Some years before he lost his right arm from the elbow down, though he would never explain why, it is presumed that he was involved in an accident that either directly caused the loss of his arm, or through infection, required its amputation. It was following this that he became obsessed with the idea of replicating the ability of certain reptiles to re-grow lost limbs within human, experimenting with Reptilian DNA to attain this goal.
It would not be until the development of the “Neogenic Recombinator” designed by himself and Dr Farley Stillwell that he would finally make progress, successfully giving a small white mouse a new front leg using a combination of reptile DNA and the Neogenic Recombinator. Shortly after this success, he would decide to use himself as the next test subject, succeeding in reclaiming his lost right arm.
His joy at his success would be short-lived, however as his experiment would harbour a serious side-effect. Within hours, he had substantially mutated into a humanoid lizard and fled his home to the sewers of New York where his mutation would complete. On top of the physical change, there had been a mental one as well, with his gaining an intense hatred for humanity in general and an equally strong desire to replace them with lizards, concocting a scheme to use the Recombinator along with the Power Grid to make all the humans residing in New York like himself.
Shortly after stealing the Genetic Recombinator from ESU, he would kidnap his wife, Martha, needing her to operate the device for him (his hands being unable to work the controls on account of their size). While Martha was busy attempting to talk him out of his mad scheme, Spider-Man would intervene, driving Curt into a rage that resulted in him operating purely on instinct. Following a fierce battle, Spider-Man would eventually succeed in activating the Recombinator at a setting that would cause a reversal of the transformation that Dr Connors had subjected himself to, leaving him human again.
Following this, Dr Connors (as thanks for his help) would aid Spider-Man on a number of occasions, of particular note being when Spider-Man bonded with the Alien Symbiote and when Spider-Man’s own mutated DNA was causing him to slowly turn into a humanoid Man-Spider.Despite this, the effects on his DNA from his experiment never completely faded and if subjected to elevated stress for a period of time, would become The Lizard again. This first occurred following an attack on his home (with himself, Martha, and Spider-Man present) by Alistair Smythe operating a mechanical Spider-Slayer. This would prevent Smythe from obtaining the Tablet of Time, forcing him to kidnap Martha to use as a bargaining tool. Within the sewers of New York, Spider-Man fought The Lizard again (noting how this persona was far more savage than in their previous fight) before he was electrocuted to unconsciousness by the electrified third rail of the Subway they were in at the time.
Back at ESU, Spider-Man used the Recombinator to turn him back into Dr Connors, just before Tombstone (working for Silvio “Silvermane” Manfredi) burst in and took Dr Connors (Silvermane already possessing the stolen Tablet of Time) to have him decipher it to determine how to use it to make himself a young man again. After he succeeded, the stress of being imprisoned and Silvermane’s rush to use it would cause another transformation that gave him the raw strength to break out and fight the younger (and stronger) Silvermane before the latter regressed further into a baby. Finally being struck by the powers of the Tablet of Time when Alicia Silvermane ordered it to be raised to full power to destroy it and everyone inside to try and kill Spider-Man.
Shortly after, Adriane Toomes would provide Grant Money to allow his research to continue (essential for Spider-Man who needed the Recombinator to keep his unstable DNA n check) and later call on his direct support after Toomes used his technology (based off the Tablet of Time) to steal Spider-Man’s youth, and the unstable element of his DNA that prevented him from changing back into an old man. Dr Connors doubled-crossed him when he only gave Spider-Man his youth back and kept his unstable mutagenic portion of his DNA in Toomes. Despite becoming The Lizard again, and the destruction of the Lab, it was victory enough for Dr Connors at having finally removed Spider-Man’s mutation “disease” from him, even though he still had his own in him.At some point, his continuing experiments to try and eliminate The Lizard from him completely frustrated him, and in a moment of carelessness, he flushed the Serum down a sink that led to the sewers, where a number of small lizards living there would become exposed to, and drink it, becoming humanoid lizards themselves. Some time would pass before some of them would actively search for him, believing Dr Connors to be their “father”, and their creation being an intentional act. Three of them, Gila, Monitor, and Gecko would eventually find him as he used a small portable variant of the Recombinator to stop his latest transformation that would see them realise that he was the one they’d been searching for. The following night, they would sneak into ESU, and take him with them into the sewers where they, and hundreds like them had made themselves a home, expecting him to be their leader, on account of being their “father”.
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