You can't have a great superhero without great supervillains. When it comes to comic book movies, this is a crucial factor in how cool the movie can be. Fans will flock to theaters to see their favorite heroes on the big screen but there is a need to for having the best choice in a nemesis.
Spider-Man is known for his colorful rogues gallery. He has many great villains to choose from. In the previous trilogy, we saw Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Venom, Sandman and Harry Osborn taking up his father's mantle. For the fourth movie, there were rumors of Vulture or Lizard being the villain but the decision to start over put a stop to that.
Last week, Mat wrote about why fans deserve the Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man but because we don't always agree here at Comic Vine, I'm going to make the argument that the Lizard is not the best choice as the villain in this movie.== TEASER ==
I will admit, the Lizard isn't my favorite Spider-Man villain. But that isn't the case for this argument. It is true that the Lizard is a known Spider-Man villain. He has been around since the beginning of Spider-Man's career (in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6). He's also appeared in just about every incarnation of Spider-Man animated series over the years.
Looking back at the Lizard's origin, it's pretty straight forward. Curt Connors was a surgeon and lost his arm "during the war." After that he shifted his focus to reptiles and became one of the world's leading authorities on them. He believed if he could figure out the secret of how reptiles could regrow missing limbs, it would be a benefit to mankind.
Unfortunately in his rush to unlock the secret, he ingested an experimental formula which transformed him into the Lizard. With his human mind diminished, a new line of thinking emerged. As the Lizard, he was determined to make himself and all reptiles the new rulers of Earth.
In other words, he wanted to use his serum to make alligators and snakes smarter so they could take over the world. That's a great motive for a supervillain, right? How he would know that a serum that transformed a man into a man-sized lizard would make reptiles have an increased intelligence is something that wasn't clarified.
It is great that we won't be getting a simple rehash of movie villains we've already seen. The Lizard has the potential to be a good movie villain because it's easier to accept a scientist being transformed than to see a man turn into a pile of living sand or another be able to mentally control mechanical arms. As a reboot of the franchise, the Lizard doesn't seem like the best choice.
In his early appearances, it was pretty much the same story. Connors would transform into the Lizard and want to try to take over the world with his reptile friends. It wasn't until the recent Shed storyline in 2010 where Lizard truly became a menace rather than a giant lizard in purple pants with a lisp. In Shed, Lizard became hardcore. The story showed how savage and deadly he could be. This would be an interesting angle and adding a more horror element could definitely take the franchise in a different direction. But that's not really what's needed at this point. If this is a reboot, the classic elements of Spider-Man should be present. We need a light-hearted Spider-Man full of quips rather than a dark and brooding Spider-Man (especially since we've already caught glimpses of that in the last film).
Fans like Mat may have been waiting for the Lizard's big screen debut but it would be better suited for a second or third movie. Heck, I'd love to see more elements from Shed or even Torment with some Kraven the Hunter action thrown in.
The Lizard could be a cool Spider-Man movie villain but the filmmakers should have gone with another character for this first movie in the new franchise. If it were up to me, I would have gone with Mysterio or even Kraven the Hunter (and Chameleon could even be added in with either). We'll have to wait and see if this version of the Lizard has what it takes to carry the role of Spider-Man's nemesis.