Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham #1 Does Whatever a Spider-Ham Does

Preview pic for Spectacular Spider-Ham #1

Peter Porker’s life reboots — well kinda — in Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1, the new series thattakes place after the Web Warriors crossover event.

Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1

Arthur Adams and Edgar Delgado (Cover); Erick Arciniega (Colors); Joe Caramanga (letters); Wendell Dalit (Cover); Inhyuk Lee (cover); Will Robson (artist): Will Robson and Edgar Delgado (Cover); Zeb Wells (writer)
Marvel Comics
December 25, 2019

Cover art for Peter Porker: The Spectacular Spider-Ham #1 C 2019 Marvel Comics

When you open an issue of The Spectacular Spider-Ham, you expect one thing from the issue — a fun tweaking of the Spider-Man mythos. But this isn’t your mama’s Spider-Ham.

To start with, we’re given an abbreviated version of Peter Poker’s backstory — in which May Porker is a super-genius scientist, and it’s her attempt at inventing a hair dryer that results in the creation of Spider-Ham — all of which is delivered in hilarious, beautiful, pop-art panels. Peter was once a humanoid, eight-legged spider… man…before she bit him, but somehow he has pig-shaped relatives.

That’s the key to enjoying any run of Spectacular Spider-Ham. Don’t ask questions, just let the laughs pile up.

This flashback, taken from The Spectacular Spider-Ham #15, contrasts in a fun way with the warm, fuzzy, sweet, almost Muppet-like art style employed by Will Robson. His fuzzy creatures have real depth and dimension, even as their egos and foibles leave them floundering. Another highlight: Pete’s boss at the Daily Beak, J. Jonah Jackal, who also less than pleased when Peter shows up with pictures of Peter Parker as an exclusive (Jackal calls the human Parker “a ghoulish caricature” in the book’s best joke).

When we rejoin Peter in this issue, it’s on the battlefield. As he reminisces to his Sca-Vengers compatriots about his adventures in the multiverse in Web Warriors (yep, that’s canon for this series!), a simple battle against evil saving New Yolk just isn’t cutting it anymore for his now cosmopolitan taste. He saved the world, after all, all by himself! No, really! If you’re more familiar with Spider-Ham from his appearance in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse you may be a little surprised by his cold selfishness here. Indeed, his arrogance and thoughtlessness causes his colleagues to loathe him, and isn’t winning him any favors on the homefront with his Aunt Ham either.

Yes, Peter craves exciting, world-spanning adventures, and he gets one when a disturbance happens outside the Daily Beak. Little does Peter know, this hints that the dimensional leak between worlds has not been sealed. When the Sca-Vengers choose to send Iron Mouse through space and time to track down these villains, Peter can’t stand the notion of being bested – and chaos promptly ensues.

While the Sca-Vengers don’t get a ton of development in this new series, they do have a few fun moments. Particularly great is their version of Stephen Strange, who…well, I’ll leave that to the reader to discover, as I will the twist ending, which is delightfully ludicrous.

The artwork alone makes TSSH worth reading, but the writing enhances its charm. While it probably won’t be overly accessible to newbies thanks to its ties to Web Warriors, Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham #1 still a fun ride.