When you think about an action figure line based on Venom, you probably picture a whole host of symbiotes, and possibly some characters based on the upcoming movie. You'd be half-right--Hasbro's Marvel team are holding off on a Tom Hardy Eddie Brock until they see what the fan demand is for it, and Riot, who appears to be the villain of the movie, isn't represented. But Venom, Carnage, Scream, and Poison Spider-Man (billed here as "Marvel's Poison") are, and then the wave is filled out by comic versions of two characters who'll be appearing in unrelated media soon. Typhoid Mary is soon to be the villain in Iron Fist season 2, while Peter Porker, The Amazing Spider-Ham, will be appearing in the animated movie Into the Spider-Verse, voiced by John Mulaney. Amongst all the scary, slimy space symbiotes, he's an odd and amusing beacon of cuteness (or do we mean "bacon"?).
Hailing from a dimension entirely populated by anthropomorphic animals, Porker began life as a spider, but was bitten by a radioactive pig. First appearing in comics in 1983, he beat The Simpsons Movie to the Spider-Pig joke by a longshot. And now he's a downright strange Marvel Legends figure, more cartoony than most in the line, and a totally different body shape. He's also quite small, which means Hasbro had to stuff his package with extras both (a) to make it seem worth the price and (b) to hook casual fans into buying more figures from the series (you'll see what we mean in a moment).
The first pack-in accessory is a bonus head, designed to work with the Venom figure in this wave, and turn him into Spider-Ham's Venom-ish nemesis Pork-Grind. Since this Eddie Brock is basically a repack with a few new add-ons, the bonus head making him into a brand new character is a nice touch.
The other pack-in is the torso for Monster Venom (in two halves), the build-a-figure character from this wave who can be put together if you collect them all. Though he has a slight metallic purple sheen to him, it's essentially a "close enough" Venom to the movie iteration, without actually being that.
The goal, evidently, is to get fans of Peter Porker to buy the Venom as well, and then get hooked into completing Monster Venom. You should perhaps know that the Pork-Grind head ought to work on previous Venoms as well.
Porker himself packs a surprising amount of articulation for such a little guy. It can break up the sculpt if you put him in dramatic poses, but Hasbro clearly new he'd have kid appeal and needed to be playable. There's almost nothing below the waist--the thigh cut joints allow you to get his feet into the right pose to keep him standing, and that's it--but above it he has ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, neck, and waist, with cut-joint wrists.
He doesn't have a ton of paint apps, but those he does have, especially the eyes, are nice and clean. And the webbing is sculpted all over.
Like all Marvel Legends, Petey runs around $20, and if you don't decide to build Monster Venom it will leave you with two big chunks of plastic that don't help you. However, it may not be impossible to find a collector who only likes grim and dark characters, and doesn't want to buy something cute like a li'l piggie playing supa-hewo, but does want to take that Venom part off your hands. We can bridge the fan gap together.
Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig, does whatever a Spider-Pig does.
Images: Luke Y. Thompson