Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Volume 2: The Crime of the Century Review (Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber)

Well, that was a let-down! After a slew of bad Marvel comics, I thought I could rely on Superior Foes to come through and it totally dropped the ball. Put simply, Volume 2 is a birruva mess. 

The first book’s creative team of Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber is broken up with the pair only collaborating on two of the five issues, thank you insane Marvel shipping schedule! In addition, there are three writers and five or six artists also contributing work – this many cooks in the kitchen? Never a good sign! 

The main story of the series is the new Sinister Six (who’re actually only five – boy, did that joke get old fast!) ripping off The Owl for a painting of Doctor Doom sans mask and the head of Silvio Silvermane. The second volume does little to build on the first book’s story and the two Spencer/Lieber issues cover briefly what happens next before the remaining issues turn into filler. One issue looks at the new Beetle’s origins, another at past failed shenanigans, and another at the supervillain support group. 

Boomerang gets the lion’s share of the main story as he begins a relationship with the woman he met in the first book, and then has to dodge Bullseye who’s after his head! The Lieber art is fantastic as usual but Spencer’s dream sequences felt a bit passé. I think I’m over the silly schtick of the series, especially as it’s become unfunny. The Bullseye stuff was pretty decent though. The other members of the team basically tread water. 

The new Beetle’s origin was ok. Her dad’s Tombstone and she always wanted to be a supervillain and blah blah blah. James Asmus’ filler issue (wittily titled “The Fill In” – hmm) is three members of the team sat in a bar trading dull stories. The closing issue is the supervillains’ support group featuring baddies who have been beaten savagely by the Superior Spider-Man. They weren’t the most interesting stories and the idea of supervillain support groups has been overdone these last few years, but that seems to be par for the course of this book. 

There’s not a lot to say about this volume besides how poorly it pales in comparison to the stronger first book. The multiple writers and artists make for an uneven and unsatisfying narrative as the issues jump from one set of characters to another to little overall effect. It also makes me less interested in following the series for a third volume which is disappointing as Superior Foes was the one decent Superior Spider-Man spinoff.

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Volume 2: The Crime of the Century

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