To Better Know A Villain: Boomerang, Lovable Loser

Real NameFredMyers0017
Fred Myers

First Appearance

Tales to Astonish #81 (1966)

Nicknames and Aliases
Boomer, Fred Slade, Outback

Powers and Abilities
A former Major League Baseball pitcher, Boomerang is able to throw various projectiles with great accuracy rivaled only by characters like Hawkeye and Bullseye. He is in good physical shape from his playing days and an above average hand to hand combatant.

Gadgets and Accessories

Justin Hammer has outfitted Boomerang with a suit and body armor as well as wide variety of specialized trick boomerangs that he still has, but keeps losing. These boomerangs, include shattarangs (explosives), screamarangs (sonic blasts), and the fairly obvious bladarangs, gasarangs, and razorangs. He occasionally has jet-boots that he can use to fly away to make a quick getaway.

Friends and Allies

Secret Empire, Justin Hammer, Viper, Sinister Syndicate, The Owl, Thunderbolts, Masters of Evil, Sinister Twelve, Assassins Guild, the current incarnation of the Sinister “Six” (Beetle, Shocker, Speed Demon, Overdrive),  Mach VII, Hydro-Man Note: The term friend is used very loosely as Boomerang is always switching sides and looking for work as a henchman.

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Foes and Antagonists

Spider-Man (Peter Parker and Otto Octavius), Hulk, Defenders, SHIELD, Nick Fury, Daredevil, Prodigy, Sandman, The Owl, Chameleon, Thunderbolts, Bullseye

Movies and Appearances

Boomerang has yet to appear in any Marvel films, but he appeared in a Hulk segment of the first Marvel animated show Marvel Superheroes as well as an episode of Avengers United They Stand as one of Baron Zemo’s henchmen.

One Sentence Origin

The Australia-born Fred Myers was a Major League Baseball pitcher until he was banned for taking bribes and joined the Secret Empire criminal organization, who gave him a costume, codename, and his trademark boomerangs.

Memorable Moment

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4 when he has a “total Heisenberg moment” and rescues his Sinister Six teammates from Luke Cage and Iron Fist, who he hired so he could have this moment. On the flip-side, when he is almost beaten to death by Spider-Ock in Superior Spider-Man #1.

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Fun Fact

He sometimes has vivid hallucinations in which Galactus, Barack Obama, Walt and Jesse from Breaking Bad, Captain Barbossa from Pirates of Caribbean, and Dormammu appear in the same dream.

 Analysis
250px-SpideyboomerangBoomerang is the epitome of C-list supervillain, who flits around from failed villain team to team-up looking for a piece of the action. He starts out working for the Secret Empire and failing to defeat the Hulk before becoming a hitman for hire. Some of his possible targets have included Spider-Man, Nick Fury, and Bruce Banner. Most of his appearances until Civil War are helping a wide variety of supervillain teams, such as the Sinister Syndicate and Masters of Evil, unsuccessfully take down heroes like Spider-Man or Daredevil and occasionally reformed villains, like Sandman and the Thunderbolts. In Civil War, Boomerang helped take down the Anti-Registration heroes and later tried to become the hero Outback in the Fifty States Initiative. The hyper-intelligent mutant Prodigy found out his true identity and punched him out on national TV as part of his efforts to try to stop the Initiative from being controlled by Norman Osborn.

After his failed attempt at being a hero, Boomerang has mostly laid low until he becomes the leader of the new Sinister Six in the Superior Spider-Man. However, his new team can’t pull a single heist, and Boomerang is almost killed by Spider-Ock. But his biggest appearance yet is as the protagonist of Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s supervillain sitcom Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Especially in the first arc of the story, Boomerang is portrayed as the smartest and funniest member of the Sinister Six. (There are five members.) Spencer shows him in a favorable light as a lovable loser, who goes from planning to steal the crime lord Silvermane’s head to trying to hit on the girl at the bar, who remembers him from his playing days for the Mets. (She’s a Phillies fan.) However, underneath his jokes and speeches about teamwork, Boomerang is playing all his teammates and has a very different agenda than what he is telling them. He definitely crosses a big line when he pushes Shocker, the most experienced Sinister Six member and a character who he had know for a long time, into the river and left him for dead.

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Boomerang is a shining example of how comics creators can take fringe characters and make entertaining stories out of them. For all his bluster, Boomerang is no criminal mastermind, and his follies and exploits in Superior Foes of Spider-Man are a light alternative to some of the darker superhero books on sale. But he isn’t a one-note joke character. Spencer and Lieber show how he can’t stop being a supervillain and makes him a lighter foil to genuine crazy villains, like the Owl, who owns rats that eat his enemies’ flesh. His voice-over narrative can be simultaneously hilarious and pitiful, like Boomerang himself. His insecurites are on full display, especially when he tells tall tales about taking out Punisher or Bullseye when they turn out to be shape-shifters or life model decoys. Boomerang is a shining example that a character doesn’t have to be an A-List character like Wolverine or Batman to have a compelling story told about him or her.

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