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  1. #1
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    Default The Lizard in "SHED" (Spoilers)

    So I recently re-read The Gauntlet and specifically "Shed" (the concluding Lizard arc). While I had good memories of the story at the time, I definitely see why it was controversial and why Billy's death was kind-of/sort-of reversed. I understand that they may have been trying to do something different with the Lizard, but for me even understanding it wasn't actually Connors killing his son, it more or less made the character irredeemable, which is somewhat counter to the point of the Lizard to begin with.

    What were/are everyone's thoughts on the story?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    What were/are everyone's thoughts on the story?
    Typical BND Grim Dark trash.

    Nick Spencer's run is very much a case of someone turning a sow's ear into a silk purse and working with that story and to get Connors to a usable place and really interesting in a way he hasn't been for a long time. But eventually, Spencer does have to address SHED and so far he has sorted of skirted it, and approached it at the side, certainly in HUNTED, but not fully done so. Eventually I expect he'll do something with Connors.

    It's similar to how JMS salvaged Aunt May after the hatchet job and damage that Byrne and others maliciously did to the character, to Peter, and overall setting in the Post-Clone Saga era. JMS' salvage job (the last time Aunt May was really a character in a real sense) in no way justified Byrne's resurrection of May in the worst possible manner and in a version far inferior and inaccurate to the Silver Age character...Spencer's salvage job likewise will not justify Shed.

  3. #3
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Typical BND Grim Dark trash.

    Nick Spencer's run is very much a case of someone turning a sow's ear into a silk purse and working with that story and to get Connors to a usable place and really interesting in a way he hasn't been for a long time. But eventually, Spencer does have to address SHED and so far he has sorted of skirted it, and approached it at the side, certainly in HUNTED, but not fully done so. Eventually I expect he'll do something with Connors.

    It's similar to how JMS salvaged Aunt May after the hatchet job and damage that Byrne and others maliciously did to the character, to Peter, and overall setting in the Post-Clone Saga era. JMS' salvage job (the last time Aunt May was really a character in a real sense) in no way justified Byrne's resurrection of May in the worst possible manner and in a version far inferior and inaccurate to the Silver Age character...Spencer's salvage job likewise will not justify Shed.
    Well, I really enjoyed Gauntlet (with the exception of the new Vulture and now Shed in retrospect). I thought it was one of the better Spider-Man stories to come out post-OMD/pre-Slott.

    But yeah, Shed definitely was dark for the sake of being dark, and all but made Lizard unusable.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    But yeah, Shed definitely was dark for the sake of being dark, and all but made Lizard unusable.
    A story of a guy who murders his own family (a domestic horror that does happen with a lot of frequency) has no place in Spider-Man which as a rule operates under a certain level of darkness and not more. Spider-Man's stories don't deal with rape, child abuse, human trafficking and other real life crimes because the minute you have Peter confront that, his whole "parker luck" thing (which is overdone and tripe anyway) comes off as ridiculously selfish and borderline sociopathic. I mean how can Peter see himself as the most unlucky person if you have confront the really oppressed and suffering.

    I mean even leaving aside that, how can you have Peter whine about "Ol' Parker Luck" when he has interacted with and known the Connors family personally and socially. He comes off as a sociopath after being confronted with real tragedy and then a few issues later whine about how his clumsiness ruined his day. So it's very much a story that compromises a lot of elements in Spider-Man, and not just Connors and so on. If there were actually good editors in charge at the time, you might have stuff like this pointed out.

    Spencer in his run has found a way to address this and making Curt Connors somewhat Walter White-ish, which is a good direction to take.

  5. #5
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    chris bachalo lizard /thread
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  6. #6
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    There aren’t many places you can take Jekyll-Hyde characters without just making them normal. Honestly, that was the flaw of Lizard to begin with.

    He’s overstayed his welcome.

  7. #7
    Fantastic Member tbaron's Avatar
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    There was only so much you could do with a character like The Lizard any way. I mean how many stories can you do where Spiderman doesnt want to go for force against him because he is really not responsible for his actions? How long can you play the sympathy card? That was the problem for me with the early Green Goblin stories. Peter going on and on about how he couldnt hurt his best friends father when he doesnt even know what he is doing.
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  8. #8
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbaron View Post
    There was only so much you could do with a character like The Lizard any way. I mean how many stories can you do where Spiderman doesnt want to go for force against him because he is really not responsible for his actions? How long can you play the sympathy card? That was the problem for me with the early Green Goblin stories. Peter going on and on about how he couldnt hurt his best friends father when he doesnt even know what he is doing.
    The easiest answer to this would be for the writer not to use the character for a while. There was nothing wrong with Green Goblin or Lizard, or their dynamics. And there are parameters that you can play with inside their established origins that can be reset once the writer leaves. But there's really no resetting murdering your son.

    Or, they could have retired Norman and Curt for a while, and had other characters take their place who were less sympathetic (i.e. Hobgoblin).

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbaron View Post
    There was only so much you could do with a character like The Lizard any way. I mean how many stories can you do where Spiderman doesnt want to go for force against him because he is really not responsible for his actions? How long can you play the sympathy card?
    Or you could do what Nick Spencer has done in his run, where Connors fate is now partly shared by his family, and he's attaining a measure of acceptance of his condition while also some bit of guilt and regret, and control, that in no way undoes the tragedy of his situation, his own responsibility/culpability, and potential for future malfeasance.

    Good writers can work inside a premise and do good stuff. The fact that writers before or during BND couldn't think of anything except tuning up the gore and violence, and nastiness, is their fault, not with the premise.

    That was the problem for me with the early Green Goblin stories. Peter going on and on about how he couldnt hurt his best friends father when he doesnt even know what he is doing.
    Norman Osborn being sympathetic was something that Lee-Romita introduced. The Norman in the Ditko stories was a total asshole and the modern Norman post-resurrection is in fact closer to Ditko's original conception than Lee-Romita's rewrite. And even then Norman was made sympathetic by means of having a degree of amnesia.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    There was nothing wrong with Green Goblin or Lizard, or their dynamics. And there are parameters that you can play with inside their established origins that can be reset once the writer leaves. But there's really no resetting murdering your son.
    Agreed.

    Or, they could have retired Norman and Curt for a while, and had other characters take their place who were less sympathetic (i.e. Hobgoblin).
    Huh...Norman Osborn and Green Goblin were pretty unsympathetic in the Ditko run.

  10. #10
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Huh...Norman Osborn and Green Goblin were pretty unsympathetic in the Ditko run.
    Well, to the point that he was Peter's best friend's father and wasn't in control of being the Green Goblin.

    I understand Normal has always been less-than redeemable.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Inversed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    Well, I really enjoyed Gauntlet (with the exception of the new Vulture and now Shed in retrospect). I thought it was one of the better Spider-Man stories to come out post-OMD/pre-Slott.

    But yeah, Shed definitely was dark for the sake of being dark, and all but made Lizard unusable.
    The Gauntlet had alot of good going for it. Power To The People was a really interesting Electro story, Keemia's Castle was surprisingly tragic, The Rhino two parter was INCREDIBLY tragic and excellent, Mysterioso was a fun time. Scavenging and the Juggernaut were just kind of okay to me, and while I don't dislike Shed like alot of others, I can see how it goes way too far in one direction (though at least it got some sweet Bachalo art).

    Honestly the thing I don't like the most from the Gauntlet was anytime they cut back to the Kravinoffs, just because I found them such uninteresting "master manipulator" bad guys, kept hoping for them to leave anytime they showed up.
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  12. #12
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I don't think it's any surprise they've been trying to walk away from this storyline as much as they have been.

  13. #13
    Y'know. Pav's Avatar
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    I liked it. I never found the Lizard as interesting as I have since Brand New Day.

    Sure, it's dark. But *shrugs*

    -Pav, who likes the Lizard Clone Family too...
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pav View Post
    I liked it. I never found the Lizard as interesting as I have since Brand New Day.

    Sure, it's dark. But *shrugs*

    -Pav, who likes the Lizard Clone Family too...

    Everyone has an opinion. Nothing to be ashamed about.

  15. #15

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    I think it's excellent.

    This story’s been very divisive, with some seeing it as a character assassination with poor regard for continuity, and developments that should never be seen in Amazing Spider-Man, and others viewing it as a highlight of the series. It’s on my list of great stories, so you know where I stand. This occurred during the Gauntlet arc in which relatives of Kraven the Hunter have kidnapped Madame Web, and used her visions of the future to make typical encounters between Spider-Man and his enemies significantly worse. They make sure that Connors’ latest relapse as the Lizard takes a different turn, one that devastates Spider-Man and transforms the Lizard into something else, a creature that has shed Connors and wants all the humans to give in to their basest impulses, and release the cold blooded animal inside.

    The A-plot of the Lizard doing something terrible and releasing people’s inner nastiness meshed with the B-plot of Peter trying to find someone to talk to, who could help him with his burdens at a difficult time, which was problematic since he had a painful realization about his relationship with the Black Cat, and Aunt May had been turned into a darker version of herself by Mister Negative. This was a story that was clearly about something, and tackled questions of the nature of humanity well. Shed shows a villain reaching the point of no return in a way that is pretty rare, and raises some tough questions about how someone should respond to a catastrophe, kicking off a character arc that has been one of the most satisfying parts of major Spider-Man event storylines like Clone Conspiracy and Hunted.

    Perhaps one reason I’m okay with the feral depiction of the Lizard is that it harkens back to the story that exposed me to the character: Todd McFarlane’s Torment. Chris Bachalo’s art is a bit controversial, but it’s easy to follow here, and a good fit for the weirdness of the story.

    Wells captured little details nicely, like Spider-Man admitting to himself that there was no way he could have been fast enough to prevent a tragedy, a doomed recurring character revealing that he knew the story would end this way, and the death of a mind.

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