By these issues, Peter was becoming so "hip" that the series seemed more like Archie at times:
Of course, based on what we know now, Rock would rather have been dating Peter.
And then again the comic would suddenly turn topical:
Perhaps an early omen of the "relevant" comics of the later 1960s?
But fortunately, Stan didn't let the soap opera aspects of his comics reduce the number of punches thrown between Spidey and his enemies.
ASM #43 features the return of the Rhino, once again after JJJ's son (apparently unaware that Spiderman has killed the space spores that made him valuable). But Spidey manages to destroy his hard skin with a special type of webbing that Dr Curt Connors (aka the Lizard) has helped devise.
In the next issue Peter is at Grand Central when he spots Dr Connors, who looks troubled. Sure, enough, the doc dashes off as he feels the transformation back into the Lizard coming on. Once again his dreams of conquering the world with lizards like him resumes.
Spidey's left arm is hurt in his first battle with the Lizard, and it's put in a sling. This causes him continuing trouble for the next few issues; just another example of throwing rocks at the hero.
Spiderman has a climactic battle in the railroad yards with the Lizard. In a moment of inspiration, he angers the reptile, who follows him into a refrigerated car. The cold-blooded creature soon is powerless, and Spiderman is able to take him back to New York and give him an antidote.
But it's on the personal side that some of the most interesting stuff happens. As noted above, Flash Thompson is drafted into the army, a jarring reminder of how old these comics are, since nobody's been drafted since 1972. Betty Brant and Ned Leeds get engaged. And Peter's budding interest in Gwen Stacy is thrown for a loop by the arrival of Mary Jane. Harry Osborn goes out of his way to be more friendly to Peter, setting the stage for the next big change in Peter's life.