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Night Of The Lizard
Review and Media By Stu

Episode #1 - Night Of The Lizard
Original Airdate November 19, 1994

Peter helps Dr. Curt Conners with his experiments in cell regeneration in an attempt to help Conners re-grow his lost arm. The experiment turned Conners into a half man, half reptilian monster known as The Lizard! The Lizard plans to turn all of New York into creators like him, starting with his wife! Can Spider-Man stop his teacher and save the city?

Written By: Gerry Conway, Stan Berkowitz, John Semper
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahchi
Animation Services By: Toyko Movie Shinsha (TMS)
Starring: Christopher Daniel Barnes as Spider-Man/ Peter Parker, Ed Asner as J. Jonah Jameson, Linda Gary as Aunt May, Rodney Saulsberry as Robbie Robertson, Liz Georges as Debra Whitman, Hank Azaria as Eddie Brock, Joesph Campanella as Dr. Curt Conners/The Lizard, Giselle Achecar as Margaret Conners, Toby Ganger as Billy Conners
Based on The Amazing Spider-Man #6

Review: Pilot episodes are often the most difficult episodes to produce, as there is a helluva lot of work to do. The characters and the world in which the characters live in must be introduced,and it has to be entertain it's audience. No mean feat in a mere 22 minutes. In most fans eyes, it makes or breaks a series, as very few cartoons get better as they go along. So, having said that, you are unlikely to find a better pilot than this.

It introduced us to our hero, his supporting characters like Dr. Conners and Debra Whitman ("the little sister I never had, or wanted"), and parts of his life, such as the Bugle, and his relationship with all the cast at work. His dislike of Eddie Brock, his friendship with Robbie, and his irate boss J. Jonah Jameson. Thankfully, and the animation was spectacular, easily the best this series, or any of the other Marvel shows did. It made thier first appearance one of the best looking which is always good to see.

The storyboarding team did themselves proud in this episode. I also thought the music was up to a much better standard. If the production values had kept up to this quality, this show would possibly be remembered in a Batman: The Animated Series light. It appears the production was much higher on the pilot when compared to all the other episodes. It had a darker feel to it, and it hides the restraints better, as even though Spider-Man wasn't allowed to punch, you never really got the feeling that anything was lacking.

The plot wasn't anything totally original, as most pilots aren't. It's an adaptation of the origin of the villain, The Lizard. It has the perfect Peter Parker complications to it, as Peter unknowingly helped turn his teacher into the creature. The villain had motive and a lot of character despite there being a lot to introduce in such little time, mainly because of his wife being dragged into it.

Many consider this episode the highlight of the entire series, I'm not one of them, but it's the first step that got me into Spider-Man, we all know what happened next.

Put in fewer words, it's the best introduction to the Amazing Spider-Man you could animate. It's a shame that when season 2 came along, so did awful coloring, very bad editing, and mediocre animation.