By: Zeb Wells (writer), Emma Rios (art pp 1-8), Chris Bachalo (pencils pp 9-22), Tim Townsend, Jamie Mendoza & Bachalo (inks pp 9-22), Antonio Fabela (colors) & Joe Caramanga (letters)

The Story: Lizard’s murderous rampage continues and we’re see more teases of the impending “hunt.”

What’s Good: As I’d mentioned in my review of ASM #630 last week, the Lizard has always been one my my favorite Spidey rogues.  The contrast between Dr. Curt Connors (who Peter Parker admires) and the Lizard (who is just flat out trying to kill Peter) is always fun and interesting.  I guess it should be kind of one-note, but I’ve always enjoyed it.

I think that Zeb Wells has really nailed the characterization of the Lizard with Connors voice peeking through from inside, especially in one particular scene where Spidey descends on the Lizard (you can only see Spidey’s hands) and we hear Connors say “Oh, thank you.”  This leads into a really well done fight scene between Spidey and the Lizard.  What makes it so cool is not so much the art or the moves anyone is pulling, but the 3 inner monologues that Wells has written and the contrast between the reptilian brain and Spidey (with his mammal brain).

If you enjoyed Chris Bachalo’s art in the last issue, you get more here… But only about half of the issue.  His take on the Lizard is just great!  I’d imagine he is a really time consuming character to draw with all those scales.

Finally we are ready with the sneak peak of the new Kravinoff “Hunt”.  As I said in my last review, they have been teasing this for a LONG time, but it finally is starting to feel ripe and I always enjoy it when comics have a flow to them rather than just dropping one story and beginning another.

What’s Not So Good: I usually like Emma Rios from an art standpoint, but it looks like she got shoved into a rush-job here and her work isn’t quite as crisp as it usually is.  Still, it isn’t bad art at all and it is only disappointing because I opened this issue and immediately noticed that Bachalo wasn’t drawing these pages.  Hard to fault a lady for saving the day though.  🙂

In addition to being disappointed not seeing Bachalo art on page 1, I also reacted pretty strongly to seeing Kaine in the first panel.  Why do you have to go messing up a really good Spider-Man story with a classic rogue by tossing the damn clones in here?  Is it a bet on the creators part: “I’ll bet this story is so good that people will love it even if we toss clone stuff in here!”  Does anyone really like the clones?

Conclusion: More great Bachalo art, just not quite as much as I’d like.  And Wells nailing one of my favorite Spider-Man rogues.  More please!

Grade: A-

– Dean Stell