Characters : Lizard
(As Connors) Blue (As Lizard) Red
Green and ugly.
(As Connors) Brown (As Lizard) None
(As Connors) 5' 11" (As Lizard) 6' 8"
(As Connors) 175 lbs (As Lizard) 550 lbs
Ability to summon reptiles through a pseudo-telepathy.
Vulnerable to cold, and presumably afraid of fire. Uncertain mental state, due to the two identities constantly struggling for control. Strong affection for his family, even as the 'fleshie-hating' Lizard.
(As Lizard) Extraordinary climbing abilities. Great speed and strength. Highly resistant scaled skin. Excretes a pheromone that turn people violent.
Average (As Connors) Superhuman (As Lizard)
Claws and teeth, plus a powerful and agile tail.
Publically secret, though known by many.
Florida, and Empire State University
The Sinister Twelve
Spider-Man, Calypso, Stegron
Martha (wife, deceased), Billy (son), cloned Lizard, unnamed sister
United States Citizen with a criminal record
Spider-Man, Calypso, Stegron, Morbius, Human Torch, Cloned Lizard, Iguana
Coral Gables, Florida
Dr. Curtis Connors
The New York Sewers or The Florida Everglades
Curt Connors was a gifted surgeon who went into a war to help his country. He performed "meatball" surgery on wounded GIs, but his arm was injured in a blast and had to be taken off. He eventually read into reptilian biology and from the DNA of a reptile mixed into a new serum, Connors consumed it and his arm grew back. Though it had one side effect: Connors became a giant mutant lizard! The Lizard had a burning hatred of all mammals, especially human beings. Curt later admitted that the Lizard's hatred of humanity stemmed from his own anger over losing his arm. While Curt was trying to help wounded soldiers, his reward was to be mutilated.
Spider-Man learned about a giant man lizard in Florida from J. Jonah Jameson and traveled to Florida with the newspaper man, helping the doctor by using Connors' notes to invent a serum to cure him. Despite the Lizard being Spider-Man's enemy, Dr Connors has helped both Spider-Man and Peter Parker. Connors was able to repay Spider-Man by developing a formula to save May Parker's life after Peter Parker gave his aunt his radioactive blood poisoning during a transfusion. After he helped cure Aunt May, Connors let Spidey use his labs for his own purposes, such as when Spencer Smythe used police security cameras to spy on the city and managed to see an unmasked Spider-Man. Connors has also helped cure similarly afflicted people, such as Jimmy Santini (Batwing) and John Jameson (Man-Wolf).
For a time, Peter Parker worked as a teaching assistant to Connors. The success of Connors apparent cure from the Lizard personae was short-lived. A repeating pattern occurred: stress or a chemical reaction turned Connors into the Lizard (such as when Connors encountered Morbius about to devour Spider-Man at his Long Island home), Spider-Man would fight him, form some kind of temporary cure to revert the transformation, until the next transformation would begin the cycle again.
Over time, it became apparent that a second personality had formed with the Lizard, one with the neigh impossible goal shared by many villains of taking over the world. Eventually his resorts to using an army of lizards stopped and he began working alone. Curt tried to go back to using his original plan of helping humanity by researching reptiles ability to re-grow limbs. His research resulted in a new reptile menace: the Iguana.
Dr Connors was often Spider-Man's first choice as a scientific expert in times of trouble. While Peter is a scientific genius in his own right, Connors had the equipment ready and available. Such an instance came after Wilson Fisk drained Spider-Man of his life energy, in order to heal his son, Richard Fisk. The transfer left Spider-Man weak and dizzy, until he sought help from Connors and a machine that he just happened to have available. The "enervator" was a machine that Connors created to enhance cell regeneration, but it also re-powered the weakened Spider-Man. (I wonder how similar it was to the machine used by Adrian Toomes to restore his youth and health.) The machine exploded, and the stress of the incident, you guessed it, eventually caused Connors to become the Lizard again. This was actually helpful, as Vincent Stegron recently kidnapped Curt's son. (Paul Jenkins would write "The Lizard's Tale" 27 years later, in which it was claimed that Connors was in control of the Lizard the whole time. Evidence can actually be found for that idea here, as the Lizard tries to rescue Billy from Stegron but wont say why.)
When his wife and son separated from him (due to the martial strain transforming into a Lizard may cause), Connors tried unsuccessfully to straighten up. In despair, The Lizard took control, though it had a weak mental strength, causing the voodoo from Calypso to effect him for her own purposes. After a series of bloody battles, the Lizard and Calypso were defeated by Spider-Man, causing the Lizard to gain control of his mind.
The Lizard appeared at Billy's birthday party and cut him with a claw, in order to get a pure DNA sample that Curt hoped would change him back to his human form. He had been fully aware of what was happening while under Calypso's control, but was helpless to do anything. After finding an abandoned laboratory of Doctor Octopus in the sewers, the Lizard hoped to recreate the "dominance factor" and be rid of the Lizard forever. It worked and Billy got his father back for his birthday.
Curt ended up going on trial for his rampages as the Lizard, and the prosecution was seeking the death penalty. The prosecutor argued that while Curt never meant to become the Lizard, he had seen the potential for huge monetary gain from the bio-regenerative formula when he created it. He went on to argue that that decision led to many deaths and that Curt never tried hard enough to permanently cure himself. Curt persuaded the judge to send him to the Vault, the super criminal prison in Colorado, to conduct research that would finally cure him. While the experiment in Octavius's abandoned lab had nearly wiped out all traces of the formula from his system, he couldn't be sure that he wouldn't transform again. The judge agreed and Curt was sent to Colorado.
While Curt was working at the Vault, he was also getting psychiatric treatment from Dr Ashley Kafka. Progress was being made in curing him, until Calypso returned and forced a transformation into the Lizard. She hoped to control her former ally, but the animal killed her before she could. The creature escaped from the facility and fought armed assassins and the U.S. army before he was changed back by Spider-Man.
For a time, a huge animalistic Lizard appeared, showing up in many issues (even in Malibu Comics' Prime Issue #Infinity), causing everyone to believe the Lizard persona was now permanent. It was explained that this second creature had been the result of yet another attempt to cure Curt. However, when this second Lizard went after Connors, Curt drank the old serum to become the true Lizard once again, and saved his son's life. Retaking the old formula finally ended the progress made by the multiple attempts to rid Connors of the Lizard. The creature was stopped by Ben Reilly.
One of the Lizard's latest scheme to take over the world had him affecting the Miami water supply to turn everyone into his mindless slaves. He first infused the Lizard serum into Miami's street drugs, which turned its users into semi-Lizard slaves. After Connors' son, Billy, almost became one of these zombies, Spider-Man lashed out and attacked the Lizard. After Martha got her share of words in, the Lizard became Connors once again, now begging for help for a cure.
Though reunited with his family, and his missing arm restored by Hammerhead, tragedy struck again in the Connors family - this time, for Martha and Billy. Both mother and son were diagnosed with cancer after years exposed to carcinogens from living near an industrial lab of the Monnano Corporation in Florida. Adding to the tragedy, Curt's new arm degenerated and became useless. Spider-Man assisted Curt against the corporation's assassin, Yith, and successfully forced the Monnano Corp. to admit their environmental culpability. However, Martha succumbed to the cancer. Billy survived, and remains bitter towards his father.
With Billy cared for by Curt's sister, a darker, mentally shaky Connors recently revealed a horrible truth to Spider-Man. Curt had returned to New York in search of a research grant. But when the grant was awarded to another scientist named Eric Richardson, Connors blew up the laboratory, and left his rival badly injured. The Lizard was seen leaving the lab, but Connors plead his innocence to Spidey, who believed his friend. Curt allowed Spider- Man to lock him inside an abandoned vault in the sewers for everyone's safety. Meanwhile, the Daily Bugle obtained a videotape of the transformation, and publicly exposed the truth that the Lizard is the result of a transformation.
Spider-Man went to discuss the latest news with Connors in the vault, but the Lizard persona broke free again. Now, Spider-Man learned the truth - Connors admits he had been lying for a long time - he had been in control of the Lizard for some time, and was using his transformation as an escape mechanism to do horrible things. As Curt told Spider-Man, its hard to feel pain and guilt when your brain is the size of a walnut. The Lizard escaped, battering Spider-Man into unconsciousness. After confronting Billy, the Lizard was shaken-up. As Connors, he allowed himself to be easily arrested for a bank robbery and locked up to protect those he loves.
The Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) recently freed the Lizard from prison, and brokered a deal for the creature to join the very short lived Sinister Twelve. The Twelve failed in an attack against Spider-Man and the Black Cat, after the two broke Osborn out of prison. They were defeated by the assistance of the Fantastic Four, Daredevil and the Avengers.
The Lizard was next seen as a pawn of Vincent Stegron. The Dinosaur Man had found a crystal in the arctic that could bring out a human's inner animal and he used it to make New York into a prehistoric tropical jungle. The crystal also effected the Vulture, Puma, Black Cat, Vermin and Man- Wolf.
Lizard achieved its greatest victory after its final transformation from Curt Connors. Obsessed with destroying Dr Connors, the animal went after his son, Billy. Despite the best efforts of Spider-Man and Curt's psyche fighting from the inside, the Lizard killed Billy Connors. With his wife and son dead, Curt gave up on life and faded from the Lizard's mind.
The triumphant Lizard had always been able to control the minds of nearly reptiles and amphibians but now had control over the primitive lizard like area of the human brain called the "R-complex." With this power, he made the citizens of New York as mindless as animals. After Spider-Man defeated him, the creature escaped into the sewers, taking some humans (who enjoyed the freedom of mindlessness) as pets.
After Lily Hollister gave birth to her son (who's father happened to be Norman Osborn), Spider-Man intervened to protect the child from a host of villains looking to abduct him. Unfortunately, the web slinger was duped into handing the baby over to the Chameleon. The Lizard then attacked the Chameleon and made off with the newborn.
While the Lizard has done away with Connors, it can still use his intelligence, as demonstrated by the blood tests it performed on the infant. It hated needing to use its "mammal brain" and resented having to care for the "disgusting little monkey." Still, it knew that it needed to keep the child alive as a bargaining chip against its grandfather. It was starting to lose Dr Connors intellect, and let Spider-Man examine the childs blood sample once he found the Lizards lair. From the tests, Spidey deduced that the kid wasn't Norman's child...it was Harry's and thus no good to the super villains that were searching for him. Doctor Octopus arrived soon after to collect the infant and was enraged that the kid wasnt what he thought it was. He was also being effected by the Lizard's manipulation of his R-complex, which made him erratic and needlessly aggressive. While Otto and Lizard battled it out, Spider-Man and the baby escaped.
Spider-Man faced the Lizard again with the X-Men, who were looking for several kidnap victims. All of the missing were either bullied or came from abusive families. The Lizard had changed them into reptile men, with the help of Dark Beast. Storm, Gambit, Wolverine get mutated but Emma Frost and Spidey escape unscathed. Lizard is freed from Dark Beasts control and defeats him. After Dark Beast is taken away, Lizard escapes back into the sewer.
Spider-Man confronted the Lizard in the sewer some time later, with the assistance of Michael Morbius. Morbius claimed to have a cure for Connors and had been giving it to him in stages since the end of Spider-Island. It was time to administer the final stage of the antidote but it required an injection. Spider-Man fought the Lizard, who had since devoured his followers after they went with him into the sewers. After changing back to Dr. Connors, the Lizard played them all for fools, letting them think Connors was back. Truly, Connors psyche was dead even if he could be physically changed into a human. The creature faked grief over the death of Billy and asked to be alone with the body. Alone, he sabotaged Morbius by leaking his refrigerated blood meal into the ventilation system of Horizon Labs, causing the vampire to go crazy when he smelled it. Morbius fled the building and Spider-Man went after him.
Lizard went back to work in Morbius' lab with the help of Dr. Modell, claiming to seek a cure for Michael. Instead, the Lizard created a new batch of Lizard formula and tried to change back, but with limited success. It captured Modell and used him as a test subject for the formula. After Modell was transformed, the Lizard also poisoned Bella Fishbach, Grady Scraps and others to change into Lizards. Soon the Lizard acquired what it needed to change back physically: mutant growth hormone. However, the creature had experienced humor, gluttony and music as a human and became intrigued by the experiences.
The creature had decided to stay as a human, until Spider-Man became wise to its scheme and the Lizard took its new formula in order to evade capture. The creature hated Spider-Man and humanity more than ever, now that it had experienced being human and had lost the appreciation once it transformed again. The Lizard was eventually drugged by an antidote that was hoped to make it human again. The antidote only partially worked, and as Spider-Man visited the captured creature at the S.H.E.I.L.D. Helicarrier prison, Connors began to emerge as the personality while the body remained that of the Lizard.
Imprisoned at The Raft, the Lizard escaped as Spider-Man (Octavius) battled Alistaire Smythe as the villain tried to evade his death sentence. The Scorpion was also at The Raft, freed by Smythe and sent after J. Jonah Jameson to divert Spider-Man's attention. As Spider-Man was focused on killing Smythe, it was the Lizard that saved Mayor Jameson's life. After the battle was finished, the Lizard was being transferred to a new prison (The Raft was being closed) and the creature was injured by the semi-alive body of Alistaire Smythe. The Spider-Slayer's threat was ended for good when Octavius tackled him over the edge of The Raft's platform. (Superior Spider-Man #13) Quiz: Quick Quiz on Lizard.
|May 2010||App: Web of Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #6|
|Origin addressed within Gauntlet storyline|
|Dec 2006||App: X-Men First Class #2|
|Early X-Men adventure leads them to Fla everglades|
|Nov 1963||1st: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #6|
|Creation and first appearance.|
|May 1996||App: Untold Tales of Spider-Man #9|
|Sep 1997||App: Untold Tales of Spider-Man #24|
Here is the Full Appearance List (121 Apps) for Lizard.
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.