A Spider-Man Podcast

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #14 – REVIEW

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“After I, um – exert myself, I can’t – you know.”

A quick tease of this issue: the origin of Overdrive, Silvermane the voyeur, and Overdrive and Beetle driving a schoolbus full of kids while being chased by swine-countenanced, debt-collecting ninjas (phew, that was a mouthful!).

Issue #14 of Superior Foes of Spider-Man continues the series’ “Ocean’s 11” feel and transitions well from a Boomerang-heavy narration to Overdrive’s lengthy monologue. Unlike last issue this one does actually have a good amount of action-packed smashing and car chase scenes (hey look, the Fantastic Four!), albeit in flashback form.  Ultimately, despite the fact most of the characters are simply standing around a room AND, in comic time, the time lapse is about five minutes, there is a TON of stuff happening.

tumblr_n9w9a5ucCD1r0l55eo1_500Overdrive’s origin is equal parts pathetic and funny, with just a soupcon of poignancy. In a way it is symbolic of the series as a whole. For all the putzy-villains-in-zany-hijinx moments (and there have been many), there are also moments when Spencer brings out the humanity of these bad guys. They’re not just automatons whose sole purpose is comedic foil, they actually have real lives. This issue is actually fairly well-littered with such dramatic moments (Shocker/Silvermane, Overdrive/schoolbus, Speed Demon/puppy).  So while we like to stress the zany, Spencer keeps the series from becoming just a series of bumbling comedic skits. It seems like I’m always drooling over his work, but it really is an exceptional combination of humor, action, and drama. Lieber’s artwork serves as the perfect match for Spencer’s writing, delightfully retro and full of winks and nods but also excellent at plucking our heartstrings when it needs to. There is nothing more perfect than the insane car chase by guest artist Rich Ellis!

Oh, and although he basically only makes a cameo in this issue, we also get yet another significant moment in the career of Shocker, who makes quite a shocking entrance. It’s good to see this classic Spidey foe start to regain his mojo!

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #14 has done it again. Reviewing this series has felt like “Groundhog Day” of late, but in the best way possible. Great issue has followed great issue has followed great issue…let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that come next release day we’re still in Punxsutawney.

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