One of the breakout characters in the Academy Award-winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was Peni Parker and her loyal spider robot SP//dr from Earth-14512. The anime-influenced character is a relatively recent addition to the Marvel Multiverse, with surprising rock star origins behind her creation.
Now, here's a quick overview of the character from her origins and role in the Spider-Man comic book crossover event Spider-Verse and what sets her apart from her web-slinging counterparts to her pivotal appearance in the popular animated film.
IS PENI PARKER IN SPIDER-MAN COMICS?
Peni Parker was created in 2014's Edge of Spider-Verse #5 by Umbrella Academy co-creator and former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and Jake Wyatt. Peni's father is the pilot of SP//dr, a powerful spider-shaped robotic suit that is simultaneously co-piloted by a sentient radioactive spider used to defend New York City from crime. Following the death of Peni's father, Peni becomes the new pilot of SP//dr after allowing herself to be bitten by the sentient radioactive spider so she can co-pilot the robot suit with it. After a brief team-up with Daredevil against Mysterio, Peni and SP//dr are called away to fight for the fate of the Marvel Multiverse in Spider-Verse.
Upon her return to her native Earth, Peni discovers her aunt and uncle have kept a secret second mech suit from her, piloted by Addy Brock and known as VEN#m. The two spider robot pilots quickly become at odds with one another while Peni becomes estranged from her aunt and uncle by the secret. Eventually the two team-up against a kaiju-sized monster known as M.O.R.B.I.O.U.S., with the confrontation resulting in VEN#m developing a mind of its own and becoming Peni's latest nemesis.
WHAT ARE PENI PARKER'S POWERS?
Even before being bitten by the radioactive spider, Peni already boasted a genius-level intellect, particularly in math and science. Peni's superior intelligence helps her not only pilot SP//dr but also repair the robotic mech suit and regularly develop upgrades for it to assist her in her ongoing war on crime.
Following receiving the radioactive spider bite, Peni develops spider-sense like virtually all of the web-slingers across the Marvel Multiverse, warning her of danger. Additionally, the bite gave Peni a telepathic connection with the spider co-piloting SP//dr, letting her know whenever the suit was at risk and helping the two co-pilots work better together as one. SP//dr itself boasts increased strength and speed and an array of gadgets and weapons that allow it to face all manner of threats with technical efficiency.
WHO IS PENI PARKER IN INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE?
Voiced by Kimiko Glen, Peni went on to play a pivotal role in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Her comic book origins are fairly faithfully represented in her animated debut, and her appearance in the film took even heavier visual influences from anime in comparison to how other characters in the film were rendered. First introduced alongside Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham inside Peter Parker's secret Spider-Lair beneath the toolshed in Aunt May's backyard, Peni reveals that she and SP//dr were sucked into Miles Morales' dimension by the Kingpin's particle collider.
Joining her fellow web-slingers, Peni and SP//dr prove invaluable in repairing a broken USB drive that reactivates the particle collider and helps the various extra-dimensional heroes return to their respective homes. During the film's climactic battle, Peni and SP//dr face Scorpion with the villain severely damaging the robot mech before being defeated by Spider-Ham. Back in her home dimension, Peni is last seen repairing SP//dr, with the suit reactivating happily.
Whether in comics or in animation, Peni Parker and SP//dr have both proven themselves to be important additions to the growing number of web-slinging superheroes in the Marvel Multiverse. And, with her manga and anime inspired design and background, Peni provides the chance for other mediums and genres to break up the monotony of expectation that comes with most mainstream superhero comics.