SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP! Mark reviews ASM #631!



STORY: Zeb Wells

ART: Chris Bachalo, Emma Rios

REVIEW: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Hola, Arachno-philes! It’s time for another WEEKLY WEB-UP with your favorite Amazing Spider-Fan, Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner! Today, we’re reviewing ASM #631, part two of “SHED”, featuring the return of THE LIZARD.

It’s the final leg of the GAUNTLET for our Webbed Wonder, and The Lizard always presents a difficult challenge for our hero, as he is friends with The Lizard’s human side, Curt Connors. The issue begins with ANA, the NEW KRAVEN, killing a bunch of homeless people to draw out KAINE, Peter Parker’s evil clone. She has a brief tussle with Kaine (In which she executes a flying Frankensteiner!), and is then approached by her brother ALY, who reminds her that “Mother will not allow the hunt until the Gauntlet is complete”. Ah, yes. The Gauntlet! It’s not over YET, Spider-Fans! “The Lizard has hatched, and he will need to be fed”, says Aly ominously.

The opening chapter of the issue is drawn by EMMA RIOS, a newcomer to Spidey art. Her style is very anime-influenced, with a dash of MARCOS MARTIN thrown in for good measure. I like her work here, and I’m looking forward to more of her Spidey work in the future.

After the opening, we’re back to SHED, and the Lizard stuff. We also return to CHRIS BACHALO’s pencils which, I must admit, have grown on me over time. For a while, I thought his stuff was too over-stylized for the more traditional super-hero titles, but I have noticed improvements here and there, and I enjoyed his work on SINISTER SPIDER-MAN.

This time out, The Lizard is even more schizophrenic than usual. Every moment for him is an intense, internal struggle between Connors and Lizard. Usually, once the transformation takes place, Connors is absent, but not here. It’s as if he’s a perfectly sane man, trapped inside a monster’s body. He sees Spider-Man, but can not call out to him for help. He sees innocent people, but is helpless to prevent the Lizard from devouring them.

Lizard usually has a lot to say when battling Spider-Man, but here he’s forced into silence as he wages a psychological struggle with Connors simultaneously. When he would normally be threatening to annihilate Spider-Man, and all his wretched mammalian brethren, he’s silenced by Connors reminding him that “I am a man”. Then the vitriol usually directed at Spidey is redirected within. “Quiet, mammal brain!”, snarls Lizard to Connors.

Spidey tells Lizard that he’s killed 6 people in Phelcorps lab. “Oh, God. I’m so sorry”, says Connors, with no one but the unsympathetic Lizard able to hear him. Lizard is going after Billy Connors, as he always does, so the Wall-crawler goes to the foster home where Billy’s being kept to meet the Lizard before anyone else gets hurt. From there, we get another Spidey/Lizard FIGHT, with Lizard opening his jaws wider than I’ve EVER seen him (Which was cool! Reminded me of when ORGA tried to eat Godzilla headfirst in GODZILLA 2000), and employing his abilities of telepathy to get all the smaller lizards that have been following him around (kinda reminiscent of the Darklings from THE DARKNESS) to join in on the assault against Spidey. Spidey is knocked around, and is scratched by Lizard’s awesome new tail spikes, but goes for the eyes and manages to get to Billy’s room first. Or so he thinks…

Ok, I won’t spoil the ending in case you haven’t read it, but it’s an interesting twist, and moves the Gauntlet towards its conclusion quite nicely.


STORY: A+. Wells always delivers!

ART: Emma Rios, A. Chris Bachalo, B. I am liking Bachalo lately, and his work here is solid, but Rios’ work seems a more natural fit for Spider-Man.

And that is the WORD, so sayeth the MASTER!!!!!!!!!!

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2 Comments to “SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP! Mark reviews ASM #631!”

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  1. You wouldn¡¯t believe it but I¡¯ve wasted all day digging for some articles about this. You¡¯re a lifesaver, it was an excellent read and has helped me out to no end. Cheers,

  2. Mark Mackner says:

    Wow, thanks for the kind words! I wasn’t sure if anyone was actually reading these, so it’s nice to see that i’m not completely wasting my time. Keep reading! And keep commenting! Thanks again!

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