|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man v1 #6 (Nov 1963)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|In story information|
|Alter ego||Dr. Curtis Connors|
|Team affiliations||Sinister Six
The Lizard is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe, and an enemy of Spider-Man. In his normal human state however, he is Dr. Curt Connors, a friend and ally of Spider-Man. The Lizard first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #6 (November 1963), and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Curtis Connors was born in Coral Gables, Florida. He was a gifted surgeon who enlisted in the army and was sent off to war. He performed emergency battlefield surgery on wounded GIs, but his right arm was injured in a blast and had to be amputated. After his return to civilian life as a research technologist, he became obsessed with uncovering the secrets of reptilian limb regeneration and studied reptilian biology extensively. From his home in the Florida Everglades, he finally developed an experimental serum taken from reptilian DNA. He successfully regrew the missing limb of a rabbit and then, despite the warnings of his wife Martha, chose to test it on himself. Connors ingested the formula and his missing arm did indeed grow back. The formula had a side effect; Connors was subsequently transformed into a reptilian humanoid monster. Spider-Man discovered this situation during a trip to Florida to investigate newspaper reports of the Lizard. Spidey was then able to use Connors’ notes to create an antidote to restore him to his human form and mentality.
Later, Curt Connors relocated to New York City. He was able to repay Spider-Man by developing a formula to save May Parker’s life after Peter Parker had given his aunt his radioactive blood during a transfusion, unintentionally putting her in mortal peril. It later became clear that the success of Connors’ apparent cure from the Lizard persona was short-lived. A repeating pattern occurred, with stress or a chemical reaction turning Connors into the Lizard, Spider-Man fighting him, and then forming some kind of temporary cure to reverse the transformation until the next time. A second personality had formed with the Lizard, one with the familiar goal shared by many villains of taking over the world. The Lizard envisioned a world where all humans had been transformed into (or replaced by) super-reptiles like himself. Despite the Lizard’s overall hatred of humans, he was often shown to be unwilling to harm his wife Martha or young son Billy.
As Connors, he aided Spider-Man in defeating the Rhino by developing a formula to dissolve the Rhino’s costume, but accidentally transformed himself into the Lizard due to exposure to the chemicals needed to create the formula- some of which had been used to create the Lizard serum- and was restored by Spider-Man. Connors was later kidnapped and forced to create a rejuvenation serum for Silvermane. However, the stress from this caused Connors to transform, the Lizard battled Spider-Man and the Human Torch, and was then restored to normal once again by Spider-Man.
During another encounter with Spider-Man after Peter’s attempts to remove his powers resulted in him growing four extra arms, a bite from Morbius endowed the Lizard with Connors’ personality via the infection of a strange enzyme. Connors then synthesized an antidote for himself and Spider-Man using the Morbius enzyme. Curt Connors later aided Spider-Man, Ka-Zar, and the Black Panther against Stegron. After the apparent death of the Jackal, Dr. Connors determined that Spider-Man was not a clone. Later, the Lizard battled with Stegron and Spider-Man after Stegron kidnapped Billy Connors. For a time, Peter Parker worked as a teaching assistant to Dr. Connors at Empire State University, although Connors had no idea that Peter was actually Spider-Man.
During the first of the Secret Wars, the Lizard refused to participate on either side of the conflict. Although he was collected by the Beyonder along with other villains, he broke away from the main group after the first battle to settle in a swamp, where he befriended the Wasp who had helped him treat an injury he sustained in the first battle. After the Lizard was blasted by the magic of the Enchantress, he reverted back to human form. After Connors’ return from this event, his wife took their son Billy and separated from Curt. The Lizard had apparently been affected by inter-dimensional teleportation so that Connors’ mind presided over the Lizard, and battled the Owl alongside Spider-Man. However, mystical activity during the Inferno crisis once again bought the Lizard’s bestial nature to the fore, and Spider-Man cured him again. Connors then tried to straighten out his life and control the Lizard, with some degree of success. This ended when the villain Calypso used her voodoo magic to take control of the Lizard for her own purposes, reducing him to a mindless savage state. After a series of bloody battles, the Lizard and Calypso were defeated by Spider-Man, and Spider-Man assumed that he perished under Calypso’s spell. Connors once again gained control of the Lizard’s mind and body, although it was very weak. Curt carried out a plan to cure himself temporarily, after which he voluntarily submitted to incarceration in the supervillain prison, the Vault. When Calypso forced the transformation and attempted to control the Lizard once again, the creature killed her and escaped from the Vault. After this escape, the Lizard fell into a quicksand pit during a battle with Spider-Man and the bounty hunter Warrant and was believed to have died. This would soon be proven incorrect.
Shortly after Connors’ apparent death in quicksand during the Lizard’s battle with Spider-Man and Warrant, a huge bestial Lizard appeared. Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) realized that not only had the Lizard survived, but this new monstrous transformation seemed to be permanent and the personality of Curt Connors appeared completely lost. However, when this savage mindless Lizard later unexpectedly encountered Dr. Connors himself, Curt became the true Lizard once again and saved his family by killing the “Lizard-clone”. It was revealed that the Lizard-clone was a scientific accident resulting from an experimental formula being tested on a piece of the original Lizard’s tail, which had then grown into a fully-formed second creature.
Although reunited after Curt’s apparent death, tragedy later 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. Spider-Man assisted Curt in successfully forcing Monnano to admit their environmental culpability. However, Martha succumbed to the cancer and died. Billy recovered but remained bitter towards his father. Curt’s guilt and internalized anger at these events eventually led him to become the Lizard and attack Spider-Man once again. After reverting back to his human form, Curt purposefully attempted a bank robbery so he would be sent to prison. Curt’s stint in prison was short-lived; he was released and transformed into the Lizard once again as part of a scheme by Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Green Goblin, to form a “Sinister Twelve” group of villains to kill Spider-Man. The Sinister Twelve was defeated and captured by the combined forces of the Fantastic Four and certain members of the Avengers.
The Lizard later resurfaced to face Spider-Man with the aid of a smaller twin of himself, who was revealed to be none other than his son, Billy. Curt had injected Billy with the Lizard formula while under the influence of a mysterious meteorite that caused savage behavior in those within range of its radiation. Both the Lizard and “Lizard Junior” were eventually captured and transformed back to human form, but the future effects of the Lizard formula on Billy Connors remain to be seen.
A heretofore unseen version of the Sinister Six including the Lizard appeared briefly during the superhero Civil War but were stopped by Captain America and his Secret Avengers. Since the Lizard was never a member of the original Sinister Six, the circumstances of his involvement with this short-lived group of villains has yet to be revealed.
Post-Civil War, Doctor Curt Connors aided Spider-Man in developing a cure for the victims of Calvin Zabo, a.k.a. Mister Hyde, who were mutated with unstable versions of Spider-Man’s powers. Dr. Connors is also monitoring the progress of the hero Komodo, a female grad student who stole a sample of Connors’ Lizard formula and modified it for her own DNA to grow back her missing legs and to give herself reptilian powers.
Curt Connors has appeared in the Brand New Day comic story line, but has not yet appeared as the Lizard. Connors has been shown experimenting with animal stem cells as well as aiding forensic specialist Carlie Cooper.
Doctor Curtis Connors gave himself superhuman powers as a result of exposure to mutagenic chemicals, allowing him to transform into the Lizard. In human form, he has none of these powers. However, he is highly intelligent and studied in the fields of genetics, biochemistry, and herpetology.
When Connors is transformed into the Lizard, his strength is increased to superhuman levels. Likewise, his speed, stamina, agility and reflexes are also raised to a level equivalent to that of Spider-Man. He can also scale walls using a combination of the scores of sharp tiny claws on his hands and feet to create adhesive pads like those of a gecko lizard, and micro-scales that create molecular friction. He is highly resistant to injury due to his thick scaly hide, allowing him to resist punctures and lacerations from ordinary weapons and lower-caliber firearms. In addition, the Lizard has highly enhanced healing abilities which allow him to quickly recover from grievous wounds, including regenerating lost limbs. He also has a powerful tail which he can whip at high speeds. The Lizard has razor-sharp teeth set in muscular jaws that can deal a lethal bite. Like a reptile, he has cold-blooded characteristics and is therefore sensitive to drops in temperature; a sufficiently cold environment will cause his metabolism to slow drastically and become dormant if he is exposed to cold temperatures for too long.
The Lizard can mentally communicate and command all reptiles within a mile of himself via limited telepathy. He has also on at least one occasion secreted powerful pheromones which caused nearby humans to behave violently.
Based on various physiological and environmental factors, the Lizard’s intelligence can range from bestial and animalistic to normal human intelligence. The Lizard personality has most often manifested with human intelligence, capable of speech and higher reasoning, although some versions have been more feral than others; during the Secret Wars in particular he appeared less ruthless than his normal portrayal showing concern for Volcana and the Wasp after they showed him kindness despite his usual disdain for humans. However, the Lizard is rarely as intelligent as Dr. Connors is in human form, showing on many occasions an inability to understand his human self’s work and use it to further his own ends.
In a 2004 story arc entitled “Lizard’s Tale” written by Paul Jenkins in the Spectacular Spider-Man comic book, it was revealed that the Lizard persona was not a separate personality from Dr. Connors after all – Curt had been consciously controlling his reptilian alter ego all along. Furthermore, Connors was shown to know that Peter Parker was Spider-Man, despite the discovery of the secret identity never being explained or depicted. The story ended with Dr. Connors deliberately getting himself sent to prison and hoping the Lizard wouldn’t be unleashed again. The Lizard’s next appearance after this was as a member of the Sinister Twelve, where he showed no indication of being controlled by the mind of Dr. Connors. To date, there have been no subsequent comic storylines referencing the claim that Connors himself was responsible for the Lizard’s villainy.
Another bit of continuity-related controversy involves Connors’ son Billy. Unlike many other Marvel Comics children, he has not appreciably grown up since the comics’ stories of the 1960s. Billy’s visible age has also seemed to waver back and forth between approximately eight and thirteen years old, depending on the particular comic artist drawing the character.
The one comic storyline to date featuring the Ultimate Marvel universe version of the Lizard appeared in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up # 10. The character has appeared in a few subsequent issues of Ultimate Spider-Man, but only in flashbacks and dream sequences. Ultimate Lizard appears to be based on a basilisk lizard in design and has been presented as being less intelligent than the original Marvel universe Lizard.
In the Ultimate universe, in addition to becoming the Lizard, Dr. Curt Conners (note the different spelling of the last name in comparison with the Marvel universe version) unintentionally created the Ultimate version of the supervillain Carnage using DNA from Spider-Man and based on an analysis of Richard Parker’s work on the Venom suit. Due to the ensuing chaos, he was arrested and Stark Industries canceled their financial support of his experiments.
The reality-hopping heroic team the Exiles once found themselves on an alternate earth where Connors’ experiment had taken a different turn. Finding himself as the Lizard, Curt felt the need to ‘reproduce’ by immediately injecting the Lizard-formula into other people. He infected his family and they infected others, all feeling the urge to spread the transformation into lizard-men. The forces of this particular world eventually managed to restrain the infected reptile-people behind miles-long, man-made walls.
In the Marvel Zombies universe, the Lizard, like almost every other hero and villain, has become an undead zombie. This particular incarnation of the Lizard is apparently destroyed when he is blasted apart by several cosmic-powered heroes while fighting Galactus. 
Curt Connors will resurface as the Lizard in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man Family, scheduled for August 2008 in the first story of the Mr. and Mrs. Spider-Man series, set in the MC2 universe.
Dr. Curt Connors and the Lizard have appeared in several of the Spider-Man animated television series over the years.
The original 1967 Spider-Man cartoon featured the Lizard in the episode “Where Crawls the Lizard.” The animated Lizard in this episode was referred to as “Lizard Man,” and the family is named “Conner” instead of “Connors.” Also, Dr. Connors is depicted as having both of his arms in the episode, most likely to avoid the topic of amputation in a children’s cartoon (his serum was intended to cure “swamp fever”). Conner later appearsâ€”separate from the Lizardâ€”in “Fountain of Terror”. He was voiced by Gillie Fenwick.
The Lizard appeared in the 1981 Spider-Man cartoon series episode “Lizards, Lizards Everywhere.” However, there was no mention of Dr. Curt Connors in the episode and the Lizard is presented as a monster villain with no alter-ego.
The Lizard’s next television appearance was in the 1994 premiere episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, titled “Night of the Lizard”. Here, the Lizard was portrayed as possessing a genius level of intelligence but also having the savage mindset from the comics. The Lizard later went on to appear in the episodes “Tablet of Time”, “The Ravages of Time”, “The Final Nightmare”, “The Lizard King”, and the “Secret Wars” 3-part episode from the end of this series’ run in 1997. Curt Connors had many other appearances throughout this series as a supporting character. Dr. Connors and the Lizard were both voiced here by Joseph Campanella.
The Lizard also appeared in the “Law of the Jungle” episode of MTV’s 2003 Spider-Man: The New Animated Series. The Lizard’s physical appearance in this series was much more animalistic and saurian than the comic book version. In this episode, Connors is revealed to have lost his arm as a result of an Oscorp Industries weapons testing accident and when he transforms into the Lizard he goes after Harry Osborn. The Lizard falls to his apparent death from a helicopter at the end of the episode. Both Dr. Connors and the Lizard are voiced here by rock musician/filmmaker Rob Zombie.
In the The CW4Kids 2008 animated series The Spectacular Spider-Man, the Lizard first appears in the episode “Natural Selection”. One key difference from usual media is that Dr. Connors has a fully functioning, mechanical prosthetic arm. Being a research technologist at the lab at the university Eddie Brock attends, Connors is obsessed with uncovering the secrets of reptilian limb regeneration and creates a serum made of modified Lizard DNA, injecting himself with it frequently to help re-grow his arm. In a previous battle between Spider-Man and Electro, one of the vials is hit by Electro’s electricity, amplifying the DNA within the serum. As a result of injecting the altered serum, Connors’ arm re-grows as he hoped. However, Connors is subsequently transformed into the Lizard over time. An antidote developed by Martha Connors (who is also a scientist in this version) manages to restore Curt to his human form and mentality. Both Curt Connors and the Lizard are voiced by Dee Bradley Baker in this series..
Dr. Connors was mentioned briefly in the film Spider-Man (2002) as Peter’s laboratory supervisor who fired him for being late. Connors appeared in the sequels Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007), where he was played by actor Dylan Baker.
So far Dr. Connors has not become the Lizard in this franchise although it is rumoured that he will make an appearance in the fourth Spiderman film. In the films, he is missing his right arm as in the comic book. In Spider-Man 2, Connors is depicted as a Columbia University physics professor concerned for Peter Parker’s well-being and academic performance in his quantum mechanics course. Peter is seen studying with several textbooks for this course, two of which can be made out as quantum mechanics and photonics books. Curt’s friend, Doctor Otto Octavius, recalls Peter’s name and tells Peter that Connors considers him “brilliant, but lazy”. Otto chuckles about his friend’s assumption regarding Peter’s laziness once he finds out Peter is also Spider-Man.
The possibility of the Lizard appearing as the villain in Spider-Man 3 was once considered likely, until two different actors, Thomas Haden Church (Sandman) and Topher Grace (Venom), were cast for Spider-Man 3′s villains, along with James Franco (The New Goblin). Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad later confirmed that Dylan Baker would indeed be returning for Spider-Man 3 to reprise the role of Dr. Connors. In the film, Peter turns to Connors to analyze the substance of the Venom symbiote and Connors informs him that it makes one more aggressive and that it has a particular liking for him. At one point during this scene, Connors says, “I’m a physicist, not a biologist”, which contradicts the origins of Connors’ lizard-related research from the comic books. However, there is a scene in which it shows that Connors was studying lizards in the background, possibly foreshadowing his transformation in a future installment. He is also Peter’s quantum mechanics professor in this film, which suggests it might be the same semester as, or a continuation of the course, shown in Spider-Man 2, though a different classroom full of new students is shown.