Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #127
Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #127
Spider-Man learns that Doctor Curtis Connors has learned to (mostly) retain his persona while in Lizard form...
...and the Lizard goes up against the Owl, who has kidnapped Martha and Billy in order to try to force Doc Connors to provide his regeneration serum, to restore the Owl's damaged spine.
Martha had split with Curtis after he was away for so long during Secret Wars, and despite his successful rescue attempt here (which included some unwanted help from Spider-Man)...
...she doesn't take him back, although they agree that they still love each other.
The ending goofily projects the idea that the Lizard could be a hero on an ongoing basis, if anyone was interested.
It's actually a role that Marvel had a gap for, considering the status quo that is currently developing in Hulk.
But it's a surprising time for this type of pitch. I could see it during the Monster Mania of the 70s, or during the apex of anti-hero type comics in the 90s. Anyway, there's nothing particular about Len Kaminski's writing or Alan Kupperberg's art that gives us a unique hook.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This and issues #128-129 take place before Amazing Spider-Man #290.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBilly Connors, Lizard, Martha Connors, Owl, Spider-Man
I think that this was the perfect time for this type of pitch- the Punisher got his own series in 1987, Wolverine got his own series in 1988, and at the time, Angel and Dr.Strange had both been turned into antiheroes.
Posted by: Michael | April 2, 2014 7:57 PM
Lizard's been a problematic character for someone considered to be a major villain given his Ditko-era status. There's really only so many variations that can be done with him, since he is only a villain when he loses control, and the ending of the story is known in advance (Spidey pours the cure down his throat, and Connors returns). Also, the Lizard is badly motivated - his hatred for mammals can't lead to anything major.
I've always thought there was room for Lizard to become a more important villain that points to Spidey's intelligence/science smarts being more important than his normal street crime foes.
Posted by: Chris | April 2, 2014 10:01 PM
Chris touches on something here that I've certainly noticed, though his own comments about the Lizard's 'Ditko-era status' probably refer more to how such an iconic Spider-Man villain should have amounted to so much more, as the Green Goblin or Doctor Octopus, say, did.
Posted by: Harry | April 3, 2014 5:26 AM
"and it was during that extended absence that Martha decided to split with him."
Posted by: clyde | June 8, 2015 3:42 PM
Yeah, that's weird- it was a relatively short period of time.We saw Mockingbird and Maddie sitting around worrying about Clint and Scott. You'd think Martha would be doing the same.
Posted by: Michael | June 8, 2015 7:51 PM
Martha and Billy should never have stayed as long as they did with a man who at any moment could turn into a (literally) cold-blooded killer. Curt's own admission here -- that the Lizard's hatreds are simply his own, unfettered -- only reinforces that.
Posted by: Oliver_C | April 14, 2016 8:42 AM
Not only was Curt only gone for a week in Secret Wars, but he didn't even go by choice. He was kidnapped! And Martha clearly had been worried about him and was happy when he was returned. This also ignores that Curt was cured years ago. He was changed back by the Beyonder for Secret Wars but by the end the Enchantress destroyed the Lizard persona, setting things back to status quo.
Throw in lousy art and an uninspired story and this is just awful.
Posted by: Benway | November 12, 2016 8:08 PM
"This also ignores that Curt was cured years ago." I'd never realised what a big gap there had been between Lizard (as opposed to Curt Connors) appearances... looks like before Secret Wars he hadn't been the Lizard since Spectacular Spider-Man #34 in 1979?
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | November 12, 2016 8:40 PM
Comments are now closed.
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