Spider-Punk: Corporate Co-option of Anti-Capitalism

Adam De Salle
6 min readJun 27, 2023
Spider-Punk in Across the Spider-Verse (Credit: Sony Animation)

The 1st of June marked the release of the highly awaited sequel to Sony’s award winning Into the Spider-verse, with Across the Spider-Verse. Viewers are brought back into the world of the Spider-Verse after 5 years since the last film, refamiliarized with the various spider-people we have come to love such as Miles Morales, in the jaw-dropping animation style which won its predecessor the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature back in 2019. But within this fantastic spectacle for the eyes, ears, and hearts — a story about responsibility, grief, and the importance of being yourself — we also get introduced to a few new faces. One which has set the internet ablaze, and for good reason, since the film’s release was one Hobie Brown/Spider-Punk, voiced by Camden’s own Daniel Kaluuya (the star of Jordan Peele’s Get Out and more recently Nope, and who is no stranger to the world of comic book cinema, having appeared in Black Panther…and Kick-Ass 2, but I’m sure Kaluuya wishes we all forgot about that one). It goes without saying that this article will contain spoilers for Across the Spider-Verse, and though I will be critiquing it, I still recommend all readers to watch the film ASAP before reading this article.

If you are still reading and haven’t seen this beautiful film, I’ll assume you don’t care about the spoilers. And for those who did see it and need a reminder, let’s do this one more time. First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #10 in November of 2014, and created by Dan Slott and Olivier Coipel, Hobart ‘Hobie’ Brown is the Amazing Spider-Man of Earth-138…or rather the Anarchic Spider-Man/Punk of that universe. Brown became Spider-Man when he was bitten by a spider irradiated by illegal waste dumped by the fascist regime of President Norman ‘Ozzy’ Osborn (the villain who usually becomes Green Goblin, but who in this universe creates the Variable Engagement Neuro-Sensitive Organic Mesh…A.K.A. V.E.N.O.M., using it to empower his Thunderbolt Department). Brown fought against the totalitarian regime of the President, decapitating him with his electric guitar. Where Hobie’s origin changes in the story penned by Chris Miller and Phil Lord is that he resides in…

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Adam De Salle

I am a young writer interested in providing the intellectual tools to those in the political trenches so that they may fight their battles well-informed.