The Savaging Part One - Final Sanction
Credits: Terry Kavanagh (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Stephen Baskerville (inker), Steve Dutro (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist)
The Plot: The Lizard goes on an interstate murder spree on his way to the Everglades. The government hires hi-tech bounty hunter Warrant to apprehend him. Dr. Ashley Kafka is consulted on the case, and in violation of her orders, leaks news of the Lizard’s release to the press. At the home of the Lizard’s family, Spider-Man discovers Warrant destroying their home during a brutal interrogation. Spider-Man tries to stop him, but Warrant escapes with Billy Connors.
The Subplots: Jonah Jameson is still angry with Robbie Robertson for investigating his wife without permission. Betty Brant, carrying a morgue file on Need Leeds, interrupts their meeting. Meanwhile, MJ is tempted by a pack of cigarettes she finds in an old jacket.
Web of Continuity: Young Billy Connors wants to go by “William” from now on. I don’t think any future writers ever pick up on this. Dr. Ashley Kafka is the director of
Arkham Asylum Ravencroft, which debuted a few years earlier in Spectacular Spider-Man.
*See _________ For Details: MJ quit smoking in Amazing #385, and was targeted by a deranged Secret Hospital fan in Amazing #386.
I Love the ‘90s: Leslie Kafka uses the “latest in portable fax technology” to spread word of the Lizard’s escape.
Much of the rest of the story is a retread of the early chapters of “Torment,” as we’re treated to a lengthy embellishment of the Lizard’s killing spree that can’t match the mood set in the original storyline (which is far from a classic anyway). Making this more absurd is the straight-faced defense of the Lizard given by Dr. Kafka, which is intercut with images of the Lizard brutally murdering innocent people. If these scenes were supposed to make Kafka look like an idealistic idiot, they’re successful in accomplishing that much, but I’m under the impression that Kavanagh honestly wants us to be sympathetic to the doctor. Sorry, but only J. M. DeMatteis can pull that trick off. She still says and does moronic things in his stories, but somehow DeMatteis makes her point of view seem less absurd.