Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #238

Background

Doctor Curt Conners, a scientist who once experimented on himself in hopes of regenerating his missing arm, has long been cursed with the alter-ego of the evil Lizard ... One of Spider-man's oldest and (in my humble opinion) coolest villains. Recently, Conners was separated from the savage Lizard and has lived a relatively normal life.

Now, however, the new Lizard has managed to track down Conners, and in order to save the life of his son Billy, the Doc must once again transform into the Lizard and battle its even more savage counterpart.

Story 'Suicidal Tendencies'

  Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #238
Summary: Lizard Monster, The Lizard (Curt Connors)
Arc: Part 1 of 'Suicidal Tendencies' (1-2)
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Writer: Todd DeZago
Pencils: Sal Buscema
Inker: John Stanisci
Cover Art: Sal Buscema
Articles: Ben Reilly, Lizard

This issue is a fairly dark and gritty tale centered exclusively around Doc Conners and his savage alter-ego, the Lizard. In short, the newly separated Lizard has been following Conners up and down the coast, and it all comes to a head when the Lizard arrives in Florida and confronts him, causing Conners to transform into the classic Lizard once again and setting the stage for next issue's Lizard vs. Lizard battle. Spider-Ben only appears briefly in this issue.

General Comments

To be blunt, I really hated this issue, which surprised me because I expected to enjoy it. The Lizard has always been one of my favorites, but for me, anyway, this story just didn't work. First of all, if I buy a Spidey comic, I'd like to read about Spidey. Second, there seemed to be a glaring continuity problem in that this issue theoretically takes place in the middle on Onslaught, yet Ben just decides to leave NY to go track the Lizard to Florida. This spawns a few more problems: where would Ben, a part-timer at a coffee shop, get the money (or the time) to head to Florida? Also, when NY is being besieged by an army of Sentinal robots, it doesn't seem to make much sense for Ben (or the news media) to be concerned with a few sightings of a giant Lizard.

Overall Rating

One web. Nothing against Todd DeZago, the writer, who generally does excellent work, and has been especially good in his run on Sensational Spider-man. Sometimes writers try things and they don't work. I think that was the case here, but that doesn't mean someone else wouldn't love this issue. Also, Sal Buscema deserves some mention here since this is his last issue of Spectacular (he's been on the title for over 100 issues). The art was good, and he deserves some praise for his long run on the title.