Another birthday present my folks picked up were a couple late 90's issues of Spider-Man The Manga, originally published from 1970-1971. Marvel had licenced it's popular character properties out to Japanese companies, in this case Monthly Shōnen Magazine, which then reimagined the webslinger's origins. In Spider-Man: The Manga, Yu Komori is the teenage science student bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker, becoming Tokyo's greatest hero! I found the simplicity of these stories and the drawings very charming, and their melodramatic narrative of the shy, conflicted Yu Komori romantic. While I realize a lot of you readers may dismiss the value of these, particularly Ryoichi Ikegami's drawings. But I'd suggest an adjustment of your expectations upon viewing these works created by an artist from a different culture and decade. And remember art appreciation: you wouldn't expect Shel Silverstein to draw in the same way as John Romita.
Listening from a high window in the crocodile house, Spider-Man is shocked to hear Doctor Inumaru's story of murderous deception: Araki's father had attempted to murder him on a herbal expedition in the South Pacific for a Japanese pharmaceutical association. Having pushed Dr. Inumaru off a cliff in order to claim the rewards of the field research for himself, Araki's father left him in a terrible place, surrounded by gigantic lizards! He survived their attacks, but in his singular will for survival, Dr. Inumaru's body took on a "Darwinian change" as he continuously imitated the lizards movements. Now when he becomes stressed, a complete transformation occurs, as an urge to slaughter as they did fills his mind!
"But don't forget... you're the monster wearing human skin!" Dr. Inumaru reminds the scientist, throwing the bound Araki to the thrashing crocodiles!
...and with that, Dr. Inumaru transforms into the Lizard right before their eyes!
Spider-Man tries to reason with him, "Doctor! It's me, Komori!", but the monster is on a mindless rampage, not recognizing his former young acquaintance. Fearing for his life, the young hero knocks the Lizard into the crocodile pool with a mighty punch, clinging to the rails with his feet!
Realizing the Lizard has returned to his human form, Yu covers his face in horror & regret, realizing Dr. Inumaru has met his gruesome fate!
More Later-Make It FUN!