J. Jonah Jameson, Aunt May, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Liz Allan
+ Curt Connors, Martha Connors, Billy Connors
Like the Hulk, the Lizard wears purple trousers after his transformation; although unlike the Hulk, this appears to be the sartorial choice of his human counterpart.
On the cover, the Lizard’s white lab coat is also purple — either due to an error, or because red/blue green/purple is a good combination in cheap four colour printing.
The Lizard appears to have no teeth.
Although he’s an iconic villain, this is the Lizard’s only appearance in the classic era. (Connors appears as a supporting character in #32.)
Connors’s son Billy definitely knows about his father's affliction; although when the Lizard returns in issues #44, he appears not to.
As a monster story, it’s kind of okay. As a Spider-Man story...
Amazing Spider-Man #4 (Sandman) seemed to have nailed the Spider-Man formula: it achieved a perfect equilibrium between The Writer (who wanted big fights between the Hero and a monthly Challenger) and The Artist (who wanted realistic stories of a guy saddled with weird powers). It interleaved the high-school story and the super-villain story and made the Fight Scene interesting by showing us the goodie and the baddie using their powers in a series of ingenious attacks, defenses and counter-attacks. But it appears that neither Lee nor Ditko quite realized they’d produced the definitive Spider-Man tale. Issue #5 and issue #6 represents a different conjectures about what a Spider-Man story ought to look like. Neither of them quite work.
J. Jonah Jameson, on the other hand, flies all the way to Florida with Peter Parker ("It’s such a big story that I’m going with you”), confirming our sense that Amazing Spider-Man has become the Peter and Jonah Show. This is the third consecutive episode which has begun with J.J.J bad-mouthing our hero. It's a potentially good set-up for a story: how many sit-com episodes have involved sending two characters who don’t like each other away on a field trip? But, as so often in these early issues, nothing really comes of it. We ought to have seen Parker and Jameson forced to make conversation in a hotel room during a power cut, or Spider-Man and J.J.J. forced to cooperate to escape from the Lizard. In fact, Jameson might just as well have stayed at home: Peter gives him the slip as soon as they arrive in Florida, and the remaining 12 pages is a monster story in which Spider-Man doesn't get out of costume once.
Believing in “bad luck” is a way of reading malice into the ordinary process of stuff happening; it can also be a form of self-sabotage. Some pop psychology suggests that people who believe that they are lucky are the ones who are good at grasping opportunities when they come their way. People who believe in bad luck think they are helpless in the face of set-backs. But it isn't a very serious explanation. People mainly invoke luck when they are throwing dice or betting on horses. You could, perfectly reasonably, say that it was “bad luck” that meant that a crook who had once passed Parker in a corridor just happened to murder the person he loved most in the world; but it would be a trivial way of talking about a serious event. Amazing Fantasy #15 would have been a very different comic if it had ended with Parker winking into camera and saying “My luck’s running true to form…”
Summary of Peter Parker's Photo Career, So Far:
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Amazing Spider-Man was written and drawn by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and is copyright Marvel Comics. All quotes and illustrations are use for the purpose of criticism under the principle of fair dealing and fair use, and remain the property of the copywriter holder.
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