From comics about someone very good at what she does for a living, to comics about a group of people not so good at the (bad) things they do for a living. But darn it, they try hard (at double-crossing each other).
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #14 and 15, by Nick Spencer (writer), Steve Lieber (artist), Rich Ellis (artist, #14), Rachelle Rosenberg (color artist), Clayton Cowles (letterer) - Kind of sums the team up, doesn't it? Standing around in broad (or waning daylight), bickering, with a van that doesn't appear to have much cash inside, judging by the paltry number of bills we can see.
It's a couple of issues setting things up for the big finale. This does not mean it's boring, though. We finally found out why Overdrive and Beetle were driving a hijacked school bus, and how that signaled the end of Overdrive's dream. 'No, and now I never will be.' That was a little heartbreaking. Just a little. Like somebody dropping a really nice muffin on a dirty floor. Basically, Overdrive got his powers thanks to Mr. Negative, but he still owes money on the procedure, and so he and Beetle were involved in a long chase across the city. This is the third book that did a double page spread that was really a series of panels. There was the one in Ms. Marvel, the one in Rocket Raccoon, and now this. And of the three, Lieber (and also Rich Ellis maybe?) did the best job. For one thing, they actually started in the upper left corner, instead of the lower left corner, like you should because that's where the reader's eye is naturally going to go, which experienced comic artists ought to know, but apparently some don't.
Anyway, Boomerang and Speed Demon do much ridiculing of Overdrive, and make several unprofessional remarks towards the Beetle about her getting worked up by fast driving. Given she's probably the most powerful member of the team, they might want to not do that, but whatever. During all this, the Shocker's been hiding, and when Boomerang starts trashing him, Herman's had enough. It looks like he's finally gonna get his moment, but the Beetle zaps him in the head, because he waited too long. Now that the team has managed to pull off a successful (they think) heist, they're fully on board the Boomerang train. So they bury Herman alive. At least they put him in a coffin first. They also took the head of Silvermane and are planning to use it to become head of the Maggia, as you do. Except none of them appear to want to run it, and are each planning to share control with someone else. Mr. Negative, Tombstone, Madame Masque (she's freaking everywhere these days, is she about to appear in a movie?) And the Owl and Chameleon are teaming up to get the painting back from Boomerang.
There is going to be one heck of an insane melee between gangs at the end of this. I really, really hope it ends with Boomerang strutting off, feeling so smart. And then Spidey swings by and just casually knocks him out and leaves him webbed up for the cops. Perfect humiliation. I will give Fred credit, he regurgitated Shocker's speech to the rest of the gang perfectly, so he must have been paying attention, even if none of them were. It's the details that trip you up, so he's covering that base, at least.
I appreciated the little bar fight in the second issue. It's a small thing, but Lieber did a good job giving it the look of a sloppy, stupid brawl between a bunch of losers who just happen to have powers. So there's a lot of sucker punches, cheap shots, ear pulling, that sort of thing. It just also involves people getting electrocuted and a guy turning one of those fat people scooters into a steamroller. And I like that he uses the circle effect for Speed Demon's legs when he's using super-speed. Like how they would show the Road Runner or Sonic the Hedgehog when they ran fast? I don't know, I just enjoy that he went that route. Also how Overdrive somehow turned a wheelbarrow into a backhoe (complete with the sound effect "BACKHOE!") to bury the Shocker. Poor, poor Herman. Maybe he could get She-Hulk to beat them up for him, since she's his new buddy and all.
Nah, Herman wouldn't do that. He still believes in the loyalty thing, even if nobody else does.