When Marvel brought us the Spider-Verse comic event several years ago, it was like a great reunion for all the different variations of Spider-Man we’ve seen through the years. Spider-Men from What If…?, Spider-Man from the Japanese TV show, Spider-Man from the year 2099, Spider-Man from the goofy newspaper comic strips, and so on. Among all the webslingers, there was one spikey-headed rebel who stood out as a fresh-faced hero of the multiverse.
Hobart Brown of Earth-138 is Spider-Punk and coming this April, he’s finally going to be starring in his own book.
Writer Cody Ziglar and artist Justin Mason will be doing five issues of a Spider-Punk mini-series for Marvel. So far the anarchist arachnid has taken on authoritative overlord incarnations of the Green Goblin, Vulture, and Kang the Conqueror. He’s teamed up with his spider-brethren several times over, but now we’ll get a more focused look on him and his dystopian world.
I got to speak with Cody Ziglar about the project. Funny enough, the whole miniseries seemed tailor-made for him from the beginning.
“I wrote five issues of Amazing Spider-Man and had written two backups for Miles Morales: Spider-Man and I’m also writing the What If? Miles Morales they’re doing,” Ziglar says. He joked about regularly telling the Marvel editors, “‘I want to write Spider-Man, but if it’s a black Spider-Man? I’m the guy that you want to come to.’”
As he put it, the higher ups would tell him: “’Calm down. If it ever pops up again, we’ll let you know.’ One day they reached out to me. ‘Hey, not only is it a black Spider-Man, but it’s a black Spider-Man who’s into punk stuff.’ Great! Literally all my bases are covered! They saw how enthusiastic I was about the prospect and came to me for it.”
Now, if you haven’t seen Spider-Punk’s first non-team-up adventure, then you missed out on him taking down President Osborn and his symbiote army via the power of music, rebellion, and a very graphic guitar to the skull. Where does our hero go from there?
Ziglar compares taking down Osborn to “blowing up the Death Star,” meaning the aftermath is about dealing with the institution of the Empire.
“This is very much him saying, ’I’ve taken out the figurehead, but now I deal with the actual institution. How do I topple the actual institution?’ And for that, he has to put together a fun little team.”
A team? Ziglar is mostly tight-lipped on who to expect. Other than spending more time with Spider-Punk’s brother-in-arms Captain Anarchy, Ziglar did namedrop a variant of Riri Williams as part of Hobart’s heroic band. A band that should feature 4-5 members.
“There’s also a big bad that’s revealed at the end of the first issue that’s been really, really fun to reimagine,” Ziglar teases.
Inadvertently, Spider-Punk makes for an interesting companion piece to what Ziglar’s been writing in Amazing Spider-Man these days. In recent issues, the Beyond Corporation has the rights to everything Spider-Man and is using Ben Reilly as the “official” Spider-Man. Ben’s gradually realizing that he’s on the wrong side and is gearing up for his own anti-authority adventure.
“There are definitely some parallels [between Hobie and Ben Reilly],” Ziglar says. “There’s definitely stuff I’ve touched on more so in the Kraven issues and a little bit in the Doc Ock one, where it’s Ben up against, literally, a faceless corporation. The heightened version of that would be Hobie fighting against the corrupt American institution. There’s definitely a big through line between one going after a corporation and the other the government. There’s definitely things I was writing in my Amazing Spider-Man issues that I need to explore bigger, more refined, and I think better in this Spider-Punk run. So there is definitely this parallel between Hobie and Ben, these small people against giant institutions.”
Spider-Punk, his new allies, and new enemies will clash this coming April.
SPIDER-PUNK #1 (OF 5)
Written by CODY ZIGLAR
Art by JUSTIN MASON
Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL
Headshot Variant Cover by TODD NAUCK
ANARCHY IN THE SPIDER-VERSE!
SPIDER-PUNK GETS HIS OWN SERIES!
HOBIE BROWN is THE ANARCHIC SPIDER-PUNK — set to protect EARTH-138 with his ax in hand and his chaotic band of punk rockin’ heroes backing him!
NORMAN OSBORN is dead, but will the chaos he’s created be too much for Spider-Punk and gang to handle?
Feel the vibes as CODY ZIGLAR (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and JUSTIN MASON bring you the jams when “BANNED IN DC” begins here!