Amazing Spider-Man #691

"Amazing Spider-Man" #691 draws the latest Lizard storyline to a close, just barely before the movie featuring both of these characters leaves theaters as the first sign of fall. This issue continues Dan Slott's attempts to give more time and development to the cast of characters from Horizon Labs, whether they're transformed into giant lizards or trying to figure out how to cure their colleagues who are giant lizards.

As far as Spidey stories go, the general plot of the battles with the Lizard is Spidey finds an antidote

to the Lizard's transformation, administers it and watches as Curt Connors returns to grieve the

results of his actions. The fourth chapter of "No Turning Back" falls to that prescription, but has a

slight twist or two. Through the course of the story Slott gives the reader some expected payoffs, but also slips in some surprises and a pair of teases for future Spidey tales.

This installment's artwork is credited to Giuseppe Camuncoli and Mario Del Pennino on pencils with Klaus Janson and Daniel Green on inks, but the four blend together so smoothly I can't tell where one tandem completes their portion of the assignment and the other picks up. The artwork is heavily stylized and extremely gritty throughout the story, in no small part due to the heavy ink work of Klaus Janson. That said, the Lizard undergoes a significant transformation in this issue that I did not find to be overly impactful, especially give the fussiness of the art. The transformed Lizard leaps at the reader in a panel devoid of background save for a Photoshop-blurred starburst, but is covered with a zany bunch of lines that makes some of the DC relaunch costume choices look mundane by comparison. In my mind I view the "new" Lizard to more inline with his bigscreen counterpart than he has been drawn to this point.

Despite some hiccups in the art, "Amazing Spider-Man" #691 provided a solid, entertaining read that is sure to please most Spider-Man fans. After all, this issue features another Spider-Man adventure that has a tidy ending before leading into a celebration of the webslinger's fiftieth anniversary. Slott offers some teases of what's to come, but those teases almost feel like afterthoughts -- at least until the final panel of the issue. I've avoided preview solicitations for this title coming up, choosing to be surprised when the next issue hits the stands and with the conclusion of this issue, Slott and company have me looking forward to I know not what, but I'm definitely eager to find out.

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