I don’t remember exactly the first time I came across my first Spider Ham comic book. All I know is that I was somewhere in my teens and was completely, utterly in love with the idea of the Marvel universe re-imagined as animals.
Yes, I was basic. I became obsessed with the lighter precursor to the Marvel Zombies series first introduced with a one-shot comic back in 1983. That one comic, Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1, featured Spider-Ham, Captain Americat and Hulk Bunny.
At the end of Marvel Tails was an additional short story featuring ‘Goose Rider’ — which I enjoyed more than Ghost Rider — who is flaming goose riding a fiery motorbike. Yeah, it’s awesome.
From Marvel Tails to Spectacular Spider-Ham
That one comic book proved popular enough that the following year they launched Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham as an on-going series
Not only did the comic book recreate popular characters with silly names, but the anthropomorphic universe played off existing story lines and famous covers from the Earth-616 versions. The series would last until issue #17 — it was reborn 20 years later in another one-shot Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham in 2007. Here’s all the covers from the first Marvel Tails through issue #17 of the Spider-Ham series.
In 2010, Marvel released the Spider-Ham graphic novel collecting the first six issues of the series. The 144-paged trade paperback quickly sold out and now costs more than double the price on the reseller market. Not sure why Marvel hasn’t reissued this or released a TPB that collects all the issues.