Comics : Spider-Man: Quality of Life #4

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

The Lizard was being choked to death by the snakey Yith in the last issue - Spider-Man: Quality of Life #3. On to the story.

In Detail...

Spider-Man: Quality of Life #4
Oct 2002 : SM Title
Summary: Spidey vs. Lizard, Yith, Death of Martha Connors (CG Art)
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  Greg Rucka
Artist:  Scott Sava (CGI)
Add. Art:  Adrian Hartrey, Antero Pedras, Marcello Bortolino, Scott Hyman, Tracy Mark Lee
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Articles: Yith

Spidey tries to talk Yith out of killing the Lizard. It doesn't work. Then he strikes her with a sewer lid. Lizard escapes, and returns to the hospital where his wife is undergoing surgery (by the way, lizards don't have green blood)... He turns back into Curt Connors and goes to his son's room. There he finds Mr. Holder, from Monnano, who's the scrupulous employee from the last issue. He decided to help Curt. We also learn that Billy's cancer was caught in time.

At Monnano, Arliss is p.o. because Yith hasn't killed Curt yet. She assures him that he'll be dead by the end of the day, and that Spidey won't stop her. Then he tells her that Steven Holder is a weak link, and asks if she would like to expand the terms of her service. They agree to double her fee and add Holder to the body count.

At the hospital, Curt and Holder are talking, when Peter arrives. Curt apologises about "earlier". Huh??? Since when does Curt know Peter is Spider-Man? A doctor comes by. Martha died on the operating table. Curt is devastated, Peter and Holder are shocked. Curt says he needs to talk to Billy alone and leaves. He leaves the hospital instead. A short while later, Peter and Holder go to check on them, and they find Billy alone. Peter realises Curt went after Arliss.

Curt meets Yith in the elevator, but doesn't recognize her. He tells her about his wife and son, and she sympathises with him. She takes him to Arliss' office, and he advises her to get out, because things could get ugly. He turns into the Lizard and breaks into the office. Spidey is there, and he stops him from killing Arliss. The CEO runs for the door, where he watches the fight by Yith's side. Spidey tries to calm down Lizzy, but he has no success. The Lizard asks him if it was his wife, if he'd be calm. Spidey tells him Billy just lost his mother, don't let him lose his father too. Arliss insists with Yith that she kill Curt. She keeps delaying it, "Not yet". Lizzy turns back into Curt and collapses in tears on Spidey's shoulder. Yith tells Arliss she's never been in love. He doesn't understand where she's getting at. She shoots him in the head and leaves, with Curt still holding on to Spidey.

In General...

Well, with Martha Connors' death, it's irrevocable that this happens after Spider-Man: Lifeline. Which means, Curt Connors should have his arm back. I won't go into the "cured of the Lizard" thing, because I addressed that in the previous issue's review. I'll only say that I don't mind very much about this continuity goof up (and that's not very common for me). Why? Because I tend to write off Lifeline as part of the "official" Spidey continuity, as it establishes that 30 years have passed between Amazing Spider-Man #75 and the comics from 2001. This would put Peter in his late 40's, and would contradict lots of things established since then. So I won't punish this book for this. But it still bothers me that Rucka didn't care about the Lizard's last appearence when he decided to write a Lizard story. I wonder how he would feel if the next Lizard story by someone else showed Martha Connors alive and well?

Now, to the story: two things bothered me. The indication that Curt knew Peter is Spidey - they never met in person during the story, yet he apologises for earlier, when earlier could only mean when he attacked Spidey. And then, the fact that Yith commited a cold-blooded (no pun intended) murder and Spidey just let her walk away with it. That's not Peter Parker. What I did like: everything else. The death of Martha Connors added a touch of drama, and despite being predictable, Yith's becoming a turncoat was very cool.

Overall Rating...

That pesky skinny kiddy look on Peter returned, but I'm feeling in a good mood. I won't take off half a web for that. So we have great art and a cool story. I'd give it 4.5, but I'm taking half a web for my two gripes mentioned in the paragraph above.

Final balance: a recommendable L.S., not brilliant, but enjoyable. The CGI art is very cool, and it would be great to see it again. Maybe Alex Alonso will approach Scott Sava for a Tangled Web story, or something like that.