Spider-Ham: Aporkaplypse Now – Zeb Wells, Will Robson & Erick Arciniega (Marvel)

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Everyone’s favourite arachnid powered porcine hero from Earth 8311 is back in a brand new(ish) reality hopping adventure that sheds new light on his mysterious origins and even more bizarre home world. And by “favourite” I, of course, mean that as he’s the only spider-powered pig in all of creation, he is by definition, even if you dislike with the fury of a thousand raging stars, the numero uno swine-rific hero. I’m probably wrong though, it wouldn’t be the first time and it almost certainly won’t be the last and… Okay, sorry, where were we? Oh, that’s right, Spider-Ham and his team up with your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man from Earth 616 to save his world (that’s 8311, just in case you were getting a little lost in the rambling narrative) from being destroyed by an unknown enemy. Are you still with me? Good, then let’s continue.

The thing is, if I tried to go into too much depth about this zany, mullti-layered tale, I’d probably end up venturing way too far into spoiler territory, and that really is the last thing I’d want to do with Aporkalypse Now. And that’s because I honestly believe that each and every single one of you needs to read it. Story wise, it’s an entertaining yarn that riffs on, makes fun of and incorporates all of the best multi-verse tropes and artistically, it’s as sharp as a tack as Will Robson effortlessly zigs and zags through all of the realities that the characters do with stunning precision, an eye for detail and a deft, incredibly talented hand. While the art is a motivating factor to pick up Aporkalypse Now, the story isn’t the reason that you need to read this incredible book. It’s the ideas and themes that lie at the heart of the plot that Wells explores with gentle, heartfelt intuition that make this book essential. 

It’s rare that a writer can combine tragedy and comedy so fluidly, and even rarer when they can use them to delve into alienation, loss and estrangement with the sort of raw clarity and purpose of vision that Wells does in Aporkalypse Now.  There are moments when, despite Ham being thoroughly unlikeable at times, you’ll see yourself in him and your life mirrored in his, and the fact that story doubles up as his redemptive arc (and has the funniest scene and throwaway line that I’ve ever read in a comic book) just seals its fate as one of the must-read books of the year. Go get ‘em Ham… Tim Cundle

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