Writer: Dan Slott
Penciller: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Klaus Janson
Colourist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna
Previously, in Amazing Spider-Man: When Peter’s ex-girlfriend, forensic scientist Carlie Cooper, discovers that the body of Billy Connors, son of Curt Connors AKA the Lizard, has been stolen, Spider-Man tracks the corpse back to Horizon Labs and the laboratory of Michael Morbius. Morbius explains that using the genetic material from Billy’s body, he can finally cure the Lizard and restore Curt Connors to his human form.
Reluctantly, Spider-Man agrees and teams up with Morbius and the Horizon Labs scientists to track down the Lizard. A fight ensues in the sewers of New York, but Morbius’ cure is administered in time. The Lizard reverts back to his human form, and Spider-Man transports Curt Connors back to Horizon. What he doesn’t realise is that Curt’s brain hasn’t re-emerged, and the Lizard’s mind is now trapped in Connors’ human body!
I’m fairly certain that this kind of plot hasn’t been done before with the Lizard, and that makes it all the more enjoyable as a result. Like I mentioned in my review for part one of No Turning Back, it’s quite easy to do a basic Lizard story, but Dan Slott hasn’t taken the easy road at all. Placing the Lizard in Connors’ body and having the majority of the narration taken from his point of view gives a fresh take on both the character and the situation that they find themselves in. Watching the Lizard attempt to acclimatize to his new body and manipulate those around him without giving his schemes away makes for compelling reading, and the way he thinks of humans and the way we interact gives new insight into his motivations in previous stories to try and transform us all into reptiles.
The Lizard may be the main character in this issue, but we also get some good screen time for Spidey and Morbius too, especially the latter as he realises that his entire plan is falling apart around his ears once again. Morbius is a very sympathetic character when played this way instead of the totally villainous character he has been before, and whilst I think I prefer him as part of the Legion of Monsters than alone, he works well in this issue. Spidey may resort to punching people a little quickly, but given what he has been through recently, both with regards to Ends of the Earth and with the Lizard and Morbius too, it seems an appropriate response overall.
And as usual, Slott is continuing to seed new storylines whilst developing this one. We get a two page aside to Madame Web which never bodes well, and even little things like Tiberius Stone’s continued anger, that Morbius got a place in the Horizon think tank and he didn’t (which will play into the upcoming Danger Zone storyline), are all here. It’s not heavy handed, and it doesn’t detract from the main Lizard story, but it helps set up future storylines in a very organic way, which is something Slott has done consistently well since taking over this title.
Camuncoli’s art continues to be impressive in this issue, though he doesn’t get as much time to flex his muscles as we may like, given that the Lizard only appears in one panel. His human faces aren’t quite as good as his more monstrous designs for Morbius, but they get the job done and his facial expressions, especially the Lizard/Connors’ more pained and angry looks as he struggles with his new predicament.
Is it really any wonder that this is another in a long line of great issues? Slott manages to turn his hand to every character that comes under his pen, and when you add in his wonderful storytelling and unpredictable plot lines, you get, very simply, some amazing Spider-Man.
GO Rating: 4/5