Why the Lizard isn't the Best Choice for a Spider-Man Movie Villain

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Posted by G-Man (30676 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

Staff
#1 Edited by TheGodofThunder (584 posts) - - Show Bio

first!

#2 Posted by leejunfan83 (123 posts) - - Show Bio

Firster!!! And I disagree the Lizard is a excellent choice for a villian

#3 Posted by saoakden (1026 posts) - - Show Bio

In the last 2 spidey movies, we did see Curt so it was only a matter of time until he became his villanious persona the Lizard. I haven't read the Shed story yet but I do want to see what exactly how bad the Lizard is. & buy bad I mean how evil and messed up he is. I want to see how Lizard is in the movie. I think its cool how its two people who are part man, part animal battling out in the movie. Chameleon would have been cool since he was Spidey's first coustme super villain. Mysterio would have been interesting. I think Kraven would be great for villain for a sequel but first we must see what happens in the movie.

#4 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Lizard as the main enemy suits the purpose of this movie to be honest.

#5 Posted by DoctorTrips (127 posts) - - Show Bio

I can understand your argument; especially when it comes to him being the first villain for the reboot. I'd say he'd be a great second movie villain; especially if you introduced him in the first and made him something of a mentor to Peter thus making his transformation into the rampaging Lizard more tragic. But just because he's the first villain of the rebooted franchise doesn't necessarily make him Spider-Man's 'nemesis' just the first hurdle. Batman didn't meet the Joker till the second movie. I'm a firm believer that you can take any villain and bring him to the screen and make it work; one way or another. The audience will accept what they're seeing because it's a superhero movie and they just have to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the show.

Speaking as a fan of the Lizard, I'm really excited to see him come to the big screen. It's a great visual dynamic seeing the small teenage superhero fighting a huge reptilian monster. I'm hoping they'll do him justice but as with everyone else it's a wait and see situation.

I absolutely agree about a light-hearted Spider-Man, but from what I understand it is going to be a bit darker and edgier. I'm still going to see it though.

#6 Posted by KainScion (2973 posts) - - Show Bio

the lizard blows

#7 Posted by Teerack (5415 posts) - - Show Bio

Because he's not a scorpion or a goblin is the short answer :D

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#8 Edited by Lvenger (18465 posts) - - Show Bio

I have to disagree with you here G-Man. The Lizard is one of Spidey's first and best villains. Admittedly it's only recently that he's stepped up a notch but the main point behind the Lizard is that Spidey is fighting a guy he respects a great deal. There's a deep relationship behind Spidey and the Lizard which makes it all the more compelling.

#9 Posted by doordoor123 (3721 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger said:

I have to disagree with you here G-Man. The Lizard is one of Spidey's first and best villains. Admittedly it's only recently that he's stepped up a notch but the main point behind the Lizard is that Spidey is fighting a guy he respects a great deal. There's a deep relationship behind Spidey and the Lizard which makes it all the more compelling.

The problem is more that he isn't a villain that means much. He has no profound effect on Peter Parker.

The best villains stand against a quality or moral that the hero lives and fights by. I think that while the villain does work as an okay Spidey-villain, he isn't the kind of villain that can make a big impact story-wise.

#10 Edited by AWiederer (3 posts) - - Show Bio

@RedheadedAtrocitus: @RedheadedAtrocitus said:

I think Lizard as the main enemy suits the purpose of this movie to be honest.

I've seen the movie yesterday.

You can pretty much replace the lizard in this movie with doc ock from the second movie. same relationship, same problems, same finale. less interesting.

the movie is mostly about peters personal problems (death of uncle, girlfriend, his parents) and how an teenager deals with it (similiar to footloose in one scene). Connors only purpose is to distract and/or help him with/from that. The lizards only purpose is some action in the last 20 minutes. The movie is clearly target at people still in high school, including some stuff I'm probably too old to understand.

The movie is just fine but i was never bored.

#11 Posted by Lvenger (18465 posts) - - Show Bio

@doordoor123 said:

@Lvenger said:

I have to disagree with you here G-Man. The Lizard is one of Spidey's first and best villains. Admittedly it's only recently that he's stepped up a notch but the main point behind the Lizard is that Spidey is fighting a guy he respects a great deal. There's a deep relationship behind Spidey and the Lizard which makes it all the more compelling.

The problem is more that he isn't a villain that means much. He has no profound effect on Peter Parker.

The best villains stand against a quality or moral that the hero lives and fights by. I think that while the villain does work as an okay Spidey-villain, he isn't the kind of villain that can make a big impact story-wise.

The impact the Lizard's alter ego, Curt Connors has on Peter's personal life was a big one back in the heyday. And there's an element of tragedy to the Lizard as well. Connors was trying to create a serum that would regrow lost limbs, a worthwhile cause. Yet the cost of this is dire to him via the transformation of the Lizard. Admittedly it was a little bit corny that the Lizard's motives were to make reptiles the dominant race on Earth but I'm sure the movie can execute them with modern sensibilities. Also nowadays the Lizard is a major threat to Spider-Man given his more bestial nature in Shred and the things he did there changed the Lizard forever. Personally, I can't wait to read the Lizard/Morbius storyline in Amazing Spider-Man as a result

#12 Posted by NXH (1031 posts) - - Show Bio

Less than a week to go and I am still somewhat skepital on the movie. =/

#13 Posted by KainScion (2973 posts) - - Show Bio

@AWiederer: are you from japan?

#14 Posted by Gylan Thomas (2727 posts) - - Show Bio

Winge winge winge :P

#15 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32882 posts) - - Show Bio
@KainScion

the lizard blows

Yea, Ill aceppt him for now but Id rather have Kraven or Carnage
#16 Posted by ltbrd (561 posts) - - Show Bio

Having gotten the Amazing Spider-Man video game on Tuesday (quite fun by the way. Not quite as refined as Arkham City but definitely the best Spider-Man game in years and on par with Spider-Man 2 just with better graphics) and without giving anything away from either the film or game I think the Lizard was the perfect choice based on how they've changed Peter's character for this reboot. Initially I was hoping for Chameleon as the movie would probably play out a bit more like a suspense mystery or a race against time as Spidey tries to find and stop Chameleon from doing something. But as we've gotten more and more tidbits about the changes this reboot is making and currently playing the game (one last thing about it, if you're holding off from playing because you don't want to spoil the movie its not really a big deal. You get only a few tidbits of what happened in the film and its nothing people who have read Spider-Man wouldn't already know or expect) the Lizard is really the best choice as a first film villain.

Given that, however, I don't think they should have another creature based villain should a sequel (let's tentatively call it Spectacular Spider-Man because it would be cool if the movie titles followed the series titles rather than just 2, 3, etc....) nor any of the characters Raimi did (which may not be too hard to accomplish based on how some characters may be changed in the film). Though once I see the film I may not want the sequel to be darker, but I think the combination of Chameleon and Kraven would be awesome, with a very brief cameo or at least presence of the Kingpin as their employer or financier. Would make a cool second half and be more of a breakdown of Spider-Man that he would need to rise up from (yes, it would be much like Dark Knight for everyone that wants to point things out but then again Dark Knight simply copied the second act of any great trilogy, such as Star Wars, in which the second act is always darker than the first and third). Then in the third film (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man????) Electro could make a cool character main villain (maybe a second or side could be in there as well) as he represents an elemental aspect to Spidey's villains. So by the end of 3 films we would have covered animals, humans, and the elements in representing the Spidey mythos and that could make a cool, well-rounded trilogy.

Think I got a bit off-topic :)

#17 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (2448 posts) - - Show Bio

LIzard is my favorite Supervillain of all time! He deserves his own movie and can't wait to see him on the big screen.

#18 Posted by AWiederer (3 posts) - - Show Bio

@KainScion: I'm from germany. The movie started here yesterday.

#19 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

As I recall, the Lizard was the first villain Spidey took on in the 90s cartoon of my childhood (thus dating myself). And in the show They played him as a Phantom of the Opera kinda character as far as I remember. Hiding in the sewers, kidnapping people. So I can see the Lizard being a threat and not being overly campy… and that was like 15 years before Shed. I disagree that the first movie should be light hearted, it should set the tone for the series (because you know there will be sequels). One of the worst parts of Spiderman 3 (aside from the script) was the abrupt change in tone from exciting but, fun and funny to flat out CAMPY and frankly overacted.

#20 Posted by GR2Blackout (2564 posts) - - Show Bio

Sure, Peter was dark in the last film, but... he... he... d-d-DANCED!!!!

Also, about saying this films gonna have a dark and brooding Peter, wrong, haven't you seen the trailer? He sneezes webs into a guys junk!

#21 Posted by Mrakbarman (65 posts) - - Show Bio

Man they should have introduced curt connors in the first movie and then go with the lizard in the second... I mean the actor for curt is brilliant i like the way he talks but i want him to be more of a mentor for spiderman or something like that.

#22 Posted by TheCannon (17965 posts) - - Show Bio

I think G-man makes a good argument. I never thought Lizard should be in a movie by himself.

#23 Posted by Master_Thief (740 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger said:

I have to disagree with you here G-Man. The Lizard is one of Spidey's first and best villains. Admittedly it's only recently that he's stepped up a notch but the main point behind the Lizard is that Spidey is fighting a guy he respects a great deal. There's a deep relationship behind Spidey and the Lizard which makes it all the more compelling.

This

#24 Posted by primepower53 (5686 posts) - - Show Bio

Lizard will work fine.

#25 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (2448 posts) - - Show Bio

@primepower53 said:

Lizard will work fine.

He's Spider-Man's most interesting villain...

@TheCannon said:

I think G-man makes a good argument. I never thought Lizard should be in a movie by himself.

Shame on you.

#26 Posted by TheCannon (17965 posts) - - Show Bio

@BlueLantern1995 said:

@TheCannon said:

I think G-man makes a good argument. I never thought Lizard should be in a movie by himself.

Shame on you.

I said by himself. He would work if he was with Mysterio or someone. I would of had Electro and Mysterio as the villains, but that's just me.

#27 Posted by DDangelico (219 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the Lizard will be great as a villain. For the second movie, I'd really love to see Mysterio though...

#28 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (2448 posts) - - Show Bio

He totally can hold his own in a movie...he is a better villain than all the ones in Spider-Man 3 combined...he can hold his own...Mysterio would be awesome to see in the 2nd one though I would rather have Kraven the Hunter.

#29 Posted by TheCannon (17965 posts) - - Show Bio

@BlueLantern1995 said:

He totally can hold his own in a movie...he is a better villain than all the ones in Spider-Man 3 combined...he can hold his own...Mysterio would be awesome to see in the 2nd one though I would rather have Kraven the Hunter.

I forgot Kraven. Now, Lizard and Kraven is a good team up. They could of worked together. But as the ONLY villain in a movie, neither would work.

#30 Posted by zombietag (1491 posts) - - Show Bio

seems to me like theyve been trying to make a darker spider-man movie from the beginning. marvel probably saw how well it worked with dark knight, and theyve had the fun light hearted spider-man, why not go darker? and we can say spider-man is naturally a more fun character (which is true) but we all know there have been plenty of darker storylines from shed to grim hunt to torment to back in black. and all awesome.

speaking of torment, that seemed like a bit of a different role for the lizard than the already "take over the world" ideas. just saying because g-man said it wasn't until shed that he played a different role.

#31 Posted by zombietag (1491 posts) - - Show Bio

@doordoor123 said:

@Lvenger said:

I have to disagree with you here G-Man. The Lizard is one of Spidey's first and best villains. Admittedly it's only recently that he's stepped up a notch but the main point behind the Lizard is that Spidey is fighting a guy he respects a great deal. There's a deep relationship behind Spidey and the Lizard which makes it all the more compelling.

The problem is more that he isn't a villain that means much. He has no profound effect on Peter Parker.

The best villains stand against a quality or moral that the hero lives and fights by. I think that while the villain does work as an okay Spidey-villain, he isn't the kind of villain that can make a big impact story-wise.

you serious? after a while spider-man and connors have an ongoing relationship, which makes it all the more harder to take down the lizard when spidey knows who's the man on the other side. how is that not a villian that can make an impact story-wise?

#32 Posted by maxicere (936 posts) - - Show Bio

I disagree with you, G-Man.

#33 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (2448 posts) - - Show Bio

The way I would want Kraven to appear is Lizard breaks out again and Kraven goes hunting him...then Spider-Man has to defeat both of them...Lizard ends up allying himself with Spider-Man for a little bit and defeat Kraven then Lizard is taken down again.

#34 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

Disagree so hard.

#35 Posted by TheCannon (17965 posts) - - Show Bio

@BlueLantern1995 said:

The way I would want Kraven to appear is Lizard breaks out again and Kraven goes hunting him...then Spider-Man has to defeat both of them...Lizard ends up allying himself with Spider-Man for a little bit and defeat Kraven then Lizard is taken down again.

That could work. Spidey faces Lizard earlier in the film, then the Kraven stuff happens. That is how the two of those could work.

#36 Posted by IronAngelX (178 posts) - - Show Bio

I like G-Man's articles cause I find them interesting but i never agree with them. I think the Lizard was the perfect role for the new villain and we will not be getting a more dark and brooding Spider-Man, I mean, if you watch the clips, the guy is full of sarcasm, but I think we as fans will be getting to see what we always wanted: Spider-Man making quips and jokes in a dark and brooding world. It's how he copes with the horrors of life. Rock on for Marc Webb for choosing the Lizard.

#37 Posted by EdwardWindsor (14402 posts) - - Show Bio

The way i see it. Goblins dont need to be done really would be to simular as first trilogy they won touch Venom after last effort.Rhino wouldnt carry the film on his own. Sandman and Doc Oc have already been done so they leaves

  • Mysterio
  • Electro
  • Vulture
  • Lizard
  • Morbious

I would of prefered lizard or morbious but i guess starting a new franchise your better off havin ga bad guy whos related to the main character in some way.

#38 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

Nah, I like the Lizard because he's both scientist and man-animal hybrid, just like Parker. He's the perfect villain to kick off the franchise.

#39 Posted by MTHarman (725 posts) - - Show Bio

@AWiederer said:

@RedheadedAtrocitus: @RedheadedAtrocitus said:

I think Lizard as the main enemy suits the purpose of this movie to be honest.

I've seen the movie yesterday.

You can pretty much replace the lizard in this movie with doc ock from the second movie. same relationship, same problems, same finale. less interesting.

the movie is mostly about peters personal problems (death of uncle, girlfriend, his parents) and how an teenager deals with it (similiar to footloose in one scene). Connors only purpose is to distract and/or help him with/from that. The lizards only purpose is some action in the last 20 minutes. The movie is clearly target at people still in high school, including some stuff I'm probably too old to understand.

The movie is just fine but i was never bored.

I'm sorry,....but would it be wise to leave your "detailed" insight to yourself and not post it on a site that consists probably over 90% of people who has never seen the movie?

#40 Posted by WildStyle (331 posts) - - Show Bio

Many reviews from the movie said The Lizard isn't anything special at all.

#41 Posted by Mediumflyer7 (296 posts) - - Show Bio

@MTHarman: SPOILER ALERT

#42 Posted by sithfrog (909 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm wih G-Man. The Lizard to me is nothng special. A scientist who experimented on himself, turned into a monster, and now wants to conquer the world through reptile empowermet. I know he has a rich history in the comics and Torment is a very powerful storyline, but on the big screen I'm not convinced.

I think you could pull off a Sinister Six or Sinister Syndicate because you don't always need to do big sweeping origin stories for villains. The Syndicate could be made of three or four of the six and work well (Mysterio, Electro, etc.) I guess we will see. I still plan on going to see the movie next week however.

#43 Posted by Namor1987 (1883 posts) - - Show Bio

Kraven should be in the next film with Calypso. The last villian I'd have is Tombstone or Silvermane with Shocker.

#44 Posted by naylor11 (65 posts) - - Show Bio

most likely there'll be a surprise villian like the last few superhero movies have had so the lizard may not be the only one

#45 Posted by BritishMonkey (321 posts) - - Show Bio

next up, babs' support or opinion for why the lizard is the best choice for a movie villain

#46 Posted by Spiderslike (652 posts) - - Show Bio

Truth is when I first heard of them in talks to use Lizard I felt the same way Gman did because as a 90s baby I was so used to Spider-Man TAS where most of the time Lizard was a wild animal really aside from his 1st appearance and some others but most of the times I saw the Lizard he just broke things Torment to me didn't help either because although Lizard was a truly serious threat it was because he was more animalike than ever and was controlled.

But once I began to remember the Lizards earlier comic appearances as well as seeing the trailer for the movie I saw how he could work over some other villains.

1st Lizard isn't as important to Spider-Man as Curt Connors is to him. The man is his friend, advisor almost a teacher to Peter and in the film he was. The idea of seeing someone you care about corrupted by their own desires is powerful to watch.

2nd. Connors origin is actually a very grounded and realistic story in some ways more so today than in the past. Scientist have been selecting different genes from animals and mixing them with other creatures with great success. I remember a story of scientist that mixed DNA of fish from the bottom of the ocean to make glow in the dark rats. So it stands to reason that a modern scientist could come close but end up deforming himself in such a way.

3rd The Lizards powers and origin are a good mirror of Spider-Man's nature as they are both animal based characters connected to nature but Lizards are predators to Spiders so in many ways it's a fight to the death.

In the end I think the film will do well I think Lizard is a better choice than I originally thought and I can't wait for the next movie.

#47 Posted by AWiederer (3 posts) - - Show Bio

@MTHarman said:

@AWiederer said:

@RedheadedAtrocitus: @RedheadedAtrocitus said:

I think Lizard as the main enemy suits the purpose of this movie to be honest.

I've seen the movie yesterday...

I'm sorry,....but would it be wise to leave your "detailed" insight to yourself and not post it on a site that consists probably over 90% of people who has never seen the movie?

I would'nt consider the few things I said "detailed" at all. I avoided all possible spoilers. In my opinion I just confirmed a few of the obvious things one could expect after the trailer and stories here or anywhere else.

#48 Posted by Wolverine0628 (398 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Kraven would look very cheesy on the big screen unless he was portrayed in a certain, savage way. 
I actually like that they're using the Lizard.  But honestly, I think Green Goblin is the best Spidey villain, and since it's a reboot, why can't they just use him again?
#49 Posted by G-Man (30676 posts) - - Show Bio

@GR2Blackout said:

Also, about saying this films gonna have a dark and brooding Peter, wrong, haven't you seen the trailer? He sneezes webs into a guys junk!

I never said this movie would be dark and brooding or have no humor. What I said is with the Lizard, going a dark route like in SHED, where he terrorized and ATE his son, that'd be something different. THAT's what wouldn't be needed for a first movie reboot.

Also, to those that are in support of the Lizard, I'm saying he's not the best choice "as the villain in this movie."

Staff
#50 Posted by AskaniSon295 (427 posts) - - Show Bio

If this is gonna be a franchise and gonna keep going than Lizard is a good start and if the people are creative and ingenuitive they can create 9 more movies collage/moviemaking is they way of the future if someone did somethin from the past great use it o make your version awesome no one cares where you get you content from as long as the movie is awesome. That's why Avengers is #1.

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