Spider-Man celebrates his 50th anniversary in 2012, and the character has a new major motion picture, “The Amazing Spider-Man” releasing in theaters as part of the celebration. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone play Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, and Gwen Stacy. Rhys Ifans has signed on as Doctor Curt Connors.
Spoilers are ahead for those who don't know about Connors's comic-book background.
Though Connors has appeared in two of the three previous “Spider-Man” movies, his comic-book alter ego gets the big-screen treatment for the first time is Spider-Man's foe the Lizard.
To tie in with the film's release, a new Lizard storyline begins in this week's “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 688.
Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli are the creative team for this story arc, called “No Turning Back.”
The Lizard is a tragic figure in the comics. After army surgeon Curt Connors loses his arm in an explosion, he turns to reptilian DNA to figure out how to regrow his lost appendage. But while he does manage to regrow the limb, the formula he takes to do so turns him into a raging reptilian monster.
The Lizard made his first appearance way back in 1963's “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 6, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
He's appeared many times since, including a role in the best-selling Spider-Man comic of all time, 1990s “Spider-Man” No. 1, which launched a new Spider-Man title written and drawn by Todd McFarlane. That comic book went on to sell more than 2.5 million copies.
The original art to the cover of “Spider-Man” No. 1, long held privately by former comic shop owner Martin Shamus, will be auctioned by Heritage Auctions from July 26-27.
That's just one of many Spider-related events going on as Spider-Man reaches his 50th anniversary milestone. Issue No. 692, by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, will be the official 50th anniversary issue, leading up to issue No. 700 later this year.
The trade paperback “Torment” contains the entire five-issue arc featuring Spider-Man, the Lizard and Calypso.