Spider-Ham

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Spider-Ham
Asm528variantspiderham.PNG
Variant cover art for Amazing Spider-Man #528, featuring Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham. Art by Mike Wieringo and Karl Kesel.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceMarvel Tails #1
(November 1983)
Created byTom DeFalco
Mark Armstrong
(based upon Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)
In-story information
Alter egoPeter Benjamin Porker
Abilities-Ability to cling to surfaces
-Enhanced strength, durability, agility
-Precognitive ability known as "Spider-Sense"
 
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Spider-Ham
Asm528variantspiderham.PNG
Variant cover art for Amazing Spider-Man #528, featuring Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham. Art by Mike Wieringo and Karl Kesel.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceMarvel Tails #1
(November 1983)
Created byTom DeFalco
Mark Armstrong
(based upon Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)
In-story information
Alter egoPeter Benjamin Porker
Abilities-Ability to cling to surfaces
-Enhanced strength, durability, agility
-Precognitive ability known as "Spider-Sense"

Spider-Ham (Peter Porker) is a fictional Marvel character, an anthropomorphic funny animal parody of Marvel Comics' Spider-Man, created by Tom DeFalco and Mark Armstrong.

He first appeared in the one-shot humor comic book Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1, which was then followed by an ongoing bi-monthly series, Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham. The series lasted 17 issues, all of which were published under Marvel's Star Comics imprint.[1]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Peter Porker was born a spider (simply named Peter). He resided in the basement lab of May Porker, a slightly goofy animal scientist who had created "the world's first atomic powered hairdryer," hoping that "the introduction of nuclear fusion into America's beauty salons" would "revolutionize the hair care industry". After dousing her head with water and activating the dryer, May Porker accidentally irradiated herself, and in a fit of delusion, bit Peter, who then found himself transformed into an anthropomorphic swine much like May Porker herself. Running from the Porker homestead disoriented, Peter soon came to realize that he still retained a spider's abilities:

"This is astounding! Am I a spider with the limitations of a pig? Or a pig with the proportionate strength and agility of a spider? I've become something greater than either spider or pig... I've become a Spider-Ham!" - Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15 (May 1987)

After this startling series of events, Peter (who adopted the surname "Porker", that of his benefactor May Porker, who after the accident mentally attuned to a state in which she believed she was Peter's loving aunt) dedicated himself and his new-found abilities to fighting injustice and the occasional animal parody of established Marvel Comics villains. May Porker's scientific genius was transferred to Peter, giving him the know-how to devise his webspinner gauntlets to replace his lost natural ability. This story contradicted a detail in "Salad Daze" (Spider-Ham #6) where Peter Porker, in a vigil at May Porker's hospital bed, thinks back to his pre-Spider-Ham years when he was just a young pig being raised by his loving aunt.

Misadventures[edit]

Porker, in his spider-themed alter-ego's first adventure teamed up with Captain Americat, as they attempted to foil the nefarious plot of "The Marauder", in a series of events that led to the creation of the Hulk-Bunny (Marvel Tails #1, "If He Should Punch Me").

Several months later, Spider-Ham encountered his main nemesis and one of his only re-occurring enemies in the form of Ducktor Doom, a duck parody of Doctor Doom (Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1, "The Mysterious Island of Ducktor Doom"). Spider-Ham would meet again with Doom when Porker would foil the would-be world conqueror's plot to create an army of living super vegetables (Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6, "Salad Daze").

Other notable menaces Porker would face along the way include The Bull-Frog (a parody of the Marvel villain Man-Bull), the Buzzard (an opossum take on the Spider-Man adversary The Vulture), Hogzilla (a swine counterpart to the more popular Godzilla), and The King-Pig (seemingly the swine equivalent of Marvel's mob-boss The Kingpin).

Three characters, not parallels to anybody in the Spider-Man series, also begin in #1: J.Jeremiah Jackal, Jr. (J.Jonah Jackal's nephew), Bunson Bunny and Upton Adam Stray (a cat with shades), all junior trainees at the Daily Beagle. They acquire super-powers in #15, encouraging Spider-Ham in his already made decision to abandon his super-hero career. But they totally fumble their first mission, forcing Peter Porker to resume his alterego as Spider-Ham. Further misadventures of the Beagle Brigadeers were in the back-up stories in Marvel Tales.

The series also included back up stories featuring such characters as Deerdevil (Daredevil), Goose Rider (Ghost Rider) and the Fantastic Fur (the Fantastic Four). Some of these back-ups were contradictory, presenting different anthropomorphic versions of characters in different stories, such as two Namor counterparts: the Sub-Merchandizer (a dog) and the Sub-Marsupial (possibly a wombat). (Note: the Asinine Torch (a donkey) that appeared in a story with the Sub-Marsupial and the Fantastic Fur's Simian Torch are not two variants of the Fantastic Four's Human Torch; since he was depicted as elderly in the 1980s, and referred to as an "old sparring partner" of the Sub-Marsupial's, he was obviously a counterpart to the golden age Human Torch.)

Marvel Zombies[edit]

When Spider-Ham accidentally travels to the Marvel Zombies universe, he is suddenly zombified by a group of zombies, namely Colonel America, Hulk, and Wolverine. It appears that he is directly shot in the head by an energy bullet by Earth 616's Ultron, effectively killing him but, in a zombie state, Spider-Ham turned into Ham-ibal Lecter.

Post-cancellation[edit]

After the cancellation of his solo series, Marvel Tales, a monthly reprint series which specialized in reprints of Spider-Man's past adventures began carrying Porker as a back-up feature in 1987, beginning with issue #201 (cover dated July 1987).

These adventures appeared sporadically, in issues #201-212, 214-219, 223-230, 233, 236, 237, 239, 240, and 247

Amongst other characters, the Marvel Tales stories introduced Frank Carple, the Punfisher (a parody of the Punisher).

Another notable appearance of the character was in the Marvel humor anthology title, What The--?! In issue #3 of that title (cover dated October 1988), Porker met with Raven the Hunter (a parody of Spider-Man's nemesis Kraven the Hunter) in a story that satirized the popular "Kraven's Last Hunt" storyline which had been featured a year earlier in Marvel's Spider-Man titles. Spider-Ham also makes appearances in issues #18, 20, 22, and 24 of What The--?!

Cover to Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham #12, by Joe Albelo.

Even Marvel's once-popular 2099 line of titles wasn't safe, as seen in the 26th issue of What The--?! (cover dated Fall 1993), which featured "Spider-Ham 15.88", a humorous take-off on Peter Parker's future counterpart, Miguel O'Hara a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099. The "15.88" is not seen as a year, but rather a humorous take on the price of a ham.

Spider-Ham has also appeared on the cover Wha...Huh? #1, and was referred to, as a fictional character in the Earth-616 Marvel Universe, in Generation X #52.

Spider-Man Family #1 (2005 one-shot) featured a sixteen-page Spider-Girl story, in which May Parker (Peter Parker's daughter) watches a DVD showing a small portion of a fictional Spider-Ham animated series, discovering that it was created by one of Spider-Man's enemies, Jack O'Lantern. Here, Spider-Ham appears to mostly be a parody of Batman. Also in the issue, there is a partial reprint of Marvel Tails #1.

Spider-Ham was selected by fans and retailers to be the focus of the final variant cover by Mike Wieringo to the Spider-Man: The Other crossover, Amazing Spider-Man #528. [1]

In January 2007, J. Michael Straczynski authored the Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham one-shot, featuring Spider-Ham's attempt to find his missing "thought balloons" against a Civil War parody. The story does not fit in with previously established Spider-Ham "continuity."

Tom Defalco returned to Spider-Ham's world in 2009, in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man Family #4-5. He even introduces Swiney-Girl the daughter of Spider-Ham, and counterpart of Defalco's other creation Spider-Girl. Once again, the story strays away from the established, albeit loose, continuity of the original Spider-Ham stories by altering the character's origin and supporting characters, most notably in establishing Peter Porker as a natural-born pig bitten by a radioactive spider (directly mirroring Spider-Man's origin) and altering his love interest (a counterpart of Mary Jane Watson) from a water buffalo to a crane.

He also has fought alongside the X-Babies in issue #4 (March 2010) of their 4 issues mini-series from 2009-2010.

To mark the anniversary of Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham #1, Marvel released the Spider-Ham 25th Anniversary Special in July 2010, with Tom Defalco writing both Spider-Ham and Swiney-Girl stories. These stories feature most of Spider-Ham's original cast and origin, but incorporates the Mary Crane Watsow character from Amazing Spider-Man Family rather than her original counterpart.

Other characters[edit]

Earth-8311 featured anthropomorphic parodies of a variety of other Marvel characters.

CharacterReal Marvel CharacterAnimalFirst Appearance
Spider-Ham / Peter PorkerSpider-ManSpider/PigMarvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Spider-Ham 15.88 / Piguel O'MalleySpider-Man 2099Spider/PigWhat The--?! #26
May PorkerAunt MayPigMarvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Mary Jane WaterbuffaloMary Jane WatsonWater BuffaloPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Mary Crane WatsowMary Jane WatsonCraneAmazing Spider-Man Family #4
J. Jonah Jackal/Black JackalJ. Jonah JamesonJackalMarvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Batty BrantBetty BrantBatPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Betty BranteaterBetty BrantAnteaterMarvel Tales #230
Flash TomcatFlash ThompsonCatPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Liz AlleycatLiz AllanCatPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Awful FlightAlpha FlightVariousPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Summersquash/Walrus Lamebrainski of Awful FlightSasquatchWalrusPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Snow-Youse of Awful FlightSnowbirdUnknownPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Hockeypuck of Awful FlightPuckBeaverPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Aroma of Awful FlightAuroraSkunkPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Deerdevil / Batt BurdockDaredevilDeerPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #7
Kay-Mar the Sub-MerchandizerNamor The Sub-MarinerDogPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #10
Sub-MarsupialNamor The Sub-Mariner (Golden Age)Marsupial (possibly a Wombat)Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #9
Asinine TorchHuman TorchDonkeyPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #9
Goose RiderGhost RiderGooseMarvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Ducktor DoomDoctor DoomDuckPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
BuzzardVultureOpossumPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #2
Bull-FrogMan-BullFrogPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #2
Doctor Octopussy CatDoctor OctopusCatPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #17
Hulk-Bunny / Dr. Bruce BunnyHulkRabbitMarvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Captain Americat / Steve MouserCaptain AmericaCatMarvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
King-PigKingpinPigPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #12
Bee-YonderBeyonderBeePeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #12
HogzillaGodzillaPig/LizardPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #8
Mechano-HogzillaMechagodzillaPigPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #8
HobgobblerHobgoblinTurkeyPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
PawKlawBearMarvel Tales #207
Black CatfishBlack CatCatfishMarvel Tales #207
Raven the HunterKraven the HunterRavenWhat The--?! #3
Crayfin the BunterKraven the HunterCrayfishSpider-Ham 25th Anniversary Special #1
Doc ClamsonDoc SamsonClamPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Croctor StrangeDoctor StrangeCrocodilePeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #4
MagsquitoMagnetoMosquitoPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #2
X-BugsX-MenVarious (insects)Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #2
Iron MouseIron ManMousePeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #3
NagnetoMagnetoHorsePeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #3
Thrr Dog of ThunderThorDogPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #5
Silver SquirrelSilver SurferSquirrelPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #8
The WatchdogUatu the WatcherDogPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #8
The WhoatcherUatu the WatcherOwlMarvel Tales #237
Croak and BadgerCloak and DaggerFrog and BadgerPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Ant AntAnt-ManAntPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #11
SandmanateeSandmanManateePeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #11
GalactypusGalactusPlatypusPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #12
Nick Furry Agent of S.H.E.E.P.Nick FuryBearPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #13
Dodo DuganDum Dum DuganDodoPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #13
Kangaroo the ConquerorKang the ConquerorKangarooPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
UltrogUltronGorillaPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
QuackulaDraculaDuckPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #13
The Fantastic FurThe Fantastic FourVariousPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Mooster Fantastic of the Fantastic FurMister FantasticMoosePeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Invisible Gorilla of the Fantastic FurInvisible WomanGorillaPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Simian Torch of the Fantastic FurHuman TorchGorillaPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Thang / Ben Grizzly of the Fantastic FurThingGrizzly BearPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
The ScavengersThe AvengersVariousPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Scarlet Pooch of the ScavengersScarlet WitchDogPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Quacksilver of the ScavengersQuicksilverDuckPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Squawkeye of the ScavengersHawkeyeChickenPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Black Panda of the ScavengersBlack PantherPandaPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Pigeon of the ScavengersVisionPigeonPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Baron ZebroBaron ZemoZebraPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Paste Pot PeepPaste Pot PeteSheepPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Mad StinkerMad ThinkerSkunkPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Ham-DroidAwesome AndroidPigPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
MandaringtailMandarinRing-tailed LemurPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Doo Wop DooFin Fang FoomDragonPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Grey GopherGrey GargoyleGopherPeter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #14
Punfisher / Frank CarplePunisherFishMarvel Tales #212
Pork GrindVenom/SymbiotePig/SymbioteWhat The--?! #20
Shock-CurShockerDogMarvel Tales #201
Flash Tombenstain BearTombstone/Flash ThompsonBearMarvel Tales #227
Captain ZooniverseCaptain UniverseCosmic force/Pig (Spider-Ham host body)Marvel Tales # 236
Anya the Ant-GirlAnya CorazonAntSpider-Man Family #1
HamnetoMagnetoPigUltimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Ultimate Captain HamericaCaptain AmericaPigUltimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Green Ham (and eggs)HulkPigUltimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Deviled HamDaredevilPigUltimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
HambitGambitPigUltimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Iron HamIron ManPigUltimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
WolverhamWolverinePigUltimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
The Fantastic HamThe Fantastic FourPigsUltimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Ant-HamAnt-ManPigUltimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Swiney-GirlSpider-Girl of Earth-982Spider/PigAmazing Spider-Man Family #4
Green GobblerGreen GoblinTurkeyAmazing Spider-Man Family #4
EelectroElectroElectric eelSpider-Ham 25th Anniversary Special #1
MysteriapeMysterioGorillaSpider-Ham 25th Anniversary Special #1
PandaPoolDeadpoolPandaDeadpool kills Deadpool #2-4
DeadPool the DuckDeadpool/Howard the DuckDuckDeadpool kills Deadpool #2
RexPoolDeadpoolTyrannosaurusDeadpool Kills Deadpool
DogPoolDeadpoolDogDeadpool Corps

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Video games[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Reception[edit]

In August 2009, TIME listed Spider-Ham as one of the "Top 10 Oddest Marvel Characters".[1]

References[edit]