A pretty fun but formulaic team-up book that could just use more Spider-Punk.

Review: SPIDER-PUNK: ARMS RACE #1 – Three-Chord Heroes

From writer Cody Ziglar (Miles Morales: Spider-Man) and artist Justin Mason (Spider-Man 2099: Dark Genesis, Star Wars) comes a team-up superhero comic a la garage bands in Spider-Punk: Arms Race #1. Featuring Morry Hollowell on colors and Travis Lanham’s lettering, Arms Race is a fun yet formulaic start to this follow-up to Ziglar & Co.’s 2022 Spider-Punk series that could just use more, well Spider-Punk. With excellent art and neat parallel universe character-design, Arms Race is still worth a read for fans of Marvel comics outside of the 616.

“ENCORE! YOU WANTED MORE! In a world without NORMAN OSBORN, SPIDER-PUNK REIGNS! This ain’t no victory lap though – as HOBIE BROWN and team try to rebuild society, JUSTIN HAMMER & DOCTOR OTTO OCTAVIUS have other plans…like introducing the world to the SPIDER-SLAYING SENTINELS!”

Writing & Plot

Cody Ziglar’s signature high-energy scripting is back in full-bore on Spider-Punk: Arms Race #1. Following the defeat of President Osborne in the previous series, Hobie Brown and the rest of his band, Mz. Marvel, Mattea Murdock (Daredevil), Riotheart, and Captain Anarchy, are helping protect and repair the world with the help of Wakanda. Meanwhile, as usual, old foes work in the background to take advantage of the world’s fragile state, as Justin Hammer teams up with Otto Octavius to create new anti-Spider superweapons. The Earth-138 versions of beloved Marvel characters are a fun diversion in and of themselves, and it’s cool to jump into a superhero comic that doesn’t have the decades of stings and history attached. While reading the previous series will add some context, readers can jump into Arms Race and will have no trouble keeping up. While Arms Race offers some goofy fun and tons of energy thanks to Ziglar’s relentless energy, it suffers from being less of a Spider-Punk book, and more of a punk team-up comic. While the book is a good time, it isn’t terribly compelling. Remove the Earth-138 trappings, and Arms Race just feels like any other teen-focused superhero team comic.

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Art Direction

Justin Mason brings Spider-Punk: Arms Race #1 to life with his powerful, animated pencils and kinetic sequential direction. Hobie Brown and his band of alternate universe Marvel heroes all have great designs that blend well with this universe’s aesthetic while not straying too far from their 616 counterparts (except maybe for Mattea Murdock). Mason’s facial and body animation gives the cast tons of personality, flowing perfectly with Ziglar’s energetic script. His thin lines and use of hatching add dimension to every page, aided even more by Morry Hollowell’s dense color palette. Mason’s sequential direction carries the action at a fast but even pace, letting the conversational moments sink in while the action is full of that Spider-Man level kinetic punch. Hollowell’s colors add a sort of gritty, grimy layer over the pages to add to the street-level punk aesthetic of the issue, and it works brilliantly. Travis Lanham’s bombastic lettering is a stellar finishing touch for Arms Race’s visual experience. His work with fonts and word balloons explode off the page with such style that it perfectly matches the tone of the rest of the book – a fitting statement for a Spider-Punk comic.


Spider-Punk: Arms Race #1 is a fun comic that could just use more Spider-Punk. Cody Ziglar’s infectious enthusiasm is present on every page, but his writing is bogged down by forgettable super-team fights without any memorable character moments. The visuals from Justin Mason and Morry Hollowell are brilliantly animated and nail the garage-punk tone Earth-138 demands. Be sure to grab this issue when it hits shelves on February 28th!

Justin Munday
Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.
A pretty fun but formulaic team-up book that could just use more Spider-Punk.Review: SPIDER-PUNK: ARMS RACE #1 - Three-Chord Heroes