Introduced in mega-Spidey crossover series ‘Spider-Verse’, the Spider-Man of Earth-138 is a very different character to the usual Peter Parker variant. That’s a lot to do with the world of Earth-138 itself, a dystopian nightmare in which the downtrodden are rising up against the evil powers-that-be, which initially includes the US President, Norman Osborn.
Hobie Brown is the man under the mask; in normal Marvel continuity, Hobart Brown was the original Prowler, but here he’s an anarchic punk band member and inspiring face is of the revolution – who also happens to be Spider-Man.
This universe’s characters are really unique twists on familiar faces and names – and there’s a truly admirable level of diversity amongst the cast.
This issue sees Hobie and Captain Anarchy (the Captain America of Earth-138) taking down a Nazi gang, Kraven and the Hunters. The fascists have somehow managed to arm themselves with some seriously high tech equipment – so who’s bankrolling them? And why?
It’s an absolute blast from beginning to end – a refreshingly unique take on superheroics with a great undercurrent of socio-political commentary. Writer Cody Ziglar absolutely nails the punk spirit of the world and the characters, while Justin Mason gives the comic a uniquely anarchic visual look too. That anarchic feel even extends to the bold, in-your-face colours by Jim Charalampidis too.
It’s another great start to a Marvel mini-series; if it continues to maintain this level of quality, I won’t want it to end after five issues – but I guess living fast and hard, making a difference and then burning out is a pretty punk thing to do.
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