With the sequel to the Oscar winning Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse hitting cinemas in June, now’s the chance to look at one of the Spider-Men making their film debut’s comic exploits in Spider-Punk: Battle of The Banned. Hobie Brown is the head-spiked Spider-Punk — all set to protect Earth-138 with his ax in hand and his chaotic band of punk rockin’ heroes backing him! But even though the Norman Osborn of Hobie’s dimension is dead, will the chaos he created be too much for Spider-Punk and gang to handle? What secrets lie under the community centre that Spidey and his crew call home base? And why is Taskmaster crashing the party to stomp out Spider-Punk? It all ties back to one thing, and Hobie had better figure it out fast!
Spider-Punk made his debut in the original Spider-Verse storyline as an alternate universe version of villain turned hero Hobie Brown AKA The Prowler. This version of Brown was a homeless teenager bitten by a spider that was irradiated from President Norman Osborn’s toxic waste dumping. He subsequently took on the identity of Spider-Punk and would kill President Osborn leading him to becoming a saviour in the eyes of the public. He has appeared in every Spider-Verse follow-up and has become a fan-favourite thanks to his punk aesthetic and anarchist take on the Spider-Man character. This year, he makes his film debut in Across The Spider-Verse voiced by Daniel Kaluuya. It is only appropriate that he gets his own series in the lead-up.
Cody Ziglar presents a world alive with anarchic spirit and uses this setting to examine social issues in a direct way as well as reimagining classic villains like Taskmaster. The first chapter – for instance – sees this universe’s version of Kraven The Hunter — along with his bandmates — wreaking havoc in the streets at the behest of an anonymous benefactor who wish to use the resulting destruction as an excuse to gentrify the area. We get some terrific action sequences as a result with Spider-Punk battling the group with his guitar in hand whilst spouting some Spider-Man style quips with a distinctly anarchist slant.
Justin Mason’s art style is perfectly suited for the Spider-Punk world blending traditional super heroics with a punk vibe. The fight scenes in particular are packed with energy and a joy to read. It’s extremely satisfying to see Spider-Punk lay a beating to Kraven and his band with his guitar.
This is a brilliant Spidey spinoff that will appeal to fans of the extended Spider-Verse. Those wanting to read up on the Spider-Punk character before his film debut will also find this a perfect read.
Spider-Punk: Battle of The Banned is out now from Marvel (9781302934620, p/b, £15.99)
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