The amazing new trailer forÂ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has introduced a lot of new faces to fans of the webslinger. Not only is the hero at the center of the action different from that which we’ve seen onscreen beforeâ€”the film centers onÂ Miles Morales, the Spider-Man from Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, voiced byÂ Shameik Mooreâ€”but he is also joined by a whole team of spider-folks. While some are familiar (Peter Parker, anyone?) and some are downright weird, there’s one likely to leave even long-time Spider-Fans asking, “Wait, who is that?”: Peni Parker, a.k.a. SP//dr, voiced by Kimiko Glenn ofÂ Orange Is the New Black.
Who is Peni Parker?
From 40,000 feet, Peni Parker bears a striking resemblance to Peter Parker, the Spider-Man most of us know and love. She’s a teenager trying to juggle her life as a student with her life as a spider-themed hero. She moved in with her Aunt May and Uncle Ben after the death of her father. And, yes, there was even a spider bite. But that’s where the similarities end.Unlike most of the spider-folks we’ve seen, Peni Parker doesn’t herself have superhuman abilities. Instead, she has a gigantic armored suitâ€”the SP//dr suit, with which she shares her aliasâ€”itself powered in part by a radioactive spider. It’s not really clear where the suit or the arachnid inside of it came from, though the implication is that they were the result of some sort of experiment by her scientist/hero father, Aunt May, and Uncle Ben.
Where can we read more about her?
Peni was first introduced in 2014, in the lead-up to theÂ Spider-Verse comics crossover, inÂ Edge of Spider-Verse #5.Â Edge of Spider-VerseÂ was largely a showcase for new takes on the Spider-Man formula, some of which deviated quite a bit from the original model. Among them were Peni Parker, as well as the alternate universe Gwen Stacy who became Spider-Woman a.k.a. Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider, who will also be featured prominently inÂ Into the Spider-Verse. (While he was a preexisting character, Spider-Man Noir, another Into the Spider-Verse star,Â was also spotlighted in Edge of Spider-Verse, making that trade an obvious go-to if you want to get ready for December.)
So what’s her role in Into theÂ Spider-Verse?
It’s not clear, though, how closely the Peni Parker ofÂ Into the Spider-VerseÂ will mirror her comics counterpart. The movie’s SP//dr armor has a dramatically different color scheme and look, complete with what appears to be an emoji face screen. Our brief glimpse of Peni in the trailer also suggests she’s going to be a lot more fun (and funny) than the dour Peni we got in the comics. Given how little of Peni we’ve seen in the comics, this isn’t a surprise, though it may be a disappointment for fans of the highly stylized original by Way, Wyatt, and Herring.Are you excited to see Peni Parker fight alongside Miles and the gang inÂ Into the Spider-Verse? Let us know!
Images: Sony Pictures and Marvel Comics