Across the Spider-Verse’s Spider-Punk Predicted the MAGA Slogan in 2014

Fresh off his introduction to mainstream audiences in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Hobie Brown’s Spider-Punk has a whole new set of fans. However, the Anarchic Spider-Man has been around since 2014, with one of his first appearances bizarrely predicting the Trump administration’s use of the “Make American Great Again” – or MAGA – slogan.

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Spider-Punk first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #10, as a member of a coalition of Spider-Heroes fighting against the predatory Inheritors, however his backstory was actually established in 2015’s Spider-Verse #2. In ‘With Great Power Comes No Future’ by Jed MacKay and Sheldon Vella, Hobie and an alliance of punk heroes face off against President Norman “Ozzy” Osborn. Traditionally the Green Goblin, in this universe Norman is instead a former-businessman-turned-president who uses the Variable Engagement Neuro-Sensitive Organic Mesh – aka V.E.N.O.M. – to rule over a fascistic America.

across the spider-verse spider-punk villain president norman osborn venom

During their confrontation, Osborn/Venom states, “It had to be this way, Spider-Man. We’re in the business of making America great again.” Looking back, fans are stunned that Spider-Punk’s President Osborn seemingly predicted the Trump administration’s use of this phrase, but is it really such a huge coincidence?



Spider-Punk Used MAGA For a Reason

spider-man spider-punk venom president norman osborn

Recently, a Spider-Punk fan reached out to writer Jed MacKay on Twitter, pointing out the use of the phrase. MacKay explained that he used the phrase to reference President Ronald Reagan, playing on the idea of a businessman-president as the perfect nemesis for the ultimate punk hero. Indeed, looking at the art, Osborn is even drawn to resemble Reagan (at least prior to his Venom-enhanced transformation.) The phrase “Make American Great Again” has a long history in American politics, stretching back even before Reagan, whose administration used it in his 1980 presidential campaign, phrased “Let’s make America great again.” Trump himself began using the phrase in 2011, though it was only truly popularized during his 2016 campaign.

While Spider-Verse #2 did predict the oncoming popularity of the “MAGA” slogan, this was based on its historical use and the recurrence of a specific political philosophy that had already somewhat begun when the comic was released. While it seems that President Osborn wasn’t intended as a direct Trump reference, the context of the time makes this ‘prediction’ far more likely than it seemed to fans who read the comic, then began to see the phrase returning to general use soon after.

Spider-Punk Is a Hardcore Hero, & His Villains Prove It

spider-punk ending hobie brown across the spider-verse

While several Marvel stories would go on to specifically parody Donald Trump, the first appearance of Spider-Punk’s President Osborn wasn’t one of them, despite the connections between the two. This is likely for the best, as it meant Spider-Punk stories were free to explore their core themes without caution or censorship. In fact, Hobie has actually killed President Osborn twice – once beheading him in Spider-Verse #2, and later obliterating a reborn Osborn with pure sound in Cody Ziglar and Justin Mason’s 2022 Spider-Punk series. As Hobie Brown’s fame increases thanks to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, fans can expect to see Spider-Punk continue to fight the highest echelons of corrupt power, though hopefully his villains won’t continue to predict America’s political future.

Source: Jed Mackay

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