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Amazing Spider-Man #45: Review

Feb 1967
Stan Lee, John Romita

Story Name:

Spidey Smashes Out!

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #45 Review by (March 28, 2024)

Review: Here we have the snazzy conclusion to last issue, in which Spidey tackles the Lizard once more, this time with an injured arm. This issue firmly establishes that the Lizard doesn’t realize that he is Curt Connors, as he goes looking for Connors after not being able to understand his notes. This is also something that is fairly inconsistent, as sometimes he is still a genius in Lizard form, sometimes he is a mindless monster, and sometimes he’s something in between, such as this story. I’ve always thought that Lizard stories come naturally packed with some nice drama, as Spidey tries to not only stop the bad guy, but also reunite the innocent man the Lizard actually is with his family. Spidey defeating the Lizard by tricking him into the refrigerator car of the train is a cool, creative victory that always stuck with me, once more triumphing due to his science knowledge.

We also have Foswell continuing to be understandably suspicious of Peter and Harry offering Peter the chance to work with his father. There’s also a unique panel in which the word balloons are intentionally left blank when Spidey is saying farewell to the reunited Connors family, so that readers can fill in the dialogue themselves. It’s an odd bit that I’ve rarely, if ever, seen elsewhere. Overall, this was a pretty cool resolution to the story set up last issue, with a particularly clever and memorable victory for Spidey. Though Spidey won the day, Peter continues to have tons of troubles, breaking dates and struggling with money, as the constant drama of Spider-Man continues!

Comments: This issue establishes the Lizard’s ability to mentally control reptiles. The Lizard is mistakenly called the Scorpion at one point. This issue contains a panel with purposely blank word balloons, so that readers may fill in their own dialogue for Spider-Man and the Connors’ parting.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #45 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

With the Lizard still on the loose, Spider-Man makes his way through the city, even with his wounded arm. While searching the city, he happens upon a truck being hijacked and easily takes care of the crooks, finding that his arm isn’t slowing him down, at least against regular crooks. Meanwhile, at her husband’s lab, Martha Connors is startled awake by the sound of something entering through the window. It turns out to be the Lizard himself, there to find the chemicals and notes he needs. The Lizard finds what he’s looking for, in order to create an army of lizards to conquer mankind, but finds he can’t understand the complex science behind them. He then sets out to find Connors, not realizing that they are one and the same. Martha comforts their son Billy, who had also been startled awake, as she ponders how to possibly contact Spider-Man.

The next day, at the Daily Bugle, Frederick Foswell plans to tail Peter, still suspicious about how Peter always gets such good Spider-Man photos. J. Jonah Jameson dashes those plans, however, as he sends Foswell to get a story on the Lizard, all the while annoyed at Betty Brant and Ned Leeds working on their wedding plans. Back with Peter, he makes his way to ESU and runs into Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn. After Flash gives Peter grief about his hurt arm, Peter gives the excuse that he hurt it on his cycle. After Peter admits to Harry that things have been kind of rough all over, especially money wise, Harry puts forth the idea of Peter working as an assistant for his father at his science lab, which Peter gratefully considers. Meanwhile, while on her vacation, Aunt May sees news of the dangers about New York but is confident that Peter will be responsible and stay away from such things.

Immediately proving her wrong, Spidey continues his search for the Lizard, looking all over before eventually checking in on the zoo. There, he sees a sign for their reptile exhibit making its way to Philadelphia. Spidey hurries over to the train yard where he indeed finds the Lizard. Spidey lays into the Lizard, trying to keep him off balance, while also finding it difficult to really hurt him, knowing there’s a good man underneath. The Lizard stuns Spidey and breaks open the train car, letting loose dozens of reptiles that he commands to attack Spider-Man. Cutting away to simpler things, Mary Jane Watson and her aunt, Anna Watson, take some soup over to Peter, finding him obviously not home, before MJ heads out.

Back with Spidey, he does his best to fend off the reptiles, whipping one of the crocodiles around to hit the others. Spidey then notices the Lizard jumping back aboard the train as it’s taking off, causing Spidey to follow. Spidey thinks of a way to stop the Lizard, as he taunts the Lizard in order to get him to angrily follow Spidey. Spidey lures the Lizard in to what turns out to be the refrigeration car for the train, locking them both in. Spidey continues the attack as the Lizard starts to get weaker and slower until he passes out. Spidey knew that lizards flourish in warm climates, causing the intense cold of the refrigeration car to negatively affect the Lizard. Spidey webs up the Lizard and swings him back to Connors’ lab, where he desperately works to make the Lizard cure once more, as Martha and Billy frantically wait outside. Finally, Spidey finishes, feeding the cure to the Lizard and turning him back into Curt Connors once more, reuniting the grateful Connors with his family. On his way home, Peter runs into Harry and Mary Jane, declining the lift they offer him, as he thinks of his mountains of issues that being Spider-Man has brought him. Conversely, the Connors family is quite happy and grateful, hoping to be able to repay Spider-Man, but assuming that he must have everything he could want.



John Romita
John Romita
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
John Romita (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson

(Mary Jane)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Anna Watson, Betty Brant, Billy Connors, Frederick Foswell (Big Man), Martha Connors, Ned Leeds.

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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