This issue of The Amazing Spider-Man is the second issue in the “No Turning Back” storyline. As we learned at the end of the last issue, while Lizard is now a man, his mind is still Lizard-like. Think of Hulk’s brain in Bruce Banner’s body. And in a weird twist that makes me think of Chrono Trigger, Lizard believes reptiles to be the evolutionary pinnacle, despite any evidence to the contrary. So he’s just a bit peeved that he’s now in a mammal’s body.
Of all the Marvel heroes, Spider-Man is often the most nuanced and that’s the case here as well. We know from last issue that Morbius (the Living Vampire) had to dig up Billy Connors body to cure Kurt Connors (Lizard). So we have the tension between desecration of a grave vs finally healing Spider-Man’s mentor. Spidey’s also coming off Silver Sable’s apparent death and so he doean’t want to risk Morbius doing any harm either.
Sounds like a situation rife for the classic “we wouldn’t be in such a huge mess if we’d stop fighting and listen to each other” scenario. And that’s exactly what it devolves into as Spidey and Morbius take to fisticuffs. I’ve always been on the fence with those types of plots. On the one hand, things can get so emotional in the real world that people get into fights without thinking. On the other hand, when you have people like Peter Parker who are pretty smart dudes, you’d think he’d be one of the “ask questions first” type instead of the “beat someone up first” type.
I’m still not a fan of the artwork Camuncoli. The Connors end up looking bug-eyed and it’s a really weird effect that makes them look unhuman. I guess that makes some sense with Kurt, but not really with Billy.
Overall, this arc seems to have a lot less direction than Ends of the Earth. Based on my last year of reading ASM, it appears that Dan Slott does a much better job when he has a larger Spider-Man story. I tried to get my younger brother into ASM when I first got into it, but pre-Spider-Island was pretty weak. I thought Spider-Island was some of the best Spider-Man I’ve ever read. And Ends of the Earth was also great. But this arc seems to be a bit directionless. Also, Lizard’s part of the story seems to be progressing along a little too typically.