Keepin' on with reviews, as we turn to the villain team that's just tryin' to make a buck in this harsh world. Too bad they're a bunch of incompetent, backstabbin' stumble bums. No, I don't know why I keep loppin' the "g" off all those words.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8 & 9, by Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber (storytellers), Rich Ellis (additional art?, also color art, #9), Rachelle Rosenberg (color art, with someone named Redmond on #9), Joe Caramagna (letterer, #8), Clayton Cowles (letterer, #9) - I swear, credits just keep gettin' more and more confusin'. But what an adorable cover, right?
There are two basic plot threads in these issues. One is Boomerang dealing with the fallout from him stealing a revealing portrait of Doom, and not the head of Silvermane. The other is the Shocker actually having stolen the head of Silvermane, and finding cranky senior citizens aren't any less of a pain in the ass just because they're disembodied.
Boomerang's is a little more complicated. First he gets the crap beat out of him by the Chameleon, angry because Fred didn't bring him the head of Silvermane. When he awakens, he sees Chameleon tossed his crummy apartment and found the Doom painting, and took that as payment. Then Fred gets surprised and beaten up by the girl he's trying to sleep with. He tells her he a super-villain, which she takes fairly well, even encouraging him to get the painting back, and then Bullseye shows up, and beats Fred down, but not before Fred tries to save his own neck by throwing her to the wolves instead. As Bullseye remarked, that is so embarrassing.
I know what you're saying, Bullseye? That's unpossible! He was crippled by Daredevil, then blinded with radioactive waste while Daredevil looked on and did nothing (still a terrible decision, Mark Waid)! And you'd be right. Bullseye is actually an LMD cooked up by the Tinkerer for the Owl, who is peeved about Boomerang robbing him. Boomerang actually talks his way out of this by taking advantage of the fact that everyone believes he's a loser. It doesn't make them wrong - he is a loser - but even a schlub can pull off a fast one once in awhile if he's willing to do whatever underhanded thing it takes, which is Fred all over. He won't get much time to enjoy it, because his team just found him, and they brough along a busload of kids with ninja weapons. Consider me intrigued.
Really, this could be very interesting. The Owl is gunning for the Chameleon now, convinced he impersonated Boomerang and stole the paining himself. Which might give Fred the chance to steal it back, if he can convince his team to go along with him. I have no idea what the fallout's gonna be for the Shocker when word gets around he has Silvermane's head, but I like how he explained himself to Hydro-Man. That he just wants to make some dough and get out, that's his thing. He isn't a revenge villain, a boss villain, or a take over the world villain. He's a cut the check guy, just trying to use some gadgets to make some bank the best he can. Fictional universes need guys like that, if only for contrast to the murderous nutcases. I also like the fact his couch has the same pattern and color scheme as his costume. It's just a small thing that amuses me.
Lieber does a lot of small little things I like. The extremely self-satisfied shrug he draws for Fred after telling his date he's a super-hero (he tells the truth on the next page) is just perfect. It's meant to look sort of self-effacing, kind of 'what can I say?', but the smirk completely blows it out of the water. Fred gets a lot of looks like that, the sort of grin I'd love to see someone wipe off his face. Smart move by Spencer and Lieber to have him spend most of these issues getting beaten up by various people, then.