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"I spent my life as a scientist trying to create a world without weakness, without outcasts. I sought to create a stronger human being, but there's no such thing. Human beings are weak, pathetic, feeble-minded creatures. Why be human at all when we can be so much more? Faster, stronger, smarter. This is my gift to you."
―Curt Connors[src]

Doctor Curtis "Curt" Connors is a scientist, the husband of Martha Connors, father to Billy Connors, and formerly the bioterrorist known as Lizard. Inspired to create a world of equals due to his lack of an arm, Connors worked alongside Richard Parker on the Double Zero Project with the endorsement of Oscorp Industries, aiming to cure mankind of the disabilities and diseases they were plagued by. Their research eventually yielded successful results when Parker bred several genetically enhanced spiders with the ability to self-heal, but Parker would soon disappear before Connors or anyone at Oscorp could gain the knowledge of how he had achieved it. With the news of Parker's death, Connors would become embittered and rageful that his dreams had been shattered, never reaching out to Parker's surviving family as a result.

Twelve years after Richard Parker's disappearance, Connors was contacted by his son, Peter Parker, who sought answers about the disappearance of his parents. While discussing the research the pair had done together, Connors was amazed when Peter provided him with a formula that could potentially give him his arm back. Over the next few days, Connors began testing the equation alongside Parker using Lizard DNA, though Peter became indifferent to the tests after the loss of his uncle. When the equation provided successful experimental results, Connors was delighted, but when he discovered that Oscorp intended to test it on hospitalized patients, he was forced to use the formula on himself. Although it regrew his arm, the formula also transformed him into a giant and violent Lizard, that creates destruction and has a ruthless personality. The Lizard persona takes over Connors' mind, corrupting him and stretching his sanity to a breaking point, and also making him more violent. Lizard's acts would put him into conflict with the superhero Spider-Man, discovering that the latter was none other than Peter Parker himself. Knowing that he could not hide from the hero forever and with the Lizard having him believe he has perfected the way of evolution, Connors formulated an ultimate plan to disperse the transformative formula over the city, which would turn everyone into Lizards and cause an apocalypse. However, Connors was stopped and cured of his mania and Lizard body by Spider-Man in a battle at Oscorp Tower, and subsequently incarcerated.

Biography

Early Life

Cross-Species Genetics Experiment

Curt Connors

Connors working in Oscorp

"So you really think it's possible, cross-species genetics?"
"Yes. Of course. But for years, your father and I were mocked for our theories. Not just in the community at large, but at Oscorp, as well. They called us mad scientist. And then your father bred the spiders.... and everything changed. The results were beyond encouraging, they were spectacular. We were gonna change the lives of millions, including my own. Then it was over. He was gone. Took his research with him. And I knew without him, I..... I was angry. So I stayed away from you, and your family. And for that I'm truly sorry."
Peter Parker and Curt Connors[src]

Some many years ago, Connors lost his right arm up to its elbow. As would be expected, this greatly affected him emotionally, and so Connors endeavored to find a "cure". Dr. Connors soon came to be a scientist working at Oscorp Industries, and he met Richard Parker, a fellow employee, who wished to help Connors in his search for a cure. Though, the day that Richard and his wife, Mary, mysteriously went missing, as the news reported they died, Connors was enrage, deciding to stay away from the remaining Parker family.[2] Over the years Connors would continue working for Oscorp as a herpetologist, eventually taking on Gwen Stacy as an intern[2], and occasionally working with Max Dillon, which Connors took note of his awkward looks with his combover, bad eyesight, and gap in his teeth. [3]

Meeting an Intern

"I'm not a cripple, I'm a scientist, and I'm the world's foremost authority on herpetology. That's reptiles, for those of you who don't know. But like the Parkinson's patient who watches on in horror as her body slowly betrays her, or the man with macular degeneration whose eyes grow dimmer each day, I long to fix myself. I want to create a world without weakness."
―Curt Connors[src]

Over a decade later, Connors is still working on the project at Oscorp, which has apparently been brought back due to the corporation's founder, Norman Osborn, being terminally ill. He also wrote a book about the possible medical breakthroughs from cross-species genetics. Under time constraints, Connors is unable to complete the project until Richard's son Peter comes into his life. To be added

Becoming Lizard

Dr connors gets a new arm

The serum regrows Dr. Connors' lost limb

Feeling guilty about cutting his close friend's son out of his life, Connors allows him to work on the project with him at Oscorp. Peter also supplies a missing algorithm from his father's notes, leading to the successful development of a serum based on lizard DNA. Dr. Ratha, Connors' superior at Oscorp, decides to fast-track human testing. Connors pleads with him to wait until they know the full side effects, but Ratha threatens to fire him and reminds him that Richard Parker took the same stand over ten years before. Ratha decides to test the serum at the city's largest veterans' hospital. In the hopes of preventing this, Connors tries the serum on himself, turning him into the monstrous Lizard. As Curtis notices his body mutating into a reptilian form, he orders a taxi driver to drive to the Veterans hospital in hopes of stopping Dr. Ratha from injecting the serum into the patients, where they will turn into Lizards too.

Rampage Across the City

Terrorizing Citizens on Williamsburg Bridge

Suffering from mental problems as a result of his transformation, the Lizard attempts to kill Dr. Ratha on the bridge, but is stopped by Spider-Man. After he escapes, Connors, who has been corrupted by the serum, creates a makeshift lab in a sewer, in which he begins increasing the dosage of the reptilian formula.

Confronting Spider-Man Again

Lizard and Spider-Man (ASM)

Lizard confronts Spider-Man in the sewers

After an injection, he senses a danger. Now fully mutated, the Lizard confronts Spider-Man again, who had tracked him down into the sewer and discovered his identity. He severely wounds the hero, but Spider-Man escapes before the finishing blow can be delivered. However, he discovers a camera marked "Property of Peter Parker" since the camera is there to capture pictures of both Spider-Man and the Lizard, and deduces that Peter and Spider-Man are one and the same, leading to him crushing the camera.[2]

Hunting Peter

Curt Connors with scales

Lizard talks to Curt Connors

"I'm not the one who needs help. There will be no more loneliness, no more outcasts. Species-wide distribution could... could enhance humanity on an evolutionary scale. One has to adapt to survive."
―Curtis Connors[src]

As the dosage is increased, so does the Lizard persona. After only two injections, the Lizard has already seemingly taken a mind of its own, and begins speaking to Connors mentally. The Lizard manipulates Connors to inject himself again, under the promise that he will "save" the city. Once Connors transforms, he seemingly loses control of himself, and The Lizard fully takes over.

Lizard roars

Lizard in Midtown High

The Lizard attacks Midtown High, looking for Peter, as he doesn't want anyone to stop what he has planned, as he argues he can save everyone. He nearly kills Peter by causing a chemical reaction, creating a small explosive, but Peter emerges in his Spider-Man suit. During the fight, Peter tries to reason with him, but to no avail as the Lizard continues to attack him. Gwen returns from evacuating from the high school to aid Peter with attacking the Lizard, but she is restrained outside by Peter in effort of protecting her. After a lengthy battle, the police arrive, and The Lizard retreats.[2]

Battle at Oscorp Tower

Lizard and lizard gas

Lizard uses gas to turn officers into lizards

"Poor Peter Parker. No mother, no father, no uncle. All alone."
―Lizard to Spider-Man[src]

The Lizard then sets to work on unleashing the serum on New York City's populace via a device capable of infecting entire cities by unleashing a chemical "cloud" into the sky. On his way to OsCorp as The Lizard comes out, he is attacked by a SWAT team, which he defeats easily and mutates them into similar lizard-like creatures. He also transforms bystanders into lizards. Once inside OsCorp, he finds Gwen Stacy, who attempts to hide the device from him. However, he does not harm her and he then easily recovers the device to plant it on OsCorp tower.

Spider-Man and Lizard 01

Lizard vs. Spider-Man

As the timer counts down, Spider-Man arrives and attacks the Lizard, but is easily restrained, and Lizard destroys his web-shooters. Captain George Stacy arrives as well, and keeps the Lizard at bay by shooting him multiple times with a shotgun. Stacy gives Peter an antidote, which he replaces the reptilian formula in the device with. The Lizard fatally claws Captain Stacy, which killed him moments later, and attempts to stop Peter. When the timer ends, a cure is released into the city, rather than the formula, curing the Lizard and all others he infected. Now reverted back into Dr. Connors including his right arm re-incinigrated, he manages to save Peter from falling off the OsCorp tower.

Imprisonment

"You should leave him alone!"
―Curt Connors to the Man in the Shadows[src]

Connors was sent to Beloit Psychiatric Hospital as a consequence for his actions. He then meets '' The Man in the Shadows '', asking him if Connors told Peter the truth about his father, Dr. Richard Parker. Connors replies "No" while the darkened figure says "Well, that's very good". Connors gives out his last words by stating "You should leave him alone!", prompting the mysterious man to somehow vanish from the cell, leaving Connors alone.

Trial

On January 6, 2014, the trial of Connors came to an end. He was charged with 20 counts and found guilty of them all, including the murder of George Stacy. The former Lizard was represented by attorney Anne Weying. The defense used in the trial was that Connors experimented on himself to prevent Oscorp from experimenting on innocent people. The doctor was sent to the Rikers prison instead of Ravencroft, which was a controversial move. This information was provided in an article from The Daily Bugle on the same day.[4]

In other media

Spider-Verse

  • The Spider-Gwen incarnation of Peter Parker/Lizard makes cameo appearances in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. In his expanded backstory, Peter was Gwen's only friend and a fan of Spider-Woman before taking chemicals and transforming into the Lizard. Left mindless, he attempts to get revenge on those who bullied him at the school prom, only to be subdued by Gwen, who accidentally knocks him into the building's foundations and causing the roof to collapse, fatally crushing him. Dying, Peter reveals he knew that Gwen was Spider-Woman, apologizing for his mistake. His death leads to Gwen avoiding making any more friends until meeting Miles Morales and for Gwen's father Captain Stacy to lead a manhunt on Spider-Woman until he learns the truth about her.[5]

Personality

"Would you give it all up after all you know you can do? All the power you feel? I can save them! You're not going to get in the way of my plan, Peter Parker!"
―Curtis Connors[src]

One of Oscorp Industries's leading scientific minds, Curt Connors was a bright and ambitious scientist who attempted to engineer a revolutionary regeneration serum to help re-grow limbs and human tissue with a desire to help change mankind for the better. However, when pressured to come up with results, he elects to become the first human test subject. While initially it works; however, it quickly changes, and he mutates into a powerful man-lizard creature.

As Lizard, Connors is much more callous and ruthless than his normal form. Even when he is in his human form, the serum and Lizard persona have corrupted his mind, as he becomes obsessed with his power and perfection, and the voice in his head (likely the Lizard) manipulates him into believing this is the key to evolution and saving everyone. Although he displays an animalistic cunning and viciousness, he still displays Connors' intelligence, albeit somewhat twisted and very corrupted, to create a new breed of beings to inherit the world. Lizard has shown to be stoic to those around him sometimes, rarely speaking unless directly spoken to.

Powers and Abilities

"Blood panels reveal lymphocytes and monocytes reading consistent with the subject's past. Clotting rate vastly improved. Marked enhancement in muscle response, strength and elasticity. Eyesight similarly improved. Subject no longer requires corrective lenses. This is no longer about curing ills. This is about finding perfection. In attempt to redress regenerative relapse, dosage has been increased to 200 milligrams."
―Lizard[src]

Powers

"You stopped me once. You won't stop me again. I'm getting stronger every day!"
―The Lizard[src]
  • Reptilian Physiology: After injecting himself with the serum, Dr. Curtis Connors transformed his own physiology to alter resulting in him becoming a large lizard-like humanoid. This gave him superiority to humans in every physical and mental way, and also gave him new abilities he did not have as Curtis Connors.
    • Superhuman Strength: The Lizard has remarkable superhuman strength, able to lift weight that no human ever could. The Lizard's physical might is so great, that he is obviously stronger than even Spider-Man himself. He has shown feats as to be able to tear through steel and metals effortlessly, overpower multiple men with ease, and even restrain Spider-Man without showing any struggle.
    • Superhuman Durability: The Lizard's skin, bone, and muscle tissue are denser and tougher than ordinary humans. The Lizard is even arguable tougher than Spider-Man showing to have great endurable body. It took multiple S.W.A.T team men with automatic weapons to bring him down, he can fall from great heights, and even take blows from Spider-Man without sustaining much damage.
    • Superhuman Speed: In his Lizard form, Connors is able to travel at great speeds.
    • Superhuman Agility: In his Lizard form, Connors possess a level of agility superior to even the finest of human athletes. His agility is on par with the likes of Spider-Man. He was able to climb all the way to the top of Oscorp Tower very quickly, jump amazing heights, and coordinate his body with unnatural equilibrium, dexterity, and flexibility and his Reflexes of the Lizard is capable of reacting much better than ordinary human beings. He can dodge incoming attacks and projectiles with great swiftness, respond to surprise attacks from Spider-Man with ease, and even showing he could out-react Spider-Man on occasion.
    • Superhuman Stamina: He can do intense physical activity for long periods of time without being fatigued.
    • Superhuman Senses: The Lizard has superhuman acute senses. He has shown that he was able to see farther than ordinary, he could smell Gwen's scent while only breathing in twice, and he could even hear Spider-Man from a great distance away.
    • Regenerating Healing Factor:
      Lizard Regenerates his Tail

      The Lizard regenerates his severed tail

      This was the only power that Doctor Connors wanted. But when things went wrong, he still received Regeneration and all of its benefits. He can heal much quicker than even Spider-Man, and the true extent of his healing isn't known. The Lizard could heal from multiple gunshot wounds within a few seconds, regrow a lost tail when Spider-Man ripped it off, and he could even regrow his lost arm. Even despite being partially frozen the Lizard was able to fully heal from shotgun wounds within seconds.
    • Claws: The Lizard's claws are extremely sharp and dangerous. Not only can he climb up walls with them, but he can penetrate dense objects. He stabbed Captain Stacy easily (despite his protective vest) he was able to harm Spider-Man dispute his superhuman durability and can carry out lethal attacks with them.

Abilities

"All these souls, lost and alone. I can save them. I can cure them. There's no need to stop me, Peter."
―Lizard[src]
  • Genius-Level Intelligence: Connors has a genius-level intelligence and is a world renowned herpetologist.
  • Expert Combatant: Despite having no formal combat training, in his Lizard form, due to his powers that combined with his natural savagery, Connors caused himself to become a fierce hand to hand combatant.

Equipment

  • Lizard Serum: With the help of Peter Parker, Connors was able to synthesis a serum to help regrow missing appendages, when Dr. Kafka threatened to use it on veterans, Connors was forced to use it on himself, regrowing his arm before becoming the Lizard, and making Connors wanting to make the population into Lizards, before Parker was able to cure him.

Trivia

  • Actor Rhys Ifans described his character as a flawed character comparable to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Ifans described Connors as a force for good throughout his life: "He's a geneticist who wants to help people, like him, who are limbless. In his eagerness to advance that science, he makes a mistake and that's an occurrence we've seen throughout time, sometimes to our benefit, sometimes to our detriment." "...He is a broken man who wants to fix himself." These statement shows that much like his comic books counterpart, he developed a second, sinister personality that called The Lizard himself. This secondary personality was the one that whispered on Connors in the sewers when he already reverted into human form after discovering Peter's true identity as Spider-Man.
  • Connors is one of five people in the films who knows Spider-Man's true identity; the others being Alistaire Smythe, Green Goblin, George Stacy and his daughter. He and Green Goblin are also the only villains that know his identity.
  • Connors quoted Michaelangelo Buonarotti's poem "The Silk Worm" in the film: "That, changing like the snake, I might be free to cast off flesh wherein I dwelled confined."
  • The Daily Bugle viral site confirms that Connors was found guilty.
  • The fact that the Lizard was present in the sewers under New York City is a reference to the famous urban legend of the alligators found in sewers under New York City.

Behind the scenes

  • The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man is missing several key features that he usually has in the comics, such as a snout and torn clothes (usually a white lab coat and purple pants). Director Marc Webb has stated that Lizard lacks a snout because Rhys Ifans is using motion-capture to play the character, and he believes that Ifans' emotions would have been lost if a snout was present. The clothes were also removed to give the character a more realistic look. Though he is seen wearing a lab coat a few of times in the movie. The Lizard's appearance is also based off of the original Lizard design by Steve Ditko, which also lacked a snout.
    • The concept of the Lizard in the film is an indirect nod to the character's incarnation in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series that too, lacked of clothing.
  • In comics, Connors had a wife and son, both deceased; his wife Martha died of cancer and he killed his son, Billy, as the Lizard. Before Billy died, he told his father that he always knew Connors would kill him. This is likely because Connors had transformed into the Lizard before in this comic as well, and had traumatized Billy.

References

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