Why Does Spider-Punk Look Like That In ‘Across the Spider-Verse?’

in Entertainment, Marvel

daniel kaluuya spider-punk hobie brown spider-man across the spider-verse

Credit: Sony Pictures

Audiences who were treated to the first few days of showings of the highly-anticipated sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse definitely walked out of the theater with sky-high impressions of the film, but they also may have walked out with a question: What was up with Spider-Punk’s animation?

Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya) was drawn very differently than all of the other Spider-People in Across the Spider-Verse, in that his style never stayed consistent. Unlike Miles, Gwen, Peter B., and the rest of the lot, Spider Punk’s animations never stop moving and changing, and the picture they make overall varies widely from scene to scene.

Director Justin K. Thompson explained this choice very succinctly when he said:

“Even visually, he’s an anarchist — he doesn’t stay situated in one style.”

Spider-Punk’s Animation Style Was Meant to Reflect His Beliefs

daniel kaluuya spider-punk hobie brown spider-man across the spider-verse
Credit: Sony Pictures

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In the film, Spider-Punk – whose alias is Hobie Brown – lives in a dystopian, authoritarian version of London, and responds to it by turning into an old-fashioned 70s British Punk. Everything he is is hinging on not believing everything “they” tell you, and making sure to stay focused on the things that really matter in life.

Hobie’s art style reflects that: He isn’t concerned with artifice, or even with how he presents himself to the outside world – a tenet of Punk ideology. He displays every facet of himself at all times, without filtering it into some kind of amalgamation to make those around him comfortable.

Co-director Joaquin Dos Santos explained that the inspiration for this art style “came from old punk rock posters of the ’70s and ’80s.”

daniel kaluuya spider-punk hobie brown spider-man across the spider-verse
Credit: Sony Pictures

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“You take a picture, you Xerox it, draw over it, Xerox that, staple that to a thing, pull it down, Xerox that. That was the vibe there. It’s a hard thing to pull off, but if you were to try to gussy it up, you lose the spirit of who that character is. The character should not work.”

It was very important that Spider-Punk’s character come from a place of authenticity that detailed, because his convictions are a very important part of helping to shape Miles Morales’ decisions in Across the Spider-Verse.

Why is Spider-Punk Such an Important Character in the Spider-Verse?

daniel kaluuya spider-punk hobie brown spider-man across the spider-verse
Credit: Sony Pictures

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When faced with the existence of a Spider-society,  Miles is naturally overwhelmed with the amount of connections he can find with people he has in common – where before he had a small band of misfits stretched across timelines, here was a whole organization dedicated to people just like him.

Spider-Punk was an important foil to that entire point of view. Thompson explained:

“The Spider Society was this huge thing that Miles had built up in his head. Other than just being cool and awesome, Punk was there to try to remind Miles: Don’t put all your value and all your faith in all of this artifice here. Don’t give in to all these people making these rules. 

Spider-Punk teaches the important lesson that sometimes the people making the rules can be more corrupt than the people who break them, and that recognizing that is extremely important if you’re going to try to enforce those rules the way Spider-people do.

Sometimes, those rules include the way you’re drawn.

Have you seen Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in theaters yet? What did you think of Spider-Punk’s art style? Leave Inside the Magic a comment down below.

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