How did Janice Lincoln become the Beetle? Her origin is explained here.
SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #7 is a quick, but awesome origin story. It gets pretty in-depth with Janice's first heist, as she stole all the presents and cake from a friend's birthday, all he way up to The Fixer giving her the Beetle suit. Writer Nick Spencer does a great job of giving us a great insight in who Janice truly is. She's a character who wants to be in the position her father is in. She wants to be a super-villain and one that is a leader as well. Her father doesn't think she has what it takes because she's a woman, but she wants to prove her wrong.
Spencer always writes some fantastic gags. A chunk of this story takes place as Janice is a mediator between two villains. The idea itself is hilarious, but it also plays out so well, as we see a couple of villains acting like spoiled toddlers. In addition, there's another great moment when the Fixer remembers the moment when he first met Janice, when she was a child. Fixer and Tombstone are talking and Janice is holding a severed arm. It's little scenes, like this one, that make this such a fantastic book.
In this issue, Rich Ellis takes over on art, along with Lee Loughridge on colors, and he does an amazing job. His style meshes so well with Spencer's writing tone. His page layouts are fantastic and his art really keeps the story moving. While we don't get a lot with backgrounds, that's fine because the focus is on these characters in these singular moments and these bizarre situations. Finally, the final page of this issue, featuring Janice in the Beetle suit for the first time, is downright beautiful. Loughridge's colors here are vibrant and brilliant and Ellis' art is clear and crisp. It's weird not to see Steve Lieber here, but Ellis does a bang up job.
There's a panel, towards the end of the issue, where the top of Fixer's head isn't inked. It stands out quite a bit because he's the only thing in the panel.
SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN is a series that continues to impress me. Each issue is hilarious and zany and at no time does it feel over-the-top. Spencer and Ellis put together an extremely fun issue with a really cool story. If you wondered how Janice became the Beetle than this is the issue to read. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.