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
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Marvel Tails #1
(November 1983)
Created by Tom DeFalco
Mark Armstrong
(based upon Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)
In-story information
Alter ego Peter 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.

Character Real Marvel Character Animal First Appearance
Spider-Ham / Peter Porker Spider-Man Spider/Pig Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Spider-Ham 15.88 / Piguel O'Malley Spider-Man 2099 Spider/Pig What The--?! #26
May Porker Aunt May Pig Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Mary Jane Waterbuffalo Mary Jane Watson Water Buffalo Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Mary Crane Watsow Mary Jane Watson Crane Amazing Spider-Man Family #4
J. Jonah Jackal/Black Jackal J. Jonah Jameson Jackal Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Batty Brant Betty Brant Bat Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Betty Branteater Betty Brant Anteater Marvel Tales #230
Flash Tomcat Flash Thompson Cat Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Liz Alleycat Liz Allan Cat Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Awful Flight Alpha Flight Various Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Summersquash/Walrus Lamebrainski of Awful Flight Sasquatch Walrus Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Snow-Youse of Awful Flight Snowbird Unknown Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Hockeypuck of Awful Flight Puck Beaver Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Aroma of Awful Flight Aurora Skunk Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #6
Deerdevil / Batt Burdock Daredevil Deer Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #7
Kay-Mar the Sub-Merchandizer Namor The Sub-Mariner Dog Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #10
Sub-Marsupial Namor The Sub-Mariner (Golden Age) Marsupial (possibly a Wombat) Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #9
Asinine Torch Human Torch Donkey Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #9
Goose Rider Ghost Rider Goose Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Ducktor Doom Doctor Doom Duck Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Buzzard Vulture Opossum Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #2
Bull-Frog Man-Bull Frog Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #2
Doctor Octopussy Cat Doctor Octopus Cat Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #17
Hulk-Bunny / Dr. Bruce Bunny Hulk Rabbit Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Captain Americat / Steve Mouser Captain America Cat Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
King-Pig Kingpin Pig Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #12
Bee-Yonder Beyonder Bee Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #12
Hogzilla Godzilla Pig/Lizard Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #8
Mechano-Hogzilla Mechagodzilla Pig Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #8
Hobgobbler Hobgoblin Turkey Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Paw Klaw Bear Marvel Tales #207
Black Catfish Black Cat Catfish Marvel Tales #207
Raven the Hunter Kraven the Hunter Raven What The--?! #3
Crayfin the Bunter Kraven the Hunter Crayfish Spider-Ham 25th Anniversary Special #1
Doc Clamson Doc Samson Clam Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Croctor Strange Doctor Strange Crocodile Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #4
Magsquito Magneto Mosquito Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #2
X-Bugs X-Men Various (insects) Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #2
Iron Mouse Iron Man Mouse Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #3
Nagneto Magneto Horse Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #3
Thrr Dog of Thunder Thor Dog Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #5
Silver Squirrel Silver Surfer Squirrel Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #8
The Watchdog Uatu the Watcher Dog Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #8
The Whoatcher Uatu the Watcher Owl Marvel Tales #237
Croak and Badger Cloak and Dagger Frog and Badger Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Ant Ant Ant-Man Ant Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #11
Sandmanatee Sandman Manatee Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #11
Galactypus Galactus Platypus Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #12
Nick Furry Agent of S.H.E.E.P. Nick Fury Bear Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #13
Dodo Dugan Dum Dum Dugan Dodo Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #13
Kangaroo the Conqueror Kang the Conqueror Kangaroo Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Ultrog Ultron Gorilla Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Quackula Dracula Duck Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #13
The Fantastic Fur The Fantastic Four Various Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Mooster Fantastic of the Fantastic Fur Mister Fantastic Moose Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Invisible Gorilla of the Fantastic Fur Invisible Woman Gorilla Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Simian Torch of the Fantastic Fur Human Torch Gorilla Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Thang / Ben Grizzly of the Fantastic Fur Thing Grizzly Bear Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
The Scavengers The Avengers Various Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Scarlet Pooch of the Scavengers Scarlet Witch Dog Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Quacksilver of the Scavengers Quicksilver Duck Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Squawkeye of the Scavengers Hawkeye Chicken Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Black Panda of the Scavengers Black Panther Panda Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Pigeon of the Scavengers Vision Pigeon Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #15
Baron Zebro Baron Zemo Zebra Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Paste Pot Peep Paste Pot Pete Sheep Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Mad Stinker Mad Thinker Skunk Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Ham-Droid Awesome Android Pig Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Mandaringtail Mandarin Ring-tailed Lemur Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Doo Wop Doo Fin Fang Foom Dragon Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16
Grey Gopher Grey Gargoyle Gopher Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #14
Punfisher / Frank Carple Punisher Fish Marvel Tales #212
Pork Grind Venom/Symbiote Pig/Symbiote What The--?! #20
Shock-Cur Shocker Dog Marvel Tales #201
Flash Tombenstain Bear Tombstone/Flash Thompson Bear Marvel Tales #227
Captain Zooniverse Captain Universe Cosmic force/Pig (Spider-Ham host body) Marvel Tales # 236
Anya the Ant-Girl Anya Corazon Ant Spider-Man Family #1
Hamneto Magneto Pig Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Ultimate Captain Hamerica Captain America Pig Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Green Ham (and eggs) Hulk Pig Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Deviled Ham Daredevil Pig Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Hambit Gambit Pig Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Iron Ham Iron Man Pig Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Wolverham Wolverine Pig Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
The Fantastic Ham The Fantastic Four Pigs Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Ant-Ham Ant-Man Pig Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham #1
Swiney-Girl Spider-Girl of Earth-982 Spider/Pig Amazing Spider-Man Family #4
Green Gobbler Green Goblin Turkey Amazing Spider-Man Family #4
Eelectro Electro Electric eel Spider-Ham 25th Anniversary Special #1
Mysteriape Mysterio Gorilla Spider-Ham 25th Anniversary Special #1
PandaPool Deadpool Panda Deadpool kills Deadpool #2-4
DeadPool the Duck Deadpool/Howard the Duck Duck Deadpool kills Deadpool #2
RexPool Deadpool Tyrannosaurus Deadpool Kills Deadpool
DogPool Deadpool Dog Deadpool Corps

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Spider-Ham appears in Ultimate Spider-Man.[2] In the episode "Flight of the Iron Spider", Iron Man shows Spider-Man a machine that could scatter any physical object's particles inside across parallel universes. Spider-Man briefly envisions himself being turned into Spider-Ham as a result. In "Run Pig Run," Loki disguises himself as a hot dog vendor in order to give Spider-Man an enchanted hot dog that turns him into Spider-Ham as payback for Spider-Man ruining his plans. Just then, Asgard's finest hunters led by Executioner arrive and chase after Spider-Man as part of Asgardsreia. Thor comes to Spider-Ham's aid and guesses that Loki had did this to him. While running, Thor tells Spider-Ham that he must keep him alive until the hunt ends at sundown. Thor throws Spider-Ham and his hammer towards Midtown High School. Thor brings Spider-Ham to Phil Coulson, Power Man, Iron Fist, White Tiger, and Nova just as Executioner and the other hunters arrive. Spider-Ham even tries to reason with Executioner that he is not a real pig. Phil Coulson arrives where he and Thor hold off the hunters while the others get Spider-Ham out of there. While on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, Nick Fury helps to protect Spider-Ham when the wolves that the hunters ride on sprout wings and attack the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. While Thor, Phil Coulson, and Spider-Ham's team fight Executioner and the hunters, Spider-Ham ends up calling out Loki and fights him. Not wanting his friends to sacrifice themselves for him, Spider-Ham fights Executioner. Before Executioner can land the killing blow on Spider-Ham, the sun sets ending the hunt. Spider-Ham changes back to Spider-Man and punches Loki.
    • Spider-Ham returns in Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors in the Spider-Verse arc. He appears in parts 2 and 4, voiced by Ben Diskin. This time, he's an alternate version of Spider-Man instead of Spider-Man transformed. Peter Porker got his powers from a spider that fell into Aunt May's pancake batter that transferred the vitamins and powers to him, becoming Spider-Ham. He uses his powers for good and even joins with the Avengers, but decides to quit after J. Jonah Jackal turns the public against him. With encouragement from Spider-Man (Whom he mistook for a monkey), he decides to become Spider-Ham once again and helps defeat the Goblin, though the Goblin still manages to get DNA from his chin. Iron Mouse arrives and offers him a spot on the Avengers team again, which he accepts. He later appears in part 4 to help the other Spider-Men defeat the Spider-Goblin and Electro.

Video games[edit]

  • In the video game Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Spider-Man mentions Porker in a conversation.
  • Spider-Ham appears in the video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. In the intro, Madame Web shows the images of several alternate universes to Spider-Man, who then notices the image of Spider-Ham and says "Is that a...cartoon pig?" In a scene during the credits, Spider-Ham appears to Madame Web answering her call to save the universe too late asking "So, what'd I miss?".
  • One of Spider-Man's win quotes in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is "Man, I bet the Amazing Spider-Ham could have beat you." Spider-Ham also appears as a support card in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3's "Heroes vs. Heralds" mode.
  • Spider-Ham has a cameo in Spider-Man: Edge of Time. He is seen locked up in a stasis tank in the Alchemax building in Chapter 15. He also shows up in Peter's drawings in the credits, in a mock fight against Spider-Man 2099.
  • Spider-Ham can be purchased as a pet in Marvel Heroes.
  • Spider-Ham was available as a purchasable hero in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online on March 15, 2014 to celebrate the game's anniversary.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • The Wizard Spider-Man Special featured a Twisted Toyfare Theater parody comic "Four Webbings and a Funeral". In it, Spider-Ham is one of the entrees being served at Spider-Man's funeral.
  • A "Spider-Pig" appears in The Simpsons Movie as Homer's pet who used to be in a Krusty Burger commercial, he is later renamed Harry Plopper. He has made several cameos in The Simpsons since the movie. In one episode, he swung across the opening title in a similar manner as Spider-Man.

Reception[edit]

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

References[edit]