The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #17

Written by: Nick Spencer

Art by: Steve Lieber

Publisher: Marvel

“Oh, yeah. Sopranos approach. Always a crowd pleaser.”

Thus concludes issue 17 of The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, the final issue of the series. If you have been reading this series since the beginning, then you know what a loss this one is. The funny thing is that the whole story was basically a heist tale about some down and out losers trying to score big, namely Boomerang and his Sinister Six (er…five)—and as they fought, lied, cheated, and stole to make it big, every month readers were fighting, hoping, and writing to ensure that the series would live on.

I’m not sure if this is the entire story that Spencer and Lieber had to tell, but I will say that this final issue ties everything together nicely. Using the same wit and humor we’ve come to expect each month, Spencer carefully and sarcastically explains exactly how Fred ended up winning for once…only to lose again almost immediately. What he learns, however, is to be truly apologetic and sincere to the few people he actually cares about and he finds out that maybe losing isn’t the worst thing in the world.

This book is now over, but I am delighted that it even made it to issue 17. At the end of the day, this was one of the funniest books on the stands month in and month out. Using some of the same styles and visual gags as Hawkeye, this comic tried to make readers care about some D-list villains in ways that would never have been attempted even five or ten years ago by the Big 2. That alone, in my opinion, is a win. Readers can also take consolation in the fact that Spencer and Lieber will be creating another book together for Image Comics in the near future, so this collaboration is over but their partnership will continue. I’m hopeful that this new comic (though not much has been revealed about it yet) will continue for longer than 17 issues and that it will find the audience which Superior Foes struggled to find. Any comic which puts out panels like the one below deserves to be made. Spencer and Lieber. Those guys, right?