Review: Laughs Abound As Cartoons Meet Science In ‘Spider-Ham #2’

by James Ferguson

Spider-Ham has popped over the Earth-616 to annoy an entire new dimension of people. The fate of the multiverse is at stake as an interdimensional rift saps the color out of his home dimension. Now that he’s found Peter Parker, will two Spider heroes be enough to save everyone? Will Peter be able to make it through this without strangling this cartoon spider turned pig?

The answer to both questions is maybe. I absolutely love how writer Zeb Wells portrays Spider-Ham. He’s just irritating enough to bother the other characters in the comic while also entertaining all of us. It’s a fine line that is tough to pull off. I feel like Deadpool goes too far in one direction. This one is just right.

One of the highlights of Spider-Ham #2 comes when Peter looks to the Fantastic Four to help. The reaction of Reed Richards to Peter Porker is absolutely hilarious. Here you have a man of science who has seen amazing things in his life including the creation of worlds and dimensions and he can’t quite understand how this cartoon character works. The laws of physics don’t really apply to this little guy. For example, Spider-Ham’s interdimensional watch is powered by an omnipotent cartoon bee. That just doesn’t make sense to Reed.

Artist Will Robson blends the cartoon with reality with some great line work. Spider-Ham’s home dimension is all round edges and fun characters. Even the villains have a softness to them. On Earth-616, things are a bit more structured, but Spider-Ham sticks out since he doesn’t belong here. He almost has a weird effect on the characters he encounters, giving them some extra emphasis on their gestures and facial expressions. This helps with the comedy throughout the issue.

Colorist Erick Arciniega differentiates both dimensions with a unique palette for each. Spider-Ham’s home has a faded yellow to it, like it’s an old comic strip. Earth-616 is more of a normal looking scene, although it leans a bit into the cartoonish with a vibrant palette that really pops on the page.

This interdimensional adventure is just getting started. Judging by the end of this issue, this journey will go through time as well, which will have some interesting effects on our lead character. Letterer Joe Caramagna adjusts his style to address these changes which is a nice touch.

While this comic deals with a crisis-level event that could destroy the very fabric of reality, it has a sense of humor. It’s refreshing to see a book that realizes how crazy the lives of super heroes are and pokes fun at it. I will point out that a very similar plot is playing out in Spider-Verse, although a bit more serious. I’ll take this one over that in terms of sheer enjoyment.

Spider-Ham #2 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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