PICK OF THE WEEK!
Superior Foes of Spider-Man 13 by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber
Usually, when I say something online is “hilarious” or “made me laugh out loud,” that means I enjoyed it and feel like lying to you for dramatic effect. I do love the drama. But in the case of this week’s issue of Superior Foes of Spider-Man, I love the comedy, too. On page 5, the creators absolutely nailed a sequence of physical comedy where a superhero in recovery from villainy accidentally causes a ton of property damage, and I smiled and reread the page. On page 12, the confident female team member can’t help but make a sex joke when a man tries to raise the stakes of a casual encounter, and I chuckled. And then, page 13, she lets out the most on-the-nose one-liner about how miserable her life has become, and I hand-to-God laughed out loud. This is not the first time this title has made me laugh. Nick Spencer is a funny writer, and the setup of five low-level villains with delusions of competence has displayed his strengths. Steve Leiber’s down-to-earth pencils are a visual deadpan, and his panel construction demonstrates excellent comedic timing. Even the cover, a picture of five villains dressing up as five better villains, could have been cute, but the addition of Speed-Demon-as-Green-Goblin dropping a Gwen Stacy doll to her death elevated this to a mature, dark humor. This book is fully back on track after a couple of decent interlude issues, and if you’re not reading it, I can only assume that you are waiting for the trade… or that you hate comics and fun.
Avengers Undercover 7, for letting ridiculously overpowered fan-favorite Sister Grimm act like a real teenager, throwing a fit and deciding, “I’m gonna do the wrong thing. The stupid bad thing. And I’m gonna like it,” as a perfect link of the book’s literal theme of how heroes are just one step away from villains to the psychodevelopmental impact of the creator’s choice to use teenage protagonists.
Spider-Man 2099 1, for planting seeds for an entertaining new series with good-girl-married-bad Liz Allen as the villain while still managing to tell a complete and interesting story about a time-displaced hero trying to defeat a lethal bureaucrat from a timeline monitoring department.
Deadpool 31, for having seven panels of Disco-era Dazzler and using one of them to have her shout, “It’s raining men!” as vampires dissolve into a soft fall of ashes above her.