June 7, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man #7 (December, 2013)

The new Beetle's backstory, explained.

Wait, an origin story for the Beetle?  I did not see that coming.

Maybe I should have.  I’ll ask Jimmy.  He has the all the answers, like, 60% of the time.

Issue:  The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #7, December 2013

Writer:  Nick Spencer

Artist:  In-Hyuk Lee

The Plot:  An issue-long flashback explains where the newest, female version of the Beetle came from.

Commentary:  OK, maybe it’s me, but I wasn’t overly surprised to learn the new Beetle was really Marvel mobster Tombstone’s ambitious daughter, but that comes more from the fact this reveal came out in 2013 and I read it a decade later.  I’ve seen Janice “Beetle” Lincoln in other comics by writer Nick Spencer.  I knew who the Beetle was, and the issue here is basically telling the reader her supervillain origin story.  Yes, she’s Tombstone’s daughter, and while it didn’t surprise me, it did no doubt surprise readers in 2013 when the reveal came out.

That said, the nature of her origin story was different, but one holding firmly within the tone of this series.  That’s clear when, after the issue’s opening narration mentions how much no one really knew where the new Beetle came from, the issue flashes back to her first crime:  robbing a little girl’s birthday party where she was a guest to the delight of her proud father.

So, Tombstone wants his daughter to be a criminal, right?  Yes and no.  He made sure she went to law school because she could make a lot more money and be just as crooked as a lawyer than she would have as a supervillain, an idea I have seen Marvel books toy with from time to time that it is entirely possible to be a far more successful criminal without donning a costume than it is to be a supervillain, but for Janice Lincoln…well, that was never going to be in a cards.

If anything, the scene that led to Janice’s getting her costume might be comedy gold in an already funny issue as two fairly recognizable Marvel bad guys consult her for legal assistance in a manner that plays the two off like an old married couple, and though I won’t name the two here, I will say they are not an old married couple.

It’s issues like this that remind me why I read Superior Foes of Spider-Man.

Actually, that’s every issue of Superior Foes of Spider-Man.

Grade:  A

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