The creation of what would come to be known as the "cross-species virus" occurred entirely by accident, and with the noblest intentions.

Filling the role of professional confidant to Curt Connors since the abrupt departure of Richard Parker, Oscorp geneticist Edward Whelan kept a watchful eye on his colleague’s cross-species research. Whelan’s initial wonder and amazement gradually matured to doubt and even fear, as he pondered the possible horrific potential of Connors’ discoveries.

Soon enough, Whelan’s fears came to life in the form of the Lizard – and Whelan took it upon himself to find a cure to save his friend. Sequestered in his office for days, Whelan didn’t sleep for more than ninety hours, choosing not to rest until he had produced what he believed to be an antidote (which itself included the DNA of the only human around – himself). Wanting to know for sure that the antidote was safe to organic beings, Whelan injected it into a lab rat – then collapsed in his office out of sheer exhaustion. Sadly, pure mental fatigue caused Whelan’s calculations and measurements to be off – way off.

As Whelan slept the deepest sleep of his life, the injected lab rat began to grow in size. Within an hour, it was the size of a human, even adopting a newly instinctive bipedal mode of locomotion. And it was hungry. Nearby, the humanoid rat took a bite out of the closest food available – Edward Whelan.

“OWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!” screamed Whelan, now very much awake and in great pain. “You Vermin!” The ruckus summoned Oscorp security, who subdued the beast and quarantined it.

It was in the hospital, as his body began to change, that Whelan realized his greatest error. Fur surfaced from his pours. Claws emerged from his fingers. He was becoming a rat-like monstrosity himself. As his brain faded to mush, shortly before his instincts led him to a new home in the sewers, he recognized his mistake: “I didn’t create an antidote... I created a virus...”


With Connors committed to an insane asylum for his actions as the Lizard, Alistaire Smythe took over his spot at Oscorp and immediately set out to destroy the remaining cross-species experiments and all evidence of them. However, when Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker snuck in after hours to investigate, several cross-species mutations escaped into the city, where they began spreading their virus, which turned those infected into mindless creatures.

Spider-Man soon came to break Connors out of the asylum, knowing he was the only one who could develop a cure. Connors agreed to work on a cure, on the condition that he be taken back to the asylum after all was said and done. Peter delivered him to his current apartment, where Connors quickly began working on a cure.

Connors sent Peter after a giant rat cross-species for a DNA sample, which he used to study.

Connors' first attempt at a cure went horribly wrong, and ended up crippling Alistaire Smythe and driving him to insanity. Alistaire had sent a very large, snake-like S-Bot after Spider-Man as revenge, and after a very long, brutal battle, Spider-Man emerged victorious, but severely wounded. Peter returned to the apartment, concerned that the Lizard persona may be taking over Connors, and went into a rage, before passing out from his wounds. Connors soon realized that Peter, despite multiple contacts with the cross-species creatures, was never infected, and therefore, a small sample of his blood was all that was needed to perfect the cure.

The new, perfected cure was used to cure multiple scientists, including Gwen Stacy. Alistaire Smythe, however, refused to take the cure, claiming his nanobot cure would be what would save New York. In actuality, Smythe's nanobot cure was a poison, which would slowly and painfully kill it's host.

Smythe, at some point, realized Peter Parker's identity as Spider-Man, and used this knowledge to kidnap Connors, while also sending a newly developed "Spider-Slayer" after Parker. The Spider-Slayer was defeated, and Peter went to save Connors. Peter successfully saved Connors from Smythe, but ended up being captured himself.

Connors ended up back in his makeshift lab in the sewers, in hiding as New York had been consumed by the outbreak and was now in total chaos. Peter eventually made his way to the lab, revealing that, while captured, Smythe had injected him with the nanobot virus, which stripped him of his powers and was slowly killing him. Realizing there was no other way, Connors was forced to become The Lizard once more, in a vain attempt to save the city.

While fighting Smythe head-on, a still powerless Spider-Man arrived. A small, electrical S-Bot attacked Peter, and the electricity destroyed the nanobots in him, quickly restoring his powers. Connors helped Peter defeat Smythe once and for all, before finally succumbing to the reptilian side once more, escaping into the sewers and making his way back to the lab. Peter gave chase, and eventually came to Gwen, who had rewired an S-Bot to recognize Peter as an ally. Peter used this S-Bot to track The Lizard through the sewers, now armed with the cure. The Lizard attacked, destroying the S-Bot and causing the cure to be lost in the rubble. Peter repeatedly webbed The Lizard to a wall in an attempt to search the rubble for the cure.

Once he had finally found it, The Lizard made another attempt to escape. Peter came to a dead end, before The Lizard appeared through metal bars and dragged him into another room. After a lengthy battle, Peter subdued The Lizard and gave Connors the cure, subsequently using said cure to end the outbreak.[1]

Some time later, Black Cat underwent surgery with the virus to acquire cat-based mutations. Unlike most, she remained stable, much like Peter.[2]

See Also

Links and References


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