, stay out of jail, and play Chameleon and Owl without getting killed. Superior Foes is a refreshing take on the comic industry right now for it exploring the lives of the bottom super villains and their daily living in a way that feels like an indie comic. You don’t need to know much of these characters or Marvel history to grasp them. Even the obvious tie-in title to Superior Spider-Man is absent as the Spidy never once, outside of flashbacks, makes an appearance here. No, Spencer sticks squarely to the Sinister Six and their shenanigans without any interferences from Spidy or the Marvel Universe (something that is super rare in comics nowadays), which helps gets to the heart of the characters and backstories reasonably well.
By characters, this is the heart and soul of this series. Spencer writes each character with so much humor and sarcasm with excellent wit for every panel that does keep a smile on your face. Yeah, Boomerang and the gang may be bottom of the barrel super villains, but Spencer makes us like these guys as working class white-collar scoundrels who lie, cheat, and backstab you any chance they get (which they all completely understand to the point it doesn’t get them mad), yet have a surprisingly amount of heart and charm for that makes you root for them every step of the way. This is helped by the group also being a mere, pardon the term-pathetic-bunch of people that makes them sympathetic, especially one-time Spidy powerhouse Shocker, who is the butt of the jokes. Poor Herman...but do not fret! Through all the scheming and backstabbing, the convoluted plot comes to ahead at the very end that most of the cast get a “reasonably” good ending and mind flip in the spirit of Oceans 11.
But what really brings Nick Spencer’s script to life is Steve Lieber's simplistic yet highly expressional art work to convey the humor. Much of the lingo, quips, pop culture references, and innuendos are displayed to simple and great affect that leaves a smile and inner giggle from the sight gags, to having meetings with each character having their own inner thought bubbles like Beetle showing social media icons, Speed Demon showing emotions with hearts, to Overdrive having typical guy stuff like fast cars on his mind. It’s great art and it conveys the humor greatly.
For this 2016 omnibus, you get the usual Marvel qualities. Oversized hardcover, sewn binding with no gutter loss and the book opens and closes with no problems, and high glossy non-reflective paper. The dust jacket does include a quick summary of each of the 5-“6” members when you open the book, with the special part being the cover board wrapping around to make issues #17, which is an homage/joke of the 2012 Avengers film. You get all the same extras from the trade paperbacks, but this omnibus edition differs slightly in two ways. The filler issues #10 and #11 are put in the back of the book as to not impede the reading narrative, whereas the second trade paperback doesn’t do this (it’s no big deal though). And a special artists commentary from Steve Lieber on issue #17 that is worth your time.
Only setbacks you might have with this series is Nick Spencer does over write some place with over composition to telling Boomerang’s story, with some of it meaning nothing, as well as the jumping alliances Boomerang has can get you lost (though Spencer manages to make it all make sense in the end.)
So there is a good reason by SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN OMNIBUS is made, even with the low sales: it’s something special. It’s highly funny, has an indie vibe, great art, and just a snazzy self-contained series that is fun to read, even if the characters are nothing like this in continuity. So considering the 3 trades at retail price is $54 and this omnibus is $50, go with the omnibus. Because this series, as short as it was…it was special. This book, right?