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Comic Book: The Superior Foes of Spider-Man
Debuting in July 2013 as a part of the Marvel Now initiative, The Superior Foes of Spider-Man is a spin-off to Superior Spider-Man. It is written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Steve Lieber. Superior Foes follows Boomerang and the Sinister Six — which only has five members — trying to make it big as super villains.

This Comicbook provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil:
    • Overdrive, who is a fan boy of super heroes despite being a super villain.
    • The Shocker for the most part seems to be the friendliest of the group and was the only one reluctant to vote out Boomerang as their leader. It doesn't save him from often taking a lot of crap from him, up to being locked in the trunk of a car that Boomerang is pushing off a pier. Even when dealing with a talking head he comes off as a total push-over.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played with. When Boomerang's girlfriend learns that Fred is a supervillain, she's largely horrified but admits that it's not a total turn-off. Later on, she even reluctantly gives him advice and tells him that if he's a supervillain, he might as well be the best supervillain he can.
  • Always Someone Better: As Boomerang learns to his chagrin, even an LMD of Bullseye is a better shot than him.
  • Ambiguously Brown:
    • The Shocker. However, Steve Lieber has commented that it is because the colorist wanted to make it seem that the Shocker is one of those old rich people that go to vacation in Miami often, and are therefore tanned.
    • Also Boomerang's bartender/love interest.
    • Justified in the case of The Beetle (stated to be half-black and half-Dominican) since she's the daughter of Tombstone.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Grizzly ties up and gags a civilian and steals his wallet, only to later free the man and share some pizza with him. He even states that he'd never kill someone over something as petty as a mugging.
  • Author Appeal: This is a book that Nick Spencer wanted to write since he was a teenager.
  • The Bechdel Test: Issue 13 features a Lampshade Hanging of the test, with Beetle complaining about how all the supervillains she's hanging out with are guys.
    "My life is failing the Bechdel test."
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: There's a lot of Lampshade Hanging and trope discussion/trope invoking in this comic.
  • Boomerang Comeback: Boomerang tries to use this against Bullseye. Bullseye simply closes the door behind him just before the boomerang comes back at him.
  • Briar Patching: Boomerang tries to use this to convince Bullseye to spare him. Unsurprisingly it fails.
  • Butt Monkey: Shocker, as per usual.
  • I Call It Vera: The BFG that Beetle used in her first appearance is given the name of Bertha by Fixer.
  • Catchphrase: Nearly any time a character is introduced Boomerang's narration begins with "So yeah — this guy, right?".
  • Chekhov's Gun: It turns out that the first supposedly fake story about where Silvermane's head is located was actually true.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Overdrive and to a lesser degree, Speed Demon.
  • Continuity Nod: Aplenty, mostly to the previous Thunderbolts comics.
    • In the very first issue, Boomerang states that a diamond shipment he planned on robbing was delayed thanks to the Origin Bombs that were hurled at Earth during Jonathan Hickman's opening Avengers arc.
    • Issue #7 essentially ends up as a prequel of sorts to Captain America #607, showing how Beetle came to work for Zemo against Bucky and The Falcon.
  • Consummate Liar: Boomerang not only lies to the faces of mob bosses and teammates, but to the reader as well.
  • Consummate Professional: Both Beetle and Shocker are this in their own ways. Beetle believes in meticulous planning while Shocker believes in being a team player.
  • Control Freak: The Beetle is obsessed with following schedules and plans, though it's shown that this makes her a vastly more competent leader than Boomerang.
  • Cowardly Lion: The Shocker gets regularly poked fun at for being a coward. However he is also the most competent and experienced fighter on the team; and fared the best against Luke Cage and Iron Fist in issue 4. He also states that he has no problem with being seen as a coward since he only cares about getting the job done and getting paid.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The team fighting Luke Cage and Iron Fist goes very bad very quickly. Pretty much the whole team except Shocker get their asses kicked.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Tombstone is disappointed by Beetle since she succumbed to this trope, rather than engaging in Pragmatic Villainy.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Beetle turns out to be Tombstone's daughter. As a young girl, he helped her steal gifts from another girl's birthday.
    • Subverted in the sense that he insisted that she became an Amoral Attorney, and was against her becoming a costumed supervillain.
  • A Day In The Lime Light: For a group of C-list Spider-Man villains, but especially Boomerang.
    • Issue #7 is a Whole Issue Flashback focused on Beetle's childhood and origin story.
    • Issue #11 focuses on the members of the supervillain support group Boomerang attends, such as Grizzly and the Looter.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Boomerang.
  • Dirty Coward: Boomerang is willing to let his girlfriend die so that he can live.
  • Everything's Precious with Puppies: Inspector, Speed Demon's dog that he stole from a young girl.
  • Evil Counterpart: The actual comic itself could be one for Matt Fraction's run on Hawkeye, which both feature an artistic Slice of Life type focus on B-list super beings, with super heroics (and villainy) portrayed in a more realistic — and comical — manner.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Subverted with Tombstone, who didn't want Janice to be a supervillain because he wants her to be a financial attorney, which he thinks is far more profitable and a lot harder to be arrested for.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Sinister Six
  • Flying Brick: Lampshaded by Speed Demon, who notes that superheroes/villains are seen as this. Unfortunately for the Six, none of them are this and Overdrive is afraid of the day that Hercules figures out who he is and kills him in a single punch by assuming that he's tough enough to take it.
  • Friendly Enemies: Mach VII thinks that he and Boomerang are this, but in reality Boomerang just hates him.
  • Funny Background Event: In issue 9 during the scenes in Shocker's apartment you can see that his couch is colored to look like his costume.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Speed Demon who stole a puppy just because a child called him stupid. It gets brought up again in the next issue.
  • Harmless Villain: The new Sinister Six.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Overdrive has the power to... upgrade and change vehicles which sees like a rather useless ability in a fight. Then he turns an R/C helicopter into a full blown attack helicopter and uses it to blast the Owl's hideout.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Abner Jenkins aka Mach VII used to be the first Beetle (long before Janice took the role) until he switched sides and became a hero. There's a lot of resentment towards supervillains who do this in the supervillain community, which makes Mach's attempts to help/be friends with Boomerang difficult to say the least.
    • Overdrive evidently wants to do this. He agreed to the procedure that gave him his powers with the hopes that he could one day defect to the Avengers.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Shocker is a believer of Honor Among Thieves and has a bad tendency to be a bit too trusting when it comes to his allies, which leads him to get screwed over by Boomerang and Hydro Man. Silvermane mocks him for this, telling him that his allies are all selfish crooks and that he's stupid for believing in such things as loyalty.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Boomerang is the kind of guy who talks about how important teamwork is whilst shoving one of his friends off a bridge.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Boomerang is resentful of Mach VII partially because he got chosen to be a Thunderbolt over him, than promptly pulled a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: The Sinister Several. It's pretty much the whole point of the comic.
  • Irony: Shocker is constantly mocked as a loser and a coward by the rest of the group, but issue 4 shows that he's actually the most skilled fighter on the team while everyone else gets taken out in a matter of panels.
  • Jerk Ass: Boomerang, Speed Demon and Beetle mainly.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Boomerang, its gets exemplified at least once an issue. Highlighted in issue 4 when he was talking about the importance of teamwork while throwing Shocker off a bridge.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Speed Demon, arguably. While he did steal a kid's puppy for a petty reason, at least he seems to take good care of it.
  • Kick the Dog: Boomerang tries to get Bullseye to spare him by saying it would be far be villainous to kill Boomerang's girlfriend.
  • The Knights Who Say Squee: Rare villainous example, Overdrive fanboyed when Luke Cage came to beat him and his team up. According to a flashback, he became a supervillain working for Mr. Negative with the intention of meeting the Avengers and defecting to them.
  • Legacy Character: Janice is far from the first Beetle; she's the fourth or fifth person now to don the outfit.
  • The Load: Mach VII is far less helpful to Boomerang than he thinks he is.
  • Losing Your Head: Silvio Silvermane lost his cyborg body to a junkyard automobile compactor, but his head is still functional since it's where his power source is stored. His head is currently in the possession of The Owl— or so Boomerang tells his gang. In actuality, the line of bull Boomerang feeds them turns out to be true; Silvermane's head befriended a young boy whose mother owned the junkyard and is later taken away by Shocker.
  • MacGuffin: The portrait of Doctor Doom without his mask.
  • Mafia Princess: The Beetle
  • Manipulative Bastard: Boomerang has a special talent for weaseling his way out of trouble.
  • The Millstone: Boomerang developing into this results in the team kicking him out.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The book's title, promo materials, and even the cover of issue #1 heavily suggest the presence of the Superior Spider-Man, who so far hasn't shown up or indeed really played any role in the plot.
  • Nonindicative Name: Discussed, Boomerang brings up the advantage to only having five members on the Sinister Six is that whomever they are facing would think that there are more of them. Later on, Luke Cage does indeed wonder if there's another member when he breaks into their headquarters.
    • The name in itself also suggests a more classic line-up of Spider-Man villains, including the likes of Doctor Octopus, Kraven, Electro and others. This series' lineup actually has more in common with the short-lived Sinister Syndicate of the 90's, who most prominently appeared in the Deadly Foes of Spider-Man collection.
      • This also gets lampshaded, Shocker suggests that they go back to calling themselves the Sinister Syndicate, but the idea promptly turned down by Speed Demon and Boomerang saying the the Sinister Syndicate were losers.
  • Nonsequitur Thud: As he recovers from being locked in a car driven to the sea, Shocker keeps telling the kid who found him to not do drugs and stay in school.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When The Incredible Hercules walks in on the Six holding up a bar full of Bound and Gagged employees, he wonders aloud if he's just entered the scene of a robbery or a kinky bondage parlor.
  • Poke the Poodle: Speed Demon is apparently of the opinion that stealing puppies is prime supervillain material.
  • Only Sane Woman: Beetle is the sole member of the team that is even remotely competent as a supervillain—or, at least, as a leader or mastermind. The rest of the team are Mooks at best: potentially effective with competent leadership, little more than thugs if left to their own devices. Overdrive in particular is little more than a super-powered wheel man.
  • The Quisling: Villains who fully reform and become heroes (serving a stint in the Thunderbolts is considered different) are seen as this amongst the villain community, which is one of the reason Boomerang hates Abe Jenkins, the original Beetle and his parole officer.
  • Race Lift: Beetle is depicted as Ambiguously Brown, despite clearly being white when she first showed up in Captain America. A reason for this is finally given in issue #6, where we find out that her dad is Tombstone.
  • Reality Ensues: This comic is basically the life of C-List supervillains portrayed realistically. They're all complete failures in life and are considered jokes, the group is reduced to robbing convenience stores just to make money, Boomerang gets kicked out of the group the second he starts becoming The Load, and the group is constantly having to tiptoe around the mob.
  • Revision: The final moments of issue #7 takes place just prior to Captain America #607, explaining how Janice came to work for Baron Zemo.
  • Self-Deprecation: Issue 15's solicitation proudly declares "STILL NOT CANCELLED" as it's main selling point.
  • Shout-Out: Everywhere.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Jeff Parker's run on the Thunderbolts.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Invoked. In issue 9, Boomerang makes a cowardly attempt to get Bullseye to spare him, but pointing out how terrible for him (and awesome for Bullseye) it would be if Bullseye killed his girlfriend and left Fred dealing with the guilt and motivated by it in future face-offs (this alludes to Bullseye's murders of Daredevil love interests Elektra and Karen Page).
  • Token Good Teammate: Shocker is much less malicious and ruthless than other members, is a strong believer in Honor Among Thieves, and genuinely views the rest of the group as his friends. Similarly, Overdrive is simply waiting for the chance to defect and become a hero.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Boomerang rarely tells the complete truth in his narration if any of it..
    • First Person Smart Ass: Usually overlaps with this.
    • In issue 9, Speed Demon talks about his various encounters with other heroes, all of which are shown to be incredibly one-sided confrontations on the side of his enemies.
    • According to Word of God, Nick Spencer once said that if any sort of Continuity Snarl happens in this series, it means Fred is lying to the readers.
  • The Unreveal: The portrait of Doctor Doom's true face is always blocked off by something in the environment.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Sinister Six, who overlap with Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists.
  • Villain Worshipper: Boomerang seems to have a fascination with Dormammu. In his Imagine Spot with his new girlfriend, he even imagines Dormammu as his best man in his wedding as well as the father of his baby.
    Speed Demon: It's always Dormammu with you...
  • Wham Line: This from Beetle to Tombstone at the end of issue 6; "Hi daddy".
  • Women Are Wiser: The Beetle is the most part the most practical and professional member of the gang and has demonstrated better planning and organizational skills than Boomerang himself.
    • Being the daughter of Spider-Man villain and gang leader Tombstone she probably picked up a few things. She also graduated valedictorian from Columbia Law School and spent a few years as a successful lawyer. In her words she wants to break the glass ceiling and be the Hillary Clinton of drug lords.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Mach VII clearly thinks that he's in a straightforward superhero story when it's actually the farthest thing from it. He also thinks that Boomerang is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and that they can be friends.
Superior Spider-ManMarvel Comics SeriesThe Night Gwen Stacy Died

alternative title(s): Superior Foes Of Spider Man
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