Issue after issue, SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN has been delivering a phenomenal dose of comedy. However, with this issue, the usual creative team has off and writer James Asmus steps in to keep the humor flowing. Amsus is well-known for his ability to produce some huge laughs in his Valiant book, QUANTUM AND WOODY, but just because someone can handle one style of comedy doesn't necessarily guarantee an easy transition into a completely different book. Thankfully, he's able to present an issue that feels totally in-line with the series' style of humor, offering clever and creative gags that'll slap a big ol' goofy grin on your face.
Asmus focuses the issue around Beetle, Speed Demon, Overdrive, and... well, I don't want to spoil the fun, but let's just say a certain charismatic hero also plays a decent role. Asmus establishes a simple yet amusing scenario which allows each of them to share very entertaining stories about their not-so-heroic encounters with good guys. Each one is thoroughly enjoyable and, while it doesn't reveal anything new about who they are or introduce any new twists, it's a delightfully sharp script that takes full advantage of their personalities. Simply put: it's an overdose of joy as we go from one silly experience to the next.
There's quite a few people creating the art for this issue, and while having so many hands on an issue can usually hinder the experience, it happens to benefit this one. The style in the modern era isn't a far cry from Leiber's, so it keeps the pages feeling familiar and instills just as much of a "feel good" vibe as the series tends to do. There aren't as many visual gags this time around, but the few that are there manage to deliver big time and the characters are wonderfully expressive. Visually, Beetle's backstory stands out the most and is gorgeously detailed and vivid. It's a strong contrast to the other styles in the book, but again, jumping to a different time period makes for an easier transition as the visuals undergo a significant change. Oh, and that recap page art is mighty fine. It's a bummer Herman Schultz isn't in the issue, but he looks fantastic in this page.
As obviously implied above, the solicits aren't accurate. This isn't by Spencer/Leiber and doesn't continue where the last issue left off. That's likely going to be disappointing to some of you and understandably so. It's more of these villains being an embarrassment and we get a whole lot of laughs at their expense. It's a blast, but this isn't really bringing anything new to the series, either.
Shocker's my favorite character on the roster, so I can't help but feel a little disappointed when there's no update with his story and he doesn't even have a cameo. Boomerang also it's anywhere to be found, so it seems a tad odd to include them in the recap page. Also, the final joke seems to be exaggerated visually (that looks like a water pipe broke, not an... uh... accident), but it's a minor gripe.
SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #10 brings the gift -- of laughter! The usual team of Nick Spencer and Steve Leiber may have the issue off, but James Asmus and several artists prove they have what it takes to maintain the book's signature style. This may not move the plot forward and it's just more of these characters looking like fools, but you know what? It's a total blast and kept me chuckling the whole time. With so many dark and stern stories going on in the other books I'm following, it's so nice to have a series that aims to make you laugh and does it exceptionally well. Thanks for the good time, SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN.