SPIDER-MAN: LIZARD- NO TURNING BACK (Marvel, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 688-691 and Untold Tales of Spider-Man No. 9 (cover dates August- October, 2012 and May, 1996)
Writers: Dan Slott and Kurt Busiek (Untold Tales of Spider-Man No. 9)
Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli (penciler), Klaus Janson (inker), Dan Green (additonal inking, 690, 691), and Ron Frenz ( penciler, Untold Tales of Spider-Man No. 9) and Brett Breeding (inker, Untold Tales of Spider-Man No. 9)
Yes! This is why Spider-Man is my favorite character, and why I never lose faith in my favorite titles even after a few so-so issues in a row. Dan Slott turns things completely around here. We see the Lizard shown in a new, even more disturbing light. We get to see Morbius the Living Vampire throw down with Spider-Man in a battle reminiscent of Gil Kane's brilliant action sequences. All of the threads and loose ends of the past two collected editions are tied up neatly here. In short, I'm satisfied and happy.
Giuseppe Camuncoli and Klaus Janson are an artistic force to be reckoned with. I enjoyed their artwork quite a bit. Here is another great example of their artwork.
I like the developments with the Kingpin and am anxious to see where that is going. I also like the supporting cast developments with the budding Mary Jane/ Carly Cooper friendship/ love triangle, and Peter's co-workers at Horizon Labs. The issues in this book offer some of the most well-rounded Spider-Man stories in a while.
My only gripe, and this is a very minor one, is that Spider-Man says “damn” twice. It doesn't offend me, and I am all about freedom of speech, but in the back of my naïve mind I'd like to think that there is a new generation of kids reading this stuff. I'd like to think of Spider-Man as some sort of example to young kids. Mind you, this criticism is from someone who reads and enjoys Crossed. Then again, my 6 year old son isn't asking me to buy him Crossed t-shirts and toys at Target. I can already here the basement dwelling fanboys shouting “Grow up! Characters should change with the audience.” Which in this case is an ever shrinking base of 30+ year olds. There's a moral to this story in there somewhere.
Untold Tales of Spider-Man No. 9 is just an extra layer of icing on this cake. It features the Lizard and is a lot of fun. I have the Untold Tales of Spider-Man Omnibus buried in my backlog and am looking forward to reading it someday. I have only read the first 7 or 8 issues of that title, whatever was collected in the old '90s trade paperback.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Typical Marvel Premiere Edition Hardcover, with the same production values that the format has to offer.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Nice thick coated stock with a slight sheen, perfect for modern coloring.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. It's glued, but it's a thin hardcover, so it's no biggie. It's not like it's going to fall apart or anything. I normally lose sleep over books with glued binding, but not with these Premiere Hardcovers.