The Lizard Profile

All you need to know about this scaly supervillain

spider man the lizard shed
Marvel Comics

Curt Connors was born on the East Coast in Florida, in the city of Coral Gables. After a relatively uneventful childhood, he went to medical school, coming out with his doctorate with a specialization in surgery just in time to enlist in the army. Working as a battlefield surgeon, Dr. Connors was injured during a mortar attack. The wounds to his right arm were so severe that it had to be amputated, putting an end to his nascent surgery career and having him sent home from the front line.

Harnessing the DNA of Reptiles

Returning to his new home in the Floridian Everglades, Connors settled down with wife Martha and the two soon had a son named Billy. Changing his focus from practicing to researching medicine, Connors began to experiment with the idea of harnessing the DNA of reptiles. His theory was that the properties of reptilian genetics which allows lizards and the like to regrow limbs – tails, arms, legs – could somehow be applied to human beings, allowing those who have suffered amputations such as his own to regain their missing appendages.

Dr. Connors managed to synthesize a serum based on his theory, initially testing it on a rabbit – and it worked! The bunny grew back a missing limb. Excited by the success, and ignoring his wife's protestations, Connors imbibed the serum himself. Which did indeed grow back his missing ​arm. Unfortunately, the experimental medicine had some rather severe side-effects...

He later moved to New York City with his wife and son. He teamed up with Spider-Man on numerous occasions, providing an antidote to a mysterious disease Aunt May suffered from and saving her life. He also produced a formula that dissolved The Rhino's previously-impenetrable hide, aided Spider-Man, Ka-Zar, and the Black Panther against reptilian megalomaniac Stegron, and got involved in that nasty Clone Saga business.

Connors is not only a gifted medic but also a noted research scientist in the fields of genetics, physics, biochemistry, and herpetology. That last one is the study of reptilian creatures, in case that wasn't obvious...

The Lizard

As well as giving him the ability to grow back limbs, the lizard DNA also turned Connors into a scaly, violent reptilian creature, complete with tails and talons. Imaginatively nick-named “The Lizard” in tabloid reports of the terrifying creature sighted in Florida's sewers, he first met Spider-Man when Peter Parker was sent out to the East Coast to report for The Daily Bugle. He managed to trick Connors into drinking an antidote to the serum, putting a halt to plans to create a lizard army to take over the United States, and removing Connor's arm once again in the process.

The Lizard originally used to rear his head every once in a while as a result of the lingering effects of the serum in Connors's bloodstream, causing the poor doctor to transform into his reptilian supervillain self during moments of extreme stress. His strained relationship with Martha and Billy was often a cause of such stress – which ended when it was discovered that his nearest and dearest were dying of radiation poisoning, thanks to Curt's experiments. Despite claiming to despise all of humanity, The Lizard never harmed Connor's family.

At least until things took a darker turn later when, during one of his jaunts as the Lizard, Connors killed and ate his son. It allowed The Lizard to take control of his mind permanently, retaining Curt's prodigious intelligence whilst also being an amoral, violent and generally terrifying bad guy. He started going by the name Shed, and Spidey has yet to defeat him for an extended period – only really long enough to have the new monster disappear back into the sewers, in order to start another lair into which he can kidnap humans (whom he calls pets) and experiment on them.

Strength, Stamina, and Reflexes That Rival Spider-Man

As The Lizard, Connors doesn't only gain his right arm. His strength, speed, stamina, and reflexes are boosted to a superhuman level, rivaling that even of Spider-Man. His reptilian skin makes him nearly bulletproof, with the regenerative DNA meaning that he can regrow nearly any limb and recover from most injuries. He has the ability to climb walls like a gecko. One of the few physical weaknesses The Lizard has is his being cold-blooded, meaning he can be placed into stasis when exposed to suitably freezing conditions.

Along with the Connors intelligence, The Lizard plans to take over the world and replace the human population with half-reptile super-beings by taking advantage of his low-level telepathy. Combined with some powerful pheromones he can secrete at will, The Lizard is able to communicate with and control any reptilian beings in the surrounding area, which he has often used in his battles against various superheroes (he's clashed with Spidey along with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men).