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Tuesday, November 19, 2013 

AV Club gushes over sleazy take on Spider-Man's (and Daredevil's) rogues gallery

The AV Club fawned over the Superior Foes of Spider-Man #5, which they say is a comedy, but with the premise it was built off from, that's doubtful, and the following puts a cloud over all that:
As hilarious as the series can be, it doesn’t shy away from the horrors of the supervillain lifestyle. Superior Foes #5 opens with gang lord The Owl torturing a man who stole money from him by placing him under a horde of rats that are rapidly chewing through the net keeping them contained—it’s a ticking time bomb of rodents waiting for something more substantial to chomp on. When the thief suggests that he show The Owl how he swindled him, rather than paying back the money he’s already spent, The Owl delivers a monologue about the time he tried to convince a safecracker to work with him and Man-Bull by sending his horned partner to threaten the safecracker’s wife, a plot that ultimately ended with Man-Bull having sex with the woman and costing them their leverage. The moral? “I learned if you want to get a man to do something for you, best not show him a tape of a bull XXXX his wife.” Nobody wants to see the details of how they’ve been screwed over, so naturally The Owl ignores the thief’s offer and lets the rats go to work. The scene is a perfect balance of comedy and terror, building to a full-page splash of The Owl feeding on one of those rats, spotlighting just how gruesome the villain can be as he feasts on raw rodent like a piece of corn on the cob. That’s when Boomerang’s narration kicks in: “So, yeah—this guy, right? Let’s rob him.”
It doesn't make any difference if the Owl is more of a Daredevil adversary, this sounds pretty repellent, and from what's told here, it is played for laughs, which I think is inappropriate. And did the Man-Bull rape the safecracker's wife? If that's what happened in the book (which is written by Nick Spencer), then once more, we have a situation where costumed and surreal supervillains in superhero comics are being turned into sex offenders, even if it took place off-panel. When will they ever understand that this is not what decent-minded consumers look for in escapist showbiz, not even grownups?

So shame on the AV Club for promoting this garbage, all at the expense of good taste, and Peter Parker, who still remains in limbo thanks to writers and editors who clearly never cared about him as a character.

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In fairness, the Superior Foes book is one of the very few Marvel books I actually like. Particularly its take on Beetle and, of course, Shocker. It's a nice humor book, which is rare, given Marvel's obsession with grim-dark anything.

But, yes, I definitely could have lived without the Owl eating rats on-panel, as it were, and Man-Bull getting his freak on. I just pretend those scenes didn't happen -- stupid canon, etc. But I was amused how the Owl thought a Prius was awesome. Heh.

I like the book, but I'm not defending issue #5. And yet, it shows how Shocker lived -- spoiler alert! -- and finally wraps up the head of Silvermane arc.

Or, just when Marvel is getting somewhere, in comes the stupid shock value and completely ruin the tone of whatever it is they were setting up for. Lame.

Meh, I won't be picking this up. The whole Owl eating rats and Man-Bull having sex... it just sounds like an exercise in sleaziness.

I just want Peter Parker back as Spider-Man, and Slott off the book, but there's no guaranatee that a new writer would do any better, unfortunately.

Are you serious? It's very obvious from the preceding panel that the wife willingly cheated on her husband with with Man-Bull. There is no rape.

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