Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse introduced viewers to a tremendous team of alternate-reality Spider-People, and Spider-Ham was surely the most entertaining of all. Sony deliberately chose versions of Spider-Man who were completely different, and they made a brilliant choice with Spider-Ham. After all, he's literally a funny animal parody of the wall-crawler.
Voiced by comedian John Mulaney, Spider-Ham was played as a straight cartoon - and he knew it. In addition to the trademark Spider-powers, Spider-Ham had all the weapons you'd expect from a cartoon character, right down to a giant mallet that fit into his pockets. (Hilariously, he gifted it to Miles; it's sure to be far less useful in a world where the laws of physics are even halfway consistent.)
Spider-Ham's Origin & World In The Comics
In the comics, Spider-Ham was created by Tom DeFalco and Mark Armstrong for a one-shot called Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham. He originates from what Marvel call "Larval Earth," a world of anthropomorphized animal-people. In a twist on the normal Spider-Man story, Spider-Ham was born a spider, who lived in the basement lab of the goofy scientist May Porker. One of May's inventions went weirdly wrong; she was trying to create the world's first atomic hairdryer, believing that nuclear fusion would revolutionize the hair-care industry. Accidentally irradiating herself, she bit Peter in a fit of delusion, and his DNA was transformed. He became a cross between a spider and a pig, and soon took up crime-fighting as the spectacular Spider-Ham. In his civilian life, he works as a photographer for J. Jonah Jackal at The Daily Beagle.
Spider-Ham has fought a wide range of funny animal parody villains, ranging from the Buzzard (a riff on the Vulture) to Doctor Octopussy. Probably his most entertaining foe, however, is Ducktor Doom - whose goals have been as insane as damaging people's minds in order to produce involuntary spasms that become a hit rock and roll song. In one story, Ducktor Doom attempted to conquer the world with an army of living vegetables. Spider-Ham is ably assisted by other parodies, including the Punfisher, Captain Americat, and the Fantastic Fur.
The character was treated as nothing more than a joke until 2014's "Spider-Verse" event, when Marvel saw the opportunity to have some fun with Spider-Ham. Thus, Peter Porker wound up on the front lines of the battle with the Inheritors. Marvel expected Spider-Ham to be the event's breakout character, even preparing a creative team, but he was upstaged by Spider-Gwen. He's remained an important figure in various inter-dimensional Spider-Man adventures since 2014, though, and is currently appearing in this year's "Spider-Geddon."
How Spider-Verse Changed Spider-Ham
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is incredibly true to the comics, right down to a brief mention of the fact this spider-hero was bitten by an irradiated pig. At the same time, though, the big-screen version is a little larger than life. He's been given the Looney Tunes treatment, pulling off the kind of stunts you'd expect from the likes of Bugs Bunny or Foghorn Leghorn. The result is tremendously entertaining, while Spider-Ham's self-awareness means he can spout humorous zingers with aplomb.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse producers Amy Pascal and Avi Arad have stressed that the hero is a hit with the kids, and they believe he has spinoff potential in the future. Meanwhile, Mulaney himself has pitched a Spider-Ham solo movie that focuses on his day job at The Daily Beagle. It's not yet known whether Spider-Ham will return for the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which will focus on the romantic relationship between Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy. However, you can be certain that we'll see him again somewhere.