This continues the Gauntlet origin stories with Lizard
A strange mutated Lizard-type creature is shambling around the site of Lizard’s first battle with Spider-Man in the Everglades, Florida. We cut to Connors being in the Iraq war as a doctor. He lost his arm when a booby trap bomb went off as he was trying to help wounded soldiers. He meets Ted Salis and together they look to work on a cell regeneration project.
But Salis is ultimately double-crossed by his girlfriend Ellen, who is working for Advance Idea Mechanics (AIM) and wants to steal the technology. Salis escapes towards Connors at the Everglades with one syringe full of the serum they’ve worked on. He crashes and injects himself with it, evolving into the mutant creature from the start. The swamp he ends up in has already been poisoned by Lizard to create more beings.
Lizard shows up and has a recognition of sorts with the mutant creature, recognising him as Salis – the man who showed him compassion and helped at the battlefield. The Salis/monster touches Connors/Lizard and the mix of the base memory from when he was human is too much for Lizard, who collapses.
If my story description seems a bit confusing, you should read he base material. Or don’t. A relaunch that was already teetering on the brink of ridiculous finally crashed over the precipice in one of the worst Spider-Man / Spidey tie-ins I’ve ever had to wade through. It’s an utter rambling mess that just bears no resemblance to anything related to the character.
To start, among everything else, the first thing that leapt out to me was the odd way everything fits together. I know the Spider-Man books fit into an amalgam of 40-odd years history with references which no longer fit but ... Lizard and Spider-Man first fought in the 1960s, yet this clearly places Connors in the Iraq conflict. Even the first war was in the 1990s, so when does everything take place? Wouldn’t it have been better to have Connors in a nameless conflict which could be anything from Korea to Vietnam to Iraq?
But that’s the tip of the iceberg. You buy a book with the name ‘Spider-Man’ on the front and you might expect something to do with the character. If not an appearance, then something that might bring some depth or context to his villains gallery. I understand that’s what this is supposed to do. But it just doesn’t. I just don’t understand what this is supposed to add.
Even Jefte Palo’s art can’t save the issue – as previous artists have managed to. A total boring mess.