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The Amazing Spider-Man #688 – Review

When it comes to commercial activities I don’t believe in coincidences.  There’s usually too much money involved to allow for that.  And so it is that The Amazing Spider-Man is in the movie theaters with The Lizard as the villain and the comic book known as The Amazing Spider-Man starts a story arc with The Lizard as the villain.  The Comic Vine podast has often mentioned how comic book movies fail to capitalize on attracting new readers to comics.  Well, it looks like they finally have the perfect storm.  Hopefully they’re smart enough to advertise the comics at the end of the movie.   

So, a few issues ago when we found out that Morbius the Living Vampire was at Horizon Labs we also got teased that he was working to cure The Lizard.  This issue finally brings that story to us.  The issue flips flops through time as we finally see the party that MJ was planning to throw for Peter if he saved the world in Ends of the Earth and his fight with The Lizard.  With Slott had spent a little more time at the party - Spider-Man seems to be zipping from issue to issue without a break.  I’d like a nice breather issue where Parker just gets to relax with his buds for a while and not be Spidey.  (I’ve mentioned before that those are some of my favorite X-Men issues) It’s almost like they’re not even trying anymore with his MJ relationship and the teases.

I was wrong about Horizon Labs remaining closed after the last story arc and, in fact, Peter seems to be focusing on the “no one dies” angle that everyone from the real-life internet to the in-comic MJ thinks is pretty dumb.  They seemed to make such a big deal out of Doc Ock using his tech and then that’s completely ignored in his moping.  

Slott does set up a pretty neat story arc with The Lizard.  Some time between when I stopped reading comics in the 90s and the current continuity The Lizard apparently lost his humanity.  So what will happen when he once again has a human body?  Before his character was a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde villain and he seemed to be on Pete’s side whenever he was a human.  Actually, I’ve been catching up on the trades and as recently as Brand New Day, Dr Connor appeared to still be OK as a human.  But without the issues between where he became all Lizard, I am unable to guess where the arc is going.

I am not a fan of the art in this issue.  Camuncoli is not a bad artist, but I’m much more of a fan of Stefano Caselli on ASM.  In particular, I really don’t like the way Camuncoli draws facial expressions.  It has a weird old-school feel that I don’t think goes along well with the feel of the book.

It’s a great time to jump into The Amazing Spider-Man.  With this new story arc you can be in on the ground floor of new developments as Dan Slott works us towards the huge surprise planned for issue #700.

Eric “djotaku” Mesa has even more to say about comics.  Or you can read his thoughts on programming, photography, and politics.  If you prefer him in shorter bursts, you can follow him on twitter @djotaku


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