Peni Parker
Peni Parker and SP//dr, from the cover of Edge of Spider-Geddon #2 (October 2018), by Jake Wyatt
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceEdge of Spider-Verse #5 (October 2014)
Created byGerard Way (writer)
Jake Wyatt (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoPeni Parker
Species
Place of originEarth-14512
Team affiliationsSpider-Army/Web-Warriors
Abilities
  • Peni:
  • Spider-Sense
  • Genius intellect
  • Psychic connection with SP//dr
  • SP//dr:
  • Superhuman strength
  • Psychic connection with Peni
Altered in-story information for adaptations to other media
Partnerships

Peni Parker is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer and musician Gerard Way and artist Jake Wyatt, she is an alternative version of Spider-Man from an Evangelion-inspired universe. Piloting a psychically-powered mech suit originally piloted by her father Peter known as the SP//dr, partially controlled by a radioactive spider (named SP//dr) that also shares a psychic link with her, the teenage Peni has been fighting daily since she was nine years old.[1]

Both Peni Parker and SP//dr have made limited appearances in media, with their most prominent being the animated films Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and its sequel Across the Spider-Verse (2023), with Peni voiced by Kimiko Glenn.

Publication history

Sometime after completing work on his debut solo album Hesitant Alien, following the hiatus of his band My Chemical Romance, comic writer and musician Gerard Way was contacted by Marvel Comics editor Nick Lowe, asking if he was interested in creating a custom Spider-Man for the then-upcoming Spider-Verse comic series. Lowe, a fan of Way's prior comics work, had previously approached Way about an X-Men annual series which ultimately never materialized. Enamored by the idea that he could do whatever he wanted without fear of being burdened by any prior continuity, Way ultimately agreed to the offer and began working with comic artist Jake Wyatt on his new creation.[2]

Gerard Way, Peni Parker's co-creator, performing with My Chemical Romance in 2012

Way "took the basic concepts of Spider-Man and then (...) looked deeper into it" while conceptualizing Peni, recalling in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, "I thought about the radioactive spider: 'What if it was more than just a bite? What if a bite was a psychic link and the spider stayed part of the story?' That brought up a little girl who loses her dad. Then I drew the spider suit."[2] According to Way, SP//dr "is comprised of three vital components: a pilot, a machine, and a radioactive sentient spider acting as one half of the brain that makes it all work."[3][4] Way opted to make his character female as he was more interested in creating female characters, stemming from both his past, and his prior work The Umbrella Academy. He also decided to include Daredevil in his story, deciding "[I]f I’m only getting going to get to write one Marvel comic, I’m going to put Daredevil in it as well."[2]

Peni and SP//dr's comics were largely inspired by mecha anime, with Neon Genesis Evangelion singled out as an influence.[5][6][7][8] As an easter egg, the main characters of Evangelion; Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langley Soryu, and Kaworu Nagisa, make cameo appearances as Peni's classmates in her premiere issue, along with Simon from Gurren Lagann and Kei from Dirty Pair.[7]

Peni Parker and SP//dr debuted in Edge of Spider-Verse #5, released in October 2014. SP//dr’s story was continued in the Spider-Geddon comic book, Edge of Spider-Geddon #2 by Alberto Albuquerque, released in August 2018.[9] The same year, Peni and SP//dr appeared in the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Chosen for her unique stature over Cindy Moon / Silk for the film, Peni was given a Sailor Moon inspired redesign after the filmmakers, including director Bob Persichetti, found her initial design “iffy”.[8]

In 2022, Eisner Award winning comic author Ken Niimura created Peni Parker: After School as part of the Spider-Verse Unlimited series exclusive to Marvel Unlimited, Marvel's digital comic service. The six-part story follows a younger Peni, delving into her relationship with her "Uncle Ben", how she feels about her father, and her struggles to juggle both school and being a superhero, also going into depth about her struggles to fit in with her fellow students due to her responsibilities as a hero. Niimura largely conceived of the story as an entry point to the character "for veterans and newcomers alike" as "(...) being a relatively new character, there’s still not much published yet."[10]

Fictional character biography

Edge of Spider-Verse

Peni's father Peter acted as the original pilot of the SP//dr mecha, in which he protected New York from crime and other dangers. After her father passed, Peni is approached by her father's handlers, "Aunt May" and "Uncle Ben", who force her to become the new pilot of the SP//dr, releasing the sentient spider which controls part of the suit into a room with her to bite and bond with her, a process they describe as being incredibly painful. Soon after being bitten, Peni becomes the new protector of the city, on Earth-14512.

Five years later, a more solemn and matured 14-year-old[11] Peni battles her universe's version of Mysterio – an obsessed fanboy of hers, while listening to music to help her focus. Peni eventually teams up with "D" (her universe's version of Daredevil) – who had known her father, and tells her that she is "too young" to feel "tired" as she says she is – though noting he felt her father's use of SP//dr caused it so that "even through the machine, you could feel a sadness, like something was missing from him", although seeming "pretty cool" – to battle a group of criminals given up by Mysterio (a fan of the various numerous "Gene-Pop" magazines about Peni) before being approached by Spider-Ham and Old Man Spider to join the Spider-Army to fight the Inheritors. Agreeing to join them, Peni states: "We're called SP//dr and we protect the city. Like my father, a soldier––who died in service of his people––we will be this, until terminal failure."

Edge of Spider-Geddon

Two years after the events of "Spider-Verse" in her home reality, a now-16-year-old Peni is approached by a girl named Addy Brock, asking if she was the pilot of SP//dr and her experiences as the SP//dr pilot. Peni ignores her, but Addy follows up by saying she is not as special as she thinks, before clarifying that she doesn't mean as an insult, and just wants to talk to her. At home, Peni tries to talk to Ben and May about being special, but she has worries get pushed aside which causes her to be annoyed and expresses her feelings of sadness towards the fact she isn't acknowledged as she should be. While improving the SP//dr's web shooters, she notices Addy walking in the base and follows her; only to find another mech-suit similar to the SP//dr, but in black and powered by a “sym-engine” called VEN#m, with Addy as its pilot (Addy's character design having been previously used for one of Ben's and May's tech people in Edge of Spider-Verse, retroactively making that her first appearance). Peni becomes furious at Ben and May for not telling her about this. When a kaiju-like creature named M.O.R.B.I.U.S. starts to drain the city's electrical energy, Peni goes after it as SP//dr, only to be temporarily disabled due to her frustration clouding her judgement. In order to defeat M.O.R.B.I.U.S., Peni's aunt and uncle send VEN#m to defeat the creature. It is successful, but the SYM Engine inside it, which is shown to not be fully developed and is later revealed to still have unresolved issues, causes VEN#m to malfunction; causing the mech suit to attain sentience and start to consume Addy. When May flies in to fix the problem manually, it consumes her with Addy as well, with her final words berating Ben over their comms for never fixing the problem that had gotten Peni's father killed testing VEN#m in the first place. SP//dr confronts VEN#m, but the black mech suit overpowers her until she uses her improved web shooters to defeat it. However, as she opens up VEN#m's cockpit, she realizes it's too late to save her Aunt May and Addy, who have vanished from inside the suit. 2 hours following the battle, Peni and Ben have a heart-to-heart, but Spider-Ham interrupts this, appearing once more to recruit Peni to help defeat the Inheritors once more during the events of Spider-Geddon. Peni seems reluctant to go after what had just happened to her Aunt May as she was still grieving her passing, but Uncle Ben beckons her to leave anyway.

End of the Spider-Verse

Peni returns in End of the Spider-Verse operating her larger SP//dr mecha, alongside Takuya Yamashiro and his mech, Leopardon.[12]

Alternate versions

Future SP//dr

In Spider-Gwen, a future SP//dr was one of the members of the Amazing Eight who travelled to Earth-65 in order to help that reality's Gwen Stacy fight off a unit of S.I.L.K. being led by Scorpion.[13] Later, this SP//dr was one of the many heroes Cable brought back in time to kill Thanos as a baby in Cosmic Ghost Rider so that their dystopian future didn't come to pass. However, SP//dr was killed shortly after this by a cosmic version of Ghost Rider.[14]

Peni Parker: After School

The Marvel Unlimited story arc Peni Parker: After School follows an alternate young Peni Parker (modelled after the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse version of the character), whose identity is not publicly known, as she tries to be a regular teenager, trying to fit with the cool kids like Julia, while facing the responsibility of being a hero against various enemies such as Atomic Lizard or Mecha D.O.O.M. to save the world in a smaller mecha after school, finding herself struggling with the greatest challenge of all: homework. Her assignment consists of writing about a father she barely remembers as he passed when she was 9, but her Uncle Ben helps her understand more about her father and the kind of person he was while mourning his wife's death, affirming her father's affection and love for Peni, whom was insecure about the fact if her father ever actually loved her, giving her a pink hairpin which her father left behind for her in a moment such as this, though this was true, Uncle Ben lost the original pin but one of the lab assistants had a hairpin identical to it. Her best friend whom is the sentient and Psychic spider which pilots the mech alongside her and Uncle Ben help her understand who she truly was. Throughout the arc, Peni must balance her duties as a superhero with her responsibilities as a student and friend. She also grapples with her insecurities about her abilities and whether she is truly worthy of being a superhero to finally find confidence in her instincts, emerging as a stronger and more determined hero but most of all, an even better friend and niece.

Peni Porker

The graphic novel Spider-Ham: A Pig in Time features a humanoid pig version of the character named Peni Porker, whom Spider-Ham and Spider-Ham 15.88 (2099) observe from across the multiverse.[15]

In other media

Television

SP//dr makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Return to the Spider-Verse" Pt. 4 as one of several alternate reality Spider-Men that the villainous Wolf Spider took hostage to siphon their powers before the "prime" Spider-Man, Kid Arachnid, and Spider-Woman arrive to save them.[16]

Film

Kimiko Glenn voices Peni Parker in the Spider-Verse film series.

Into the Spider-Verse

Peni Parker and SP//dr appear in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), with the former voiced by Kimiko Glenn.[17][18] Peni is presented as a perky and energetic individual while SP//dr is a one-piece capsule cockpit with a dome-shaped one-way visor that provides Peni with a HUD-style view, magnetically manipulated appendages, and various tools in its fingers. After arriving in Miles Morales' universe along with Spider-Ham and Spider-Man Noir due to the Kingpin's machinations, Peni and SP//dr join forces with them, among other "Spider-People", to return to their respective home universes. While SP//dr is severely damaged by the Scorpion, Peni rescues the radioactive spider within it before returning to her universe to rebuild SP//dr.

Across the Spider-Verse

Peni Parker and SP//dr return in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023), with the former voiced again by Kimiko Glenn.[19] As of this film, Peni has successfully rebuilt SP//dr, with its design now resembling its comics counterpart, having joined Miguel O'Hara's Spider-Society and attempting to stop Miles from trying to save his father and come to terms with his imminent death, before joining Gwen Stacy's team of Spider-People to find Miles.[19] Glenn will reprise her role as Peni Parker again in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.[citation needed]

Video games

Tabletop games

Merchandise

References

  1. ^ Edge of Spider-Verse #5 (2014)
  2. ^ a b c Kaye, Don (14 October 2014). "The Lead Singer and the Web-Slinger: Gerard Way Talks 'Spider-Man'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 24 October 2023. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Gerard Way Makes his Marvel Debut with Edge of Spider-Verse #5 | News | Marvel". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Gerard Way Discusses His Marvel Debut with "Edge of Spider-Verse"". CBR. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  5. ^ Gramuglia, Anthony (11 June 2023). "Peni Parker: The Spider-Verse Hero Starred in Marvel's Evangelion". comicbook.com. Archived from the original on 24 October 2023. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  6. ^ Rakshale, Sakshi (14 June 2023). "Why Are Fans Linking Peni Parker To 'Neon Genesis Evangelion?' Japanese Manga Cameos In The 'Spider-Verse' Comics Explained". Know Your Meme. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  7. ^ a b Gramuglia, Anthony (5 July 2020). "Spider-Verse: Peni Parker Deserves Her Own Series". CBR. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  8. ^ a b Vary, Adam B. (14 December 2018). "The Revolutionary Inclusion Of "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse"". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on 28 October 2023. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  9. ^ "Jake Wyatt Departs Sp//dr-Focused Edge of Spider-Geddon #2". CBR. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  10. ^ Brooke, David (2022-07-20). "Peni Parker suits up for 'Spider-Verse Unlimited Infinity Comic' #7 • AIPT". aiptcomics.com. Retrieved 2023-06-08.
  11. ^ Kaye, Don (14 October 2014). "The Lead Singer and the Web-Slinger: Gerard Way Talks 'Spider-Man'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 October 2023. Way's version may be one of the most unusual: his Spider-Man is actually a Spider-Girl, a 14-year-old named Peni Parker (who may be the daughter of a certain Peter Parker)
  12. ^ Davis, Tyler (2023-04-05). "Spider-Man #7: In The Spider-Verse, No One Will Hear You Scream". Comic Watch. Retrieved 2023-06-11.
  13. ^ Spider-Gwen (Vol 2) #18 (2017)
  14. ^ Cosmic Ghost Rider Vol 1 #3 (2018)
  15. ^ Spider-Ham: A Pig in Time (2024)
  16. ^ "Return to the Spider-Verse Pt. 4". Ultimate Spider-Man. Season 4. Episode 19. September 17, 2016. Disney XD.
  17. ^ Freeman, Molly (20 July 2018). "Into the Spider-Verse: Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham & Peni Parker Confirmed". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on 21 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  18. ^ Peters, Megan (2 October 2018). "'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Debuts Its Anime Heroine". Comicbook.com. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  19. ^ a b Bajer, Ted (5 June 2023). "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: What We Want to See in the Sequel". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on 24 October 2023. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  20. ^ "Piecing Together MARVEL Puzzle Quest: Peni Parker (Spider-Bot BFF)". www.marvel.com. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  21. ^ "Peni Parker | Marvel Contest of Champions". playcontestofchampions.com. 2021-08-02. Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  22. ^ "Sync and Swing - Fantasy Flight Games". Fantasy Flight Games. April 21, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  23. ^ Spider-Man Marvel Legends Wave 8 Set of 7 Figures (SP//dr BAF)
  24. ^ "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse SP//dr and Peni Parker 6-Inch-Scale Super Hero Figure Toy". Hasbro. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  25. ^ "SV-Action Figures: Peni Parker & SP//dr | Figures.com". Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  26. ^ "Nendoroid Peni Parker: Spider-Verse Ver. DX". Good Smile Company. Archived from the original on 16 November 2023. Retrieved 16 November 2023.