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Across The Spider-Verse’s Penguin Has Spider-Gwen Fans Looking Twice

There are hundreds of versions of Spider-Man featured in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” However, one web-slinging variant that isn’t actually included in the film is Spider-Guin. The obscure comic book character is a resident of Earth-8311, the same world as Spider-Ham, who is voiced by John Mulaney in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” An anthropomorphic animal variant of Gwen Stacy, Spider-Guin is a penguin imbued with spider-like abilities.

Penguin Stacy’s existence adds some unexpected layers to Gwen’s emotional reconciliation with her father in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” Referencing George Stacy’s comment about his daughter shooting a web at her stuffed penguin, one TikTok commenter even observed, “‘You wanna go easy on the penguin?’ has layers [because] Gwen is a penguin in [Spider-Ham’s] universe. He’s asking her to go easy on herself.”

As dark as it is that Gwen initially thinks her father is holding a gun at her at the start of the scene in question, the detail itself represents a small, full-circle moment. After all, the prologue of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” ends with George holding Spider-Gwen up at gunpoint and trying to arrest her. Additionally, while it’s still unclear whether or not viewers will ever get to see Penguin Stacy brought to life onscreen, it’s worth noting that “Across the Spider-Verse” does end with Gwen recruiting some of her multiversal friends to help her save Miles, including Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) and, yes, Spider-Ham. 

The reintroduction of the latter character could present the door for either a Spider-Guin appearance in “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” or a trip to the character’s universe.

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