Posted July 8, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Amazing Spider-Man #689

Reviewing Amazing Spider-Man #689 by Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli.

This week’s Amazing Spider-Man shows us the second part of “No Turning Back”, Marvel’s unofficial in-continuity comic book tie-in for its new movie, The Amazing Spider-Man (check out our review here, and our two-part in-depth analysis here and here). I’m calling this one “unofficial” because there’s actually an official two-part movie tie-in for TASM (read our review of Part 1 of the two-part limited series here), and quite frankly, the only thing that this story has in common with the movie is that it spotlights the Lizard as the main baddie.

In the previous issue, we saw Spidey and Michael Morbius teaming up to capture the Lizard and bring him back to Horizon Labs for treatment. They successfully managed to make him revert to his human for; unfortunately, it appears that there is no more trace of the man who used to be Dr. Curt Connors, and the Lizard persona is simply playing along and waiting for the right moment to strike against his captors.

A lot of things happen in this issue. We see the Lizard (I can’t really call him Dr. Connors anymore) turning the tables on the people at Horizon Labs and manipulating events in order to give himself the upper hand. The full extent of the Lizard’s reptilian guile and cunning is demonstrated here, and the hunted soon becomes the hunter as events unfold before our (very horrified) eyes. He manages to cause chaos and keep Spider-Man and Morbius occupied, and the comic ends with a cliffhanger that shows us just how much the Lizard is beyond help at this point and leaves us excited for the next installment.

Dan Slott has said in multiple interviews that writing ASM has been an absolute joy for him, and it becomes really obvious in issues like this. Unlike most “middle” parts of story arcs, this one does not feel slow or dragging at all; we move from one scene to another without any change in pace, and as the characters are all placed in compromising situations we are left with a sense of dread as to just how our friendly neighborhood wallcrawler can save the day THIS time. Slott shows a love and understanding for the Spideyverse that only few writers have, and minor continuity gaffes aside, I can truly say that Dan Slott is one of the best examples of the good that can come out of having a true Spider-fan write ASM.

I’m on the fence about Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art, though. I admit that it’s a matter of personal preference, because I actually think his art is well-suited for this story arc: his work is full of grit and lines, his facial expressions are pained and angry in a way reminiscent of Sal Buscema’s run on Spectacular Spider-Man, and aside from the occasional awkwardly-framed sequence, the man shows that he knows how to properly do paneling for action-oriented stories. However, I just don’t like his art, period, and every time I see his illustrations I can only think of his work on Dark Wolverine. His art is too blocky and stiff for me, and, well, sometimes I want to look at pretty-looking (or handsome-looking) characters, and it seems that this is something he unfortunately cannot pull off. I’m not crazy about the way he draws Spidey’s mask, either.

Verdict: This comic is worth buying for the writing, if not for the art. Then again, it’s the second part of what seems to be a definitive three-way showdown between Spider-Man, Morbius and the Lizard – three characters who have had unresolved issues since Amazing Spider-Man #100 – so I think this IS worth following, if only for a sense of closure that has eluded the characters (and the readers) for almost four decades.


This review is powered by Comicx Hub. We got our copy of Amazing Spider-Man #689 from Comicx Hub!


Mikael Angelo Francisco