We're on the verge of a new Spider-Man movie (read Crave Online's review here!), so it's time for comics to follow suit. Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli have teamed up to bring the Lizard back to the forefront in this week's Amazing Spider-Man #688, just as he makes his feature film debut (and poor Dylan Baker didn't get to see his role come to fruition).
We open right in the middle of a pitched battle between Spidey and Lizard, establishing their status since their last meeting, in which the Lizard and an army of goons beat the crap out of Spidey and kicked him out of the sewers. The webhead's had a lot of things on his plate – including stopping Doc Ock from flash-frying the entire planet and losing Silver Sable in the process – but there's always room for a bit more guilt when he realizes the Lizard's been eating that army of goons while Spidey's been busy.
Flashback to Horizon Labs and their triumphant return to New York after helping to save the world, and Peter Parker (inexplicably a lot blonder than usual here) finds out Mary Jane has bought a nightclub and is throwing a party in his honor, to properly welcome home the conquering hero for once. Except Peter is still devastated about the aforementioned Sable loss and the breaking of his 'no one dies' vow – which MJ immediately tells him is a stupid vow in a heart-to-heart, then reveals she's bonded with his other ex-girlfriend Carlie Cooper in the 'Peter Parker Exes Who Know He's Spidey' club, which weirds him out entirely.
Back to the fight, and it turns out Spidey's trying to cure the Lizard once again? How? Flashback to the grisly discovery that Horizon's own Morbius The Living Vampire has desecrated the grave and the body of Curt Connors' son Billy – killed by Curt's Lizard alter ego to end everything human about himself – in order to find what he believes is a permanent cure for Connors. That puts him on the outs with Horizon and Spidey, due to the heinous grave robbery, but they still team up to get the job done on the Liz-dog. It seems to work… but as we said, the Lizard ended everything human about himself, so even if his body is made human, he's still the Liz-dog.
Once again, it's Slott writing densely and personally. Much was made of the 'no one dies' thing, and many comic books are very callous about the 'heroes don't kill' notion these days, but Slott's done wonders in reminding us why a guy like Spider-Man and his valuing every human life is so important. He soul never gets hardened about losing a life on the job, and given that extreme kill-crazy is popular, a whole issue devoted to how precious life is without making it sappy and eye-rollingly saccharine really hits the mark. It's definitely much better than Avenging Spider-Man #8's attempted Sable eulogy managed to be. Camuncoli goes motherscratchin' apeshit with the Lizard, making him look truly ferocious and terrifying, and every moment of that savage fight feels ridiculously intense.
Amazing Spider-Man #688, the next chapter in a stellar series of consistently great comic books. If you're not reading this book, I don't know what your problem is.