Spider-Ham has always been one of the silliest of comic book characters. Traditionally he has been a Looney Tunes style character and it’s quite clear once you start reading Zeb Wells and Will Robson’s new series that they get that. The puns are strong with this one as we delve into a world of animal superheroes. Spider-Ham is also quite a jerk and his rendering keeps your interest as it’s abundantly clear he isn’t aware of his jerk nature.
Given Wendell Dalit’s excellent cover (which we talk about on the latest AIPT Comics Podcast episode), this series feels very much like a blending of the Into the Spider-Verse movie and the comics. It opens with the original origin story which is about as ridiculous as one might guess since it requires a pig Aunt May to bite a spider and turn him into Spider-Ham. The main adventure involves Spider-Ham joining the Sca-Vengers as they fight Ultron (Moletron) and they really don’t want him joining in. Spider-Ham is a rude, crude, and stinky character who is way too into himself. As far as adventure, this book delivers and it comes with a good twist and a believable reason he’d be jumping into the 616 again.
As far as the humor, prepare yourself for every kind of superhero pun you can imagine. There’s quite a few, most of which tie into the animal the superhero is personified as. I can safely say they’re all worth an eye-rolling chuckle, although it does get a tad old by the end. This isn’t a deep probing of the character by any means and once you accept this is more about the puns than anything else you’ll be right as rain.
The real hallmark of this issue is the art by Robson with colors by Erick Arciniega and letters by Joe Caramagna. All together they produce a very clean and visually appealing book. They went with an ever so slight aged look to the book that gives the coloring a texture that’s very appealing. All the character designs are about as cute as Spider-Ham and even though it’s a wide variety of animals, they work. Crocktor Strange might be my favorite of the bunch.
This is quite a quick and simple sort of read. There isn’t a whole lot to it and while it reads almost as if it’s for kids I suspect Spider-Ham’s attitude would throw some young ones off. He’s not as silly or ridiculous as what we saw in Into the Spider-Verse, and he’s in fact quite unlikable. That makes this book walk a fine line between a hero who needs to learn something and redeem himself while navigating a ludicrous set of characters who are more one-off pun jokes than anything else.
Pick this one up for a few eye-rolling laughs and the start of what could be a hilarious adventure. As it stands Spider-Ham is set up well for an adventure that’ll involve Spider-Man and while it’s not the most complex reads it’s still entertaining enough.
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