Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #32-34
Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #32, Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #33, Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #34
The twist is that unlike Doc Connors and Vincent Stegron, this guy isn't a human that turns into a lizard-man, but a lizard that turns into a humanoid lizard. And i will grant you that he is a marine iguana, which i read are somewhat more aggressive than regular iguanas (but still herbivores. They eat algae. Run, people!). But the fact remains, we didn't need this guy, and we certainly didn't need him to fight Spider-Man (and the Lizard) for three whole issues.
The Iguana has a number of non-iguana powers, like the ability to control other reptiles...
...and the ability to hypnotize "the way a snake mesmerizes its prey".
Moving on to the Peter Parker side, these issues set up a new status quo for him. He starts a new job as a teaching assistant and meets Professor Morris Sloan, who he'll be supporting...
...and his fellow TA Marcy Kane.
Marcy has "seen" Peter's school records, and managed to determine that he's a "part-time genius" that doesn't "seem to care". As Peter says, he works to support himself and a sick aunt, but she's definitely got a chip on her shoulder about him. The morning after she first meets him, she sees him working in the lab (granted, to stop the Lizard and the Iguana, but she doesn't know that) and says "Getting an early start for a change, Mr. Parker?".
Then, after clearly seeing him doing science, she claims that he never works and "acts as if it's the last thing in the world that interests" him.
As part of the status quo change that introduces Sloan and Kane, we also say goodbye to Hector Ayala and Holly Gillis, who are leaving to set up a mobile college in the Bronx. It's the last we'll see of the White Tiger until the story that results in his retirement.
Flash Thompson decides to take a year off "to get my head together" and he and Sha Shan stop being regular characters here as well.
Not quite related to all of that, Glory Grant also moves out of the apartment next to Peter's.
Now that she's working for the Bugle she can afford better, and also because of that she's also technically part of Marv Wolfman's domain as a cast member for Amazing Spider-Man.
Doc Connors is also working at ESU as of this arc.
To be PC for a moment, it's worth noting that a fair amount of characters of diverse ethnicities are leaving the cast this issue to be replaced by an old white man and a white woman who is presented as an attractive love interest (described as "curvaceous" in the lettercol). But we will get a little diversity back when we meet the rest of the teaching assistants in a few issues. Oh, and Marcy will turn out to be an alien.
Professor Sloan has, erm, a skeleton in his closet as well.
When Peter returns from his fight with Carrion at the beginning of this issue (see the Chronological Placement Considerations section below) he finds that his friends have restored his apartment for him after it was invaded by Carrion in the previous arc.
You'll notice in the Considerations section that a lot of other Spider-Man appearances take place during issue #32. I've always kept my comics in chronological order, but it never occurred to me to attempt to place issues during other issues unless something was explicitly stated to take place during another issue. And when i first discovered the Marvel Chronology Project (which in turn was following the Marvel Indexes) and saw that they were doing that, i was fiercely opposed at the time. Of course my collection was small enough that in many cases i was missing the issue(s) that required that sort of thing to be necessary. As my collection has grown, and as i've forced myself to lay out the reasoning for placement of issues on this site, i've come to accept that it really is necessary. Part of the reason for this type of thing is actually a consequence of something discussed in the lettercol for issue #33. Someone complains about the lack of continuity between this book and Amazing. The response notes the "mishaps that can occur when any two books try to mesh too closely". And it's true. Obviously a completely standalone issue, with no references and keeping as generically to the status quo as possible makes for easiest placement, but it also makes for boring stories. But unless you are coordinating very tightly, referencing events in other books boxes in where a story can take place. Combine that with continuing stories in your own book (like Spidey returning home from his fight with Carrion at the beginning of this arc) and you pretty much have to find gaps between panels to make it fit. And so i have learned to stop worrying and love the gap, is what i'm telling you.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This arc begins in the aftermath of the Carrion fight, with Spider-Man dragging himself home. But later he begins his assistant teaching job at ESU, which can't happen until after he gets his diploma, which happens some time after Amazing Spider-Man #191. The MCP places a gap after page six of issue #32, with those six pages taking place directly after Spectacular #31 and the rest between Amazing Spider-man #193-194. Another reason for that placement is the reference to Peter working for the Daily Globe, which happens in Fantastic Four #207 between Amazing Spider-Man #193-194. I'm counting Dr. Sloan's skeleton as an appearance of Swarm.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
I imagine the Iguana was an attempt to get the lizard out of the loop. While the lizard has one of the best origins of any villian, using him repeatedly is very sad as Curt connors is a sympathetic character. His story should end in one of two ways. Either he's cured of the lizard and lives happily ever after. Or he's permanently the lizard. By having him get constantly "cured" then brought back periodically, it makes his story much more tragic than it needs to be (especially with regards to his poor suffering family).
I'm guessing the iguana was an attempt to have a "lizard" without the curt connors baggage (unsuccessfully)
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | June 28, 2013 2:03 PM
The title to #33 refers to the 1950's movie and #34 refers to the Tennessee Williams play/movie.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 28, 2013 4:23 PM
Sadly, we would never see The Iguana again.
It was only in the very recent issues of Spider Man that Connors would become the Lizard permanently. So, they got around to that, it just took them years and years.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | June 28, 2013 4:46 PM
@Mark Drummond - Actually, there are three play references here. The first is the title of an Edward Albee play, the last two are both Tennessee Williams plays, which were made into movies in 1964 and 1958 respectively.
But I am impressed with how many title references you get.
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 15, 2015 9:07 AM
The Iguana actually just had another appearance recently, fighting Spidey in ASM v3 #16. No explanation given for his return, which I guess shouldn't be surprising. Fnord, you may want to tag him for this reason, though I realize that is quite the gap.
Posted by: TCP | April 15, 2015 9:51 AM
Thanks TCP. Added him.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 15, 2015 9:59 AM
You'll notice Peter's friends have done some restorative surgery on dog-bear.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | November 15, 2016 4:45 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|