Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a stunning follow-up to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. What executive producers and writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller created with directors Kemp Powers, Joaquim dos Santos, and Justin K. Thompson is nothing short of spectacular. 

According to Miller, the 240-plus characters in this Spider-Verse sequel were created by over 1,000 artists(opens in a new tab), some of whom had been on the project for several years. And yet, even among an enthralling swarm of Spider-Folk, there's only one character that I couldn't stop thinking about: Spider-Punk, aka Hobie Brown, who is voiced by Oscar-winner Daniel Kaluuya.

Yes, Spider-Man 2099, aka Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaac), was intense. Spider-Woman, aka Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), was heart-wrenching, and that Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) cliffhanger was mind-snapping. But something about Spider-Punk spoke to me.

A British punk political activist, artist, musician, and one-time runway model, Hobie Brown wields his guitar like Paul Simonon throws his bass. Within Miguel O'Hara's carefully built Spider-Society(opens in a new tab), Spider-Punk is an outlier, sidestepping the rules of the multiverse to do what he wants. Hobie regularly fades into the background, quietly planting the seeds of rebellion, specifically within Miles, never really showing his hand until after he's gone. Hobie's chaotic nature is a feature, not a bug, and it’s pulled directly from his comic book origins.

Of course, it's not just his explosive guitar riff entrance, anti-establishment rants, or even his nostalgic punk rock poster redesign that makes Spider-Punk stand out. His influence on Miles and the subtle trajectory of the plot because of these character details is makes Hobie Brown one of the most influential characters of Across the Spider-Verse.

Who is Spider-Punk?

In 2014, Spider-Punk was first introduced in Marvel Comics in The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 3 #10 by writer Dan Slott and artist Olivier Coipel. This was three years after Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli brought us Miles Morales in Ultimate Comics: Fallout #4. So, canonically, Spider-Punk is a newer character. However, biologically, he's older than Miles, and on Earth-138, Hobie has seen and been through much more.

According to comic book lore, Hobie was living on the streets when he was bitten by a spider exposed to radioactive waste. A self-proclaimed Spider-Man in his universe, Hobie is staunchly anti-establishment and will curse out his enemies while he beats the crap out of them with his guitar. The 2022 update of the character(opens in a new tab) saw him regularly beating racists and fascists with the instrument.

At one point, Spider-Punk led a revolution against a tyrannical government led by the corrupt United States President Osborne, who ruled with a symbiote-infected(opens in a new tab) Thunderbolt Army. A symbiote's weakness is sound, and Spider-Punk had that in spades. He defeated his enemies with the loudest guitar riff ever played and ended the song by smashing Osborne over the head with the guitar. While Hobie's badass origins were not in Across the Spider-Verse, his powers and attitude did make the leap to the big screen.