cover.Classic Spider-Man villain The Lizard will be vexing Peter Parker on the big screen in July's Amazing Spider-Man feature film, but he's also terrorizing the pages of the Amazing Spider-Man comic book starting in June.
The four-issue "No Turning Back" arc starts in Amazing Spider-Man #688, which is out a week before the new movie's July 4 release date and follows right after the multi-part "Ends of the Earth" story wraps. The story picks up where Amazing Spider-Man #679.1 left off, with the revelation that Morbius the Living Vampire has been working at Horizon Labs — also the employer of Peter Parker — on a cure for Dr. Curt Connors, who is currently physically and mentally dominated by his Lizard persona.
Announced during the "Amazing Spider-Man" panel Friday afternoon at WonderCon in Anaheim, the story is from regular Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli. The last Spider-Man story to focus heavily on The Lizard was 2010's "Shed," which saw the reptilian villain crossing the ultimate line — eating his own son, the long-victimized Billy Connors.
"Dan and I started talking about this arc pretty early into his run on 'Big Time' as I recall," Marvel senior editor Stephen Wacker told Newsarama via email. "The timing was right and he had already thought through some places where he could take Curt Connors after the horrific events of 'Shed.' There’s never any shortage of ideas with Dan around."Interior art from
#688.Camuncoli told Newsarama that he was inspired by Chris Bachalo's art on that arc, along with The Lizard's original rendering by the character's co-creator, Steve Ditko.
"When I think of The Lizard, I think of Ditko," Camuncoli said. "I remember the pure awe and joy of reading a new issue of Spider-Man when I was a kid, and always finding a new and exciting character in those pages, and The Lizard was no exception."
Though The Lizard has had many different visual interpretations over the years, Camuncoli said he's sticking close to the most recent take on the character.
"I always love and try to be as accurate as possible, so it was an obvious choice to stick to Chris Bachalo's latest version from 'Shed,'" he said. "I'm a big Bachalo fan since his Vertigo days."
Though Slott has written plenty of lighthearted fare in his career, from She-Hulk to GLA: Misassembled, Wacker said that the writer fits well with the darker territory of recent Lizard storylines.
"Going back to his work at DC on Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, Dan has always had a streak of nastiness in him that it’s fun to tap into from time-to-time."Interior art from
#688.Similarly, Camuncoli, a frequent Amazing Spider-Man artist, is working with very different material in "No Turning Back" compared to his last arc, an outer space-set Spidey and Human Torch team-up.
"Drawing different stuff with every new story-arc makes me satisfied (I get easily bored when it comes down to draw the same things all the time) and grow as an artist," Camuncoli said. "Every story, every arc brings and adds something new to my experience, and a new guilty pleasure for the little comic geek kid inside me."Interior art from
#688."I think Camuncoli is the right choice for just about any story," Wacker said. "What he and Klaus Janson and Frank D’Armata have brought to this era of Spidey can’t be overstated. It’s classic superhero stylings that I think fits in well with some of the greatest runs on Spidey."
Though "No Turning Back" is clearly a big story for The Lizard, it's also looking to have a major impact on Spider-Man himself, a character celebrating his 50th anniversary this year.
"The appealing concepts in The Lizard set-up are both the emotional weight of Jekyll/Hyde dual identities and also the idea of science gone amok. It’s a natural go-to for Spider-Man stories since Peter Parker struggles with the same themes," Wacker said. "Lizard is such an interesting foil for Pete because Pete can look at what has happened to Curt and struggle with the notion of 'There but for the grace of God…' For Pete, watching what Curt has gone through is very personal."Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!