Spider-Punk’s Greedy Taskmaster Is The Perfect Villain For This Universe

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Spider-Punk #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

The Spider-Verse is not only a creative way to introduce new and interesting Spider-people into the Marvel Universe, but it’s also a chance for readers to dive deeper into the lore of some fan favorites. which were introduced during the spider worms event by Dan Slott and Olivier Coipel. Hobie Brown, aka Spider-Punk from Earth-138, is a perfect example. With Spider Punk #1 (by Cody Ziglar, Justin Mason, Jim Charalampidis, and VC’s Travis Lanham), fans can not only delve into the world of the punk rock-inspired hero, but also his colorful collection of villains. One example included a perfect iteration of Taskmaster who could potentially be this Spider-Man’s greatest nemesis.

Much like other classic Spider-Man tales, Spider-Punk followed the story of Hobie Brown, a teenager bitten by an irradiated spider that was made from the dumping of toxic waste. However, unlike Peter, whose spider persona inadvertently became a symbol of freedom and promised that anyone could tell the difference, Hobie actively marketed the idea. As a punk rock Spider-Man, whose powers were born from illegal business activities, his actions were always meant to create anarchy and incite an uprising so people knew they shouldn’t having to live under someone more powerful. But with Taskmaster, it was clear that to fight an anarchist, corporations needed the darker side of capitalism they could grasp.

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No matter the universe, Taskmaster has been the definition of a self-taught person. Thanks to his photographic reflexes and his ability to mark himself, he is Marvel Comics’ first mercenary in decades. In the Hobie universe, however, he’s taken things to the next level as a mercenary who perhaps cares more about money than any other variant. After defeating his version of Kraven the Hunter, Hobie was ambushed by a version of Taskmaster with a hood reminiscent of the Misfits hairstyle, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, and a shield with a huge dollar sign painted on it. Aesthetically, the book specified that this threat would literally and ethically oppose Spider-Man.

Hobie Brown is a people’s hero and actively opposes politics, which is on par with a punk rocker-themed hero. But in introducing Taskmaster, there’s a corporate stench about him that makes him seem like the best way for big corporations to deal with “young upstarts.” Based on his looks alone, Taskmaster didn’t care about the losses as long as his check was cashed. Additionally, the slight punk influences in his outfit seem less inspired and more like “The Man”‘s attempt to poke fun at the music of Hobie’s generation. To be beaten by someone who is aesthetically as punk as Spidey would be both humiliating and annoying for everyone.

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Spider-Punk Taskmaster

There’s also an irony in how this Taskmaster hardly had to change from his 616 counterpart’s look to impress the reader with his character’s main point. In a way, it spoke to the larger punk influence of the character and the genre and proved that even heroes as clean as the 616 version of Spidey had a punk aspect in their DNA. If Taskmaster can be a representative of corporate greed and selfishness in all realities, then those who oppose him are inherently punk. The only difference is that in the Hobie universe, it’s more of a way of life.

Spider Punk is a series that has the potential to comment on more modern issues that have arisen as corporations have taken more control over the years. By opposing Taskmaster, there is an even greater chance that the message that might be conveyed between them will have a stylish and powerful impact on readers. Ultimately, while punk is an aesthetic that many can’t fit into, its ideals and the concept of standing up to those who don’t care about the “little guy” are universal. Now, this seemingly eternal battle of ethics and beliefs will take on a new form between Hobie and Taskmaster.

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