Amazing Spider-Man #313
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #313
So let's open the book and see what happens.
Holy crap! Close the book! Close the book!
Ok, um, let's skip a few pages ahead and try again.
Ok, there's the Lizard, and you can see him saying that he should be able to control his changes but still succumbing to his Lizard side, which may or may not be due to Inferno.
Meanwhile, Peter returns from his "fishing" venture to get an uncomfortably affectionate hug from young Kristy Watson and then finding out that Aunt May has left for the city to find him. Now, one of the problems with being Spider-Man is you don't rely on traditional transportation to get around. If he had tried to get back to Manhattan by bus or train (Peter doesn't drive, right?), he'd realize that all routes are shut down due to the events of Inferno. And indeed Aunt May shows up at the house a few minutes later. But at this point Spidey is already web-slinging back into the city. He goes to Empire State University, where he logically assumes Aunt May might have gone to look for him. And that's where the Lizard is "rescuing" his visiting (separated) wife and kid.
Rescuing only so that he can kill them himself.
Spider-Man shows up and, yes, devises a cure and crams it down the Lizard's throat.
It doesn't work this time, though, so Spider-Man tries to enhance things with electricity. He's distracted by young Billy, but the Lizard finds his human hand (recall that Connors originally became the Lizard in an attempt to regrow his missing arm) is reaching out for the wires.
Spider-Man stops the Lizard before he can gnaw off his own arm, and then the arm does indeed force him to zap himself, which does transform him back into Doc Connors.
The experience causes Connors to decide to cut off attempts to reconcile with his family.
Mary Jane shows up at the end to tell Spider-Man to stop looking for Aunt May (and they don't seem too concerned about keeping their distance to maintain Peter's secret ID).
The issue ends with a set-up for a return of Jonathan Caesar, whose lawyer shows up at the country club prison he's being held at to let him know that he'll be released soon due to a loophole.
There's an extra scene, unrelated to anything else, where a Jason Clemons and a Troy Tyro sneak into the building where the Spider-Man Thanksgiving balloon is held, and it attacks them thanks to the Inferno stuff.
Seems likely an in-joke of some kind. Update: Actually, it was a contest. See below for a comment from Jason Clemons himself!
Spider-Man takes out the balloon with the antennae from the Chrysler Building while channeling Conan.
The usual Michelinie/McFarlane comments apply. Nice pin-ups, very sparse, virtually no sub-plotting. McFarlane seems to like the Lizard in particular since we'll see him again in the inaugural issues when McFarlane gets his own book as a writer-artist.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place not too long after the end of Web of Spider-Man #48. I don't know if MJ's seemingly uneventful cab ride back into Manhattan indicates that Inferno is dying down at this point. The final Spider-Man Inferno issue, Spectacular Spider-Man #148, ends concurrently with things getting cleaned up in X-Factor #38, but Spider-Man himself barely appears in that story and it could actually take place concurrently with this one.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Spider-Man Legends vol. 2: Todd McFarlane Book 2 TPB
Inbound References (1): showAunt May, Billy Connors, Jonathan Caesar, Kristy Watson, Lizard, Martha Connors, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man
I think the in-joke is that McFarlane had to draw a Spidey that resembled the traditional model.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 28, 2014 8:58 PM
Between the odd names, the Conan reference and the Thanksgiving theme I am perhaps unduly reminded of Christopher Priest.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | August 29, 2014 1:03 AM
And he got to have Spidey comment that the eyes were "all wrong" on the balloon Spidey, despite that being the way his eyes have been depicted for 30 plus years. It smacks of a monumental ego, "My version is the right one."
I will say that his rendition of the lizard is really good, probably the best he's been.
Posted by: kveto from prague | August 30, 2014 8:36 AM
That "in-joke" was actually the result of a promotion. There was a Marvel Trivia contest sponsored by Macy's and the winner would be featured in a Marvel comic. I know, because that was me. I was able to include a friend of mine (Troy), and they ended up sending me a gross of that issue. In the years that followed, as McFarlane's popularity blew up, I was able to walk into comic conventions like a pimp with stacks of SM 313's, worth about $30 each.
Posted by: Jason Clemons | February 24, 2015 11:58 AM
That's awesome. Thanks for sharing, Jason!
Posted by: fnord12 | February 24, 2015 12:29 PM
Posted by: kveto | February 24, 2015 4:38 PM
Maybe MacFarlane in a rare moment of introspection realized he's terrible at drawing people but great at drawing the Lizard so he kept bringing the Lizard back.
That is a great story from Jason Clemens, though. How awesome that he has managed to find this site.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 20, 2015 6:48 AM
MacFarlane has obviously never seen the Chrysler building in person, or bothered to research it.
In that panel where Spidey is breaking off the spire, which is 125 feet tall, he'd have to be at least five or six stories tall himself.
The spire actually is big enough to have ladders inside it for service workers to climb in for repairs.
Posted by: Bob | August 20, 2015 7:51 AM
Am I missing something, or does the bit where the Lizard's left hand turns against him make no sense? Sure, that hand was human before the serum... but so was the rest of Curt Connors. If Spider-Man's formula makes body parts that were originally human hard for the Lizard to control, everything except his right arm and tail should be hard to control.
Posted by: Mortificator | August 20, 2015 2:30 PM
Mortificator, I was under the impression that the Lizard's left hand was under the effect of the antidote Spidey poured down his throat. The Lizard should've reverted to Curt Connors, but because this specific transformation was more mystical than biochemical (i.e., one of the many side effects of Inferno, like Harry Osborn's goblin-related nightmares), the antidote wasn't enough. It did give Curt some control over his reptilian side, though--just enough to save his son. The catalyst was probably his concern for Billy, who was about to get shredded.
Todd McFarlane's Lizard was magnificent. As for Spider-Man's eyes, regardless of Todd's monumental ego, he did the world a favor with their new shape. Same goes for the so called "spaghetti webs".
Speaking of Todd, in lieu of Bob's observation on the Chrysler Building's dimensions, I apply for a No-Prize by suggesting that it was probably altered by the effects of Inferno. Much like the 'embiggening' of the Empire State Building due to Nastirth's takeover; maybe he wasn't content with making it larger, he wanted to reduce the next biggest building.
(I guess N'astirh preferred setting camp in the Empire State Building rather than the World Trade Center because he predicted a terrorist attack thirteen years on. Or he simply presumed that a skyscraper dedicated to global commerce was satanic enough.)
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | August 20, 2015 7:58 PM
ah, Inferno....If there's a mistake in the art, just blame it on the magic afoot.
The Image guys must have loved this event.
Posted by: Bob | August 21, 2015 12:26 AM
You can't go wrong with Inferno. It wipes your slate clean.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | August 21, 2015 4:53 AM
Comments are now closed.
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