Considering that the “punk rock” thing belongs more to Spider-Gwen and her recently concluded solo comic, Spider-Punk needed a different angle to take to feel worthwhile. In lieu of just turning the issue into a straight up rock musical (which would’ve been entertaining all on its own), it’s about what makes Spider-Man as a character both so fun as a brand and highlights the fear that everyone has about monopolizing properties and having an iron grip on superhero brands.
Beloved as these characters are to fans, the companies that own them will always look at how to turn them into a profit. Kang’s time traveling powers allow him to realize that Spider-Punk is the safer bet over Captain Anarchy, who he declares will die “fat and irrelevant” while Hobie will die young enough for his heroic persona to be bankable and matter.
Given the lead time for publication, the issue itself was written as the Disney/Fox merger was still shaking out, but there’s a certain timeliness to it that allows for more weight as Kang muses about sanding out Spider-Punk’s “rough edges” and making sure his dialogue is more marketing friendly. It’s definitely been a joke that’s cropped up regarding what might happen to Deadpool and Wolverine in particular once their movie rights belong to the House of Mouse.
Spider-Punk’s timing couldn’t have been better, given the conversation around not just the merger, but also Sony’s insistence on turning every part of the Spider-Man brand its executives can think of into a film. Spidey’s situation as a joint custody character is very different from what’s going on with the X-Men, but he’s also an everyman who can be stuck into any situation. Sure, it may take more than one or two film failures for Sony to wash its hands of the hero once and for all, and for Marvel to get Spider-Man back from Sony, but as we’ve seen in recent years, anything is possible.
Ironically, the future that Hobie doesn’t want to be a part of is about to come for him (though he likely won’t know it). In just a few weeks, Marvel’s new Spider-Man game from Insomniac will release for the PS4, and the Spider-Punk costume is one of many that can be worn during the game. Not to mention that he likely could wind up as one of the Spider-heroes in the Christmas film Into the Spider-Verse, which will feature Spider-Man Noir and the Spydr mech suit. The issue doesn’t rob Spider-Punk’s story of its point, though; if anything, it just goes to show that for all the inter-dimensional vampires and sworn enemies all the Spider-Heroes have fought over the years, not even they can make a real stand against capitalism.
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