AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #632 Review


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #632

“Shed, Part Three”

Writer: Zeb Wells

Penciler: Chris Bachalo and Emma Rios

Inker: Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Victor Olazaba, Chris Bachalo, and Emma Rios

Colorist: Antonio Fabela

Cover Art: Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend

Variant Cover Art: Jay Anacleto and Brian Haberlin

Be warned – there are SPOILERS ahead!

The Plot

Spider-Man encounters the newly-evolved Lizard.  Spidey returns to Carlie and arms himself with the tools he needs to beat the Lizard.  The Lizard uses some kind of mind ju-ju to take control of citizens and make them run amok.

The Good

A couple of blocks from the comic shop, Walgreens had a sale on Sour Punch Straws.  I bought a pack of Zappin’Apple and another of Strikin’ Strawberry.  They are very tasty.

The Bad

Oy.

I’m not going to mince words: this issue is a piece of garbage.  A reeeeeal piece of garbage.

The first and most striking problem is how horrifically ugly the artwork is.  I really used to like Chris Bachalo’s artwork in the early 1990s – remember how great the first arc of Generation X looked?  I wish we could get that Chris Bachalo instead of this lousy effort.
Spider-Man looks like a deformed troll, his head seems to change size and shape in every single panel, and a huge number of panels lack any geographical context thanks to the white backgrounds.  The new Lizard’s head makes him look like a cross between Wolverine and Knuckles the Echidna.  The Emma Rios pages are much worse than the previous issue, which is a bummer.  They seem sloppy and rushed this time around.  I think it’s safe to say, judging from the five inkers on this issue, that everyone was rushing and pressed for time.  I thought the point of using rotating art teams was to avoid situations like this?

The story is a catastrophe.  Plotwise, we barely get any movement.  This kind of glacial pacing is simply unacceptable, and the lack of story is exacerbated by the jumpy storytelling in the artwork.  I breezed through this thing on the subway ride home, because most of the dialogue is, once again, gibberish.  Oh sure, the Lizard “evolves,” but all that does is replace “KAHN RRS” with “CONNERS.”  It’s still hard to follow.

The battle itself was uninteresting and ploddingly told.  It simply wasn’t very entertaining, and that’s as strong an indictment as any.  Spider-Man suddenly snaps into “no jokes” mode, which inevitably indicates that much angst and overly serious, pretentious storytelling will surround it.  If this is supposed to set up the big finale, color me unimpressed.

The concept of the Lizard suddenly being able to take over everyone’s brains struck me as sheer stupidity.  (More on this development below.)  In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say that this entire direction seems foolish.  Oh sure, Spidey will inevitably try to cure Conners and appeal to his human side in the next and final part (thank God this is going to end soon), but the appearance of Gangsta Rapper O.G. Lizzay at the end of the issue made me groan.

Really, I’m having a hard time encapsulating just how horrendous this issue is.  This is the sort of thing that makes me wish I could have my money back to spend on something better, like a candy bar made out of horse droppings that explodes into locusts when you bite into it.

The Ugly

He’s apparently appealing to the lizard inside of all of us.

WHAT THE HELL KIND OF EXPLANATION IS THAT?!  That’s the kind of half-assed crap I expect in a Sci-Fi Channel Original, not in a comic book starring the premiere character in the company’s library.  And apparently, Wells liked it so much that we are told twice – once during the Lizard’s toddler ramblings, and then again in the explanation that Carlie Cooper gives.

The Bottom Line

If my hands weren’t tied by the unalterable fetters of the law, then I would invoke the tradition of our illustrious forebears, reach back to a purer, sterner justice, and have you BURNED AT THE STAKE! 0 out of 5 webheads. 

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