The world of comic book adaptations has involved in some pretty interesting ways over the years, with movies and TV shows taking previously-unprecedented approaches on iconic characters. One of the most buzzworthy ones of those in recent years was Joker, which Joaquin Phoenix bringing a dark take on the Clown Prince of Crime last year. The film has ultimately gone on to win multiple Oscars and make a significant amount of money, while also being a pretty polarizing piece of art among audience members. With that in mind, it didn't take too long for the movie to become the subject of parody in other comics -- and the latest issue of Spider-Ham might be the best yet. Spoilers for Spider-Ham #5 below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue picks up on Spider-Ham and his various allies being under the control of Mojo, who (unsurprisingly) decided to use them to act out various parodies. After "rebooting" Spider-Ham into a Family Guy-like sitcom setting, Mojo revealed that another hero had gotten the same fate -- Earth-616's Spider-Man, who had reluctantly been following Peter Porker on his journey. Spider-Man was shown sporting a red, blue, and yellow pantsuit and tie, a long head of hair, and face paint that looked vaguely like Spider-Man's cowl. Mojo then remarked that he could use Spider-Man "to explore complex, mature themes like violence and mental illness," despite not knowing what he actually wanted to say about either topic.
If it wasn't obvious who Spider-Man was supposed to be parodying, a page later on in the issue showed the wall-crawler dancing erratically, completely oblivious to Spider-Ham and his friends fighting Mojo.
Before being turned back to normal, Spider-Man is also shown stretching the sides of his mouth into a ghastly smile, not unlike one of Phoenix's key scenes in Joker.
While the parody never acknowledges Joker by name, it does a pretty stellar job of acknowledging a lot of the now-iconic characteristics of Phoenix's Joker, without also getting into the film's more R-rated territory. Plus, Spider-Man being mashed up with one of DC's most dastardly villains probably isn't something that fans had been anticipating.
What do you think of Spider-Ham's parody of Joker? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!