This week Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber return to Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and Kevin Smith brings Batman and Green Hornet together again for the second time!
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #12 (Marvel Comics)
Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber finally return to Superior Foes of Spider-Man with issue 12, and man, did I miss them. The past two fill in issues were fine, but now that Spencer and Lieber are back on board we can finally return to where we last left Boomerang, Overdrive, Beetle, and the rest of the Sinister “Six”.
Overdrive and Beetle finally confront Boomerang for bailing on the team during the botched Silvermane heist. After Boomerang (pitifully) tries to pull the “it was really Chameleon” card for the second time, the crew is approached by the Owl, who was in possession of the portrait of Dr. Doom that Boomerang was really after during the heist. Expecting Owl to kill them, the super villains are surprised to find that he actually wants to hire them to help him get his priceless painting back. What follows is more classic Superior Foes antics, including hilarious references to issues past, Chameleon asking if he has to sign for an Amazon delivery, and the introduction of the “Sinister Sixteen”.
Oh, and Shocker still has Silvermane’s head, and is still freaking out over it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s no book out there quite like Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Nick Spencer’s script is absolutely hilarious, and really makes you not only feel bad for these loser superheroes, but also hate them too. They are not good people. They screw each other over, bicker amongst one another, and have no team spirit… but seeing them all interact with one another is hilarious. Spencer’s got a really incredible take on what makes these lowlifes tick, and seems to be having a blast writing this series.
Of course the book wouldn’t be half as good as it is without Steve Lieber. He and Spencer have such amazing synergy together that it’s impossible to think that they don’t share a mind link between the two of them. The sheer amount of visual gags in this issue is incredible, and showcase just how great of a talent Lieber is. He could have an entire issue be heist blueprints and I’d love it.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man is an incredibly fun book. The only drawback to this issue is that it’s not very new reader friendly. However, if you want to jump in pick up the first trade and this issue (the two fill in issues don’t add much to the ongoing story). Spencer and Lieber are crafting one of the most original comics being published by the big two, and it’s a blast to see the day-to-day lives of some of the Marvel Universe’s biggest criminals.
Batman ’66 Meets Green Hornet #1 (of 6) (DC Comics)
Two of the biggest heroes of the 60’s meet again in Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #1! Written by mega Bat-fan Kevin Smith and his pal Ralph Garman, and featuring art by Ty Templeton, this first issue details the untold second encounter between the Caped Crusader and the Green Hornet, and it’s exactly like watching a rerun of the old Adam West Show.
When the Gotham Museum loans out some priceless fossils to a neighboring city, Commissioner Gordon requests that Batman follows along to make sure they’re delivered safely. On the train, Bruce Wayne bumps into Britt Reid and his chauffeur Kato , who are there to cover the fossil’s arrival for Reid’s paper The Sentinel. Of course, the delivery can’t go smoothly, and the heroes quickly have to change into their respective uniforms to take on General Gumm, who’s planning on stealing the fossils for his own needs!
Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman’s script is spot on. Their dialogue for Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Britt Reid, and Kato is phenomenal, and you can tell that this is a labor of love for both of them. The stand out scene is when Bruce Wayne and Britt Reid meet up on a train and slyly make fun of each other. It’s so well done that you can easily imagine Adam West and Van Williams’’ voices in your heard speaking the dialogue. I honestly don’t remember if General Gumm ever appeared on the show before, but if he didn’t, he’s a great new villain for the Batman ’66 universe.
Ty Templeton’s art is absolutely phenomenal as well, and like Smith and Garman’s script it captures the feel of the old show perfectly. His Bruce Wayne and Britt Reid look a lot like Adam West and Van Williams, but at the same time they’re not photorealistic, which allows the art to flow naturally. Templeton really shines in the action moments and layouts of the book, especially in the scene where Robin delivers “special bat crime-fighting gear” to Bruce Wayne.
I know there are a lot of naysayers when it comes to the Adam West version of Batman, but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for it. Yeah, it’s goofy, but it’s also a lot of fun, much like this comic. Fans of both the Green Hornet and Batman should definitely pick this up, and it’s a really good pick for the younger comic readers in your life as well.
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