Review by Ian Keogh
When treated properly, which is far from a given, the Lizard is one of Spider-Man’s more sympathetic villains, and Greg Rucka plays on that, piling on the woes. Curt Connors originally became the Lizard after isolating a serum that could regenerate his missing arm, with the unfortunate side effect being his transformation into a rampaging reptile. That’s more under control these days, but when his wife is diagnosed with cancer he blames the corporation that’s been polluting the local waterways with the off-flow from their genetically modified food treatments.
There’s no great subtlety present, from Rucka’s thinly disguised finger pointing and the push-button emotions of his script to the plastic posed quality of the snake woman threatening both Spider-Man and the Lizard. Quality of Life was originally published at the turn of the 21st century when Scott Sava’s digitally created 3-D illustration was presumably state of the art and designed to wow. However that era’s represented by Spider-Man using a floppy disc to copy information. Time moves on, digital art becomes ever more sophisticated and the artificial nature of the cover is fair representation of what awaits within. The art is static, with figures that have little weight and some twisted expressions feature on ordinary people.
It may not be the case, but there’s also a feeling the locations have been limited in order to facilitate the art, as they recur throughout, leading to a plot that heads around in circles. A great pay-off could rescue everything, but there is no great pay-off, just an ending that lacks plausibility. All in all, the suspicion is Quality of Life wasn’t that great even in 2002.