The Lizard and Spider-Man

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Although there were many enemies of Spider-Man created throughout the years, the ones introduced early in his original comic series had lasted the test of time. Among them were many clever characters, such as The Vulture and Doctor Octopus. However, it wasn’t until The Lizard appeared do we get to notice the pattern of clever villains being created by Marvel writer Stan Lee. With superior strength and impenetrable scales, this green monstrosity towers above our favorite hero, both metaphorically and literally. In this article, we will explore The Lizard’s backstory and legacy as he goes from the comic page to the big screen.

Who is The Lizard?

The Lizard, also known as Dr. Curtis Connors, is a well-known Spider-Man villain. He is a feral anthropomorphic lizard with a reptilian appearance, and his alter ego is that of a geneticist. Dr. Connors’ obsession with regenerating his right arm, which he lost while serving in the military, led him to create a serum using lizard DNA. However, the serum had an unexpected side effect, causing a transformation into a monstrous creature with enhanced strength and regenerative abilities. This transformation into a lizard-like creature has not only made him a formidable foe for Spider-Man but has also brought out the darker side of Dr. Connors’ personality.

First appearing in the comic book ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ issue 6, the human-sized reptilian creature wears a lab coat that alludes to its origins. He is able to walk and talk like a man, and cannot be harmed by bullets. He also has significant strength that allow him to lift and throw large objects.

What Are His Powers?

Abilities and powers of The Lizard
  • Hard, armor-like skin. During his first appearance in ASM #6, it is stated that bullets cannot stop or harm him.
  • Super strength. In the same issue, it is stated that The Lizard has the strength of a dozen bulldozers. (Small bulldozers weigh about 8 tons.)
  • Regeneration of limbs, in the same way an actual lizard can regenerate its tail after it has been removed.
  • Ability to control other reptiles

These are just some of his typical abilities, which expand to others like being able to jump high or swing his tail as fast speeds. These type of powers allows The Lizard to be a formidable foe to defeat Spider-Man.

How Did Connors Become The Lizard?

Connor becomes The Lizard

As mentioned earlier, this villain goes by the real name Dr. Curtis Connors. After losing his right harm during a war, he had studied reptilian life to the point of becoming one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject. After spending months on experimentation, he developed a serum extracted from lizards that was proven to work. Within an hour, a rabbit had grown a new leg. Connors hastily drank the serum, which successfully causes his arm to regenerate. Unfortunately, his skin and body changed into that of a lizard, dulling his brain and preventing him from making a new serum to reverse the change.

In The Animated Series

Animated series with The Lizard

In the very first episode of the 1994 Spider-Man series, titled, ‘Night of the Lizard’, we get a good look at The Lizard in animated form. During this version of the story, the villain is hiding underground in the sewer of New York City. Similar to what happens in the comics, Peter Parker is given the task to photograph The Lizard for The Daily Bugle newspaper, and decides to consult Dr Connors, not realizing that he is actually the enemy that he had been looking for. It turns out that he wants to turn everyone in the city into a monster like him so they will also have healing abilities. Like the other episodes in the series, the story stays close to its roots. It also introduces other characters, like Debra Whitman and Eddie Brock.

The Lizard in Movies

Curt Connors in Spider-Man 2

When you have such a clever antagonist like The Lizard, it’s only a matter of time that he will be introduced into Marvel movies. The first clue of his inevitable appearance is in ‘Spider-Man 2’, a film from 2004. The main character, Peter Parker, is attending Columbia University and bumps into one of his teachers, Dr. Connors. He clearly has one arm, so there is no doubt who he is. This may be a clue that director Sam Raimi was planning on putting The Lizard into one of his future films, however the critical failure of ‘Spider-Man 3’ could have closed that path.

Lizard Villain Spider-Man

In 2012, during a reboot of the Marvel franchise, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ was released starring Andrew Garfield. In this new version, the main antagonist is indeed The Lizard. I already wrote an article on this topic, but overall the plot is similar but with smaller differences. For example, Peter Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy is the one to make the antidote, where in the comics, it was Peter. The fact that this character made appearances in both versions of the movie franchise proves the love and appeal of this popular enemy.

First Appearance

To talk about a comic book character without mentioning its first appearance would be neglectful. Way back in 1963, we see The Lizard in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ issue 6, drawn by Steve Ditko. This comic not only introduces the new villain, but has its origin tale as well. As mentioned earlier, Dr. Curt Connors creates an experimental serum to restore the arm that he lost in an unspecified war. When spotted as a monstrous creature in the swamp, The Daily Bugle publishes a challenge for Spider-Man to confront it. After creating an antidote based on Connor’s notes, Spider-Man finds The Lizard at an old Spanish fort, planning to use his serum to transform humans into a new race of reptilian creatures. After a brief battle, the antidote is forced down the villain’s throat and Connors returns home as if nothing had happened.

Acquiring this comic is surprisingly not that hard. Although highly graded copies are always expensive, lower grades can be grabbed (affiliate link) for less than a thousand.


The Lizard is undoubtedly one of Spider-Man’s most iconic enemies, thanks to the clever writing of Marvel’s Stan Lee and his unique powers and backstory. Dr. Curtis Connors’ obsession with regenerating his lost arm led to his transformation into a feral anthropomorphic lizard, with abilities such as hard armor-like skin, super strength, and the ability to control other reptiles.

Throughout his appearances in the comics, animated series, and movies, He has remained a formidable foe for Spider-Man, constantly challenging him both physically and mentally. Even in the 2012 reboot of the franchise, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, he was chosen as the main antagonist, proving his enduring popularity among fans.

The Lizard has left a lasting impression on the Spider-Man universe, showcasing the pattern of clever villains being created by Stan Lee and adding depth to the superhero’s character development. With his unique powers and tragic backstory, he will continue to be a fan-favorite enemy of Spider-Man for years to come.