Someone up there likes me.
Just last week, I was writing about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and said that I hope they find time in the film for my favorites – Spider-Man: 2099 and Peter Porker, the Amazing Spider-Ham. Well, (aside from a background ad for the Alchemax corporation), there’s no sign of Miguel O’Hara, but we do have confirmation that the upcoming animated feature will include a star turn from Spider-Ham, and he’s to be voiced by comedian John Mulaney. In addition, we’re also going to see an appearance by Peni Parker, aka SP//dr, who’ll be voiced by Orange Is The New Black star Kimiko Glenn.
If you’re unfamiliar with the obscure intricacies of the Spider-verse, then buckle up, because you’re about to get a history lesson. Peter Porker/Spider-Ham first appeared in 1983 in the one-shot humor book Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham. The character was a hit and was given a bi-monthly series that lasted 17 issues, taking place on the alternative Larval Earth universe populated by anthropomorphic animals.
His awesomely goofy origin inverts the classic Spidey story, in that he was originally a spider named Peter working on an atomic-powered hairdryer. A pig named May Porker used said hairdryer, irradiating herself and proceeding to bite Peter, who transformed into a pig-guy with spider-powers or, as he put it: “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!”
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Peni Parker or SP//dr is a little more serious (but not by much). She’s an anime-influenced take on the character revolving around a robotic SP//dr suit (that looks suspiciously like an Eva Unit from Neon Genesis Evangelion) that has a radioactive spider as half of its CPU. Peni was bitten by this half-CPU spider and took control of the suit to fight supervillains on Earth-14512. Even by Spidey-verse standards, she’s pretty obscure, so her appearance in the film could be her breakout role in pop culture.
After those awesome trailers and now this, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse has become one of the superhero films I’m most hyped about, looking like a kinetic, stylish and well-written adventure that seems set to explore some fascinating new places.