Review: Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1

Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1 cover
Cover by Steve Mellor

Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Published and © by Marvel, November 1983

Title: “If He Should Punch Me!”
Synopsis: Spider-Ham and Captain Americat team to stop the Masked Marauder – and run afoul of Hulk-Bunny, too!

Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciler: Mark Armstrong
Inker: Joe Albelo

Review: Published at a time when funny-animal comics were all but dead, Marvel Tails #1 largely ignores the genre’s conventions. If you change the names of the characters to their Marvel U analogues, this lead story could be a generic Spidey comic from the era. Bland, but not awful.


Title: “Goose Rider”
Synopsis: Goose Rider heads out for a night on the town, taking in a movie and battling Chainsaw.

Writer: Steve Mellor
Artist: Mellor

Review: A nonsensical, nearly stream-of-consciousness story, featuring above-average cartooning from Steve Mellor. This one-shot needed stronger stories.

Grade: C

Second opinion: “Worth a gander.” – Mark Waid and Kevin Gould, Amazing Heroes #33, Oct. 15, 1983 … “It stuck so close to the traditional Spider-Man format that it didn’t strike me as particularly funny, even if our hero’s snout does make him look rather reminiscent of Cerebus.” – Chris Padgett, Fantasy Advertiser #80, August 1983 … “Anthropomorphic humor. Allegedly.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: Interesting cartooning …
Not-so-cool factor: … below-average writing.

Notable: First appearance of Peter “Spider-Ham” Porker.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 75¢ Canadian variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “How many other pigs do you know – who can move – like this?!” – Peter Porker, the spectacular Spider-Ham

Editor’s note: This review was written June 2, 2023.

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