- Prowler (comics)
caption=Prowler versus the Vulture, art by
debut="Amazing Spider-Man" v1 #78 "(November 1969)"
Stan Lee John Buscema
Martial arts specialist|
The Prowler is the name of three fictional characters owned by
The first Prowler was a criminal turned superhero by the name of Hobie Brown. He debuted in "
Amazing Spider-Man" #78 (November 1969). Hobie Brown was created by Stan Lee, John Buscemaand Jim Mooney. His costume was designed by a young John Romita, Jr.
Fictional character biography
Hobie Brown was born in The
Bronx, New York. He was a bright, but angry teenage African-Americanwho got fired from his job as a window cleaner. Intending to use his engineering skills for personal profit, he devised a plan to steal stuff in the disguise of a supervillain and bring it back as Hobie Brown, thus hurting no one and still becoming a noteworthy hero.
However, when he donned his green and purple "Prowler" costume for the first time, he crossed paths with
Spider-Man. Spidey vanquished and demasked Prowler, but realizing he was just a misunderstood kid (much like himself), he gave him advice to not throw his life away as a criminal and to redeem himself. ["The Amazing Spider-Man" #78-79 (1969)] Hobie took this advice to heart and has since become a model citizen. Years later, for a brief period of time, he also joined super-hero group The Defenders ["Defnders" #62-64] .
Prowler later appeared in California during Peter Parker's "Webs" book deal [story-arc around "The Amazing Spider-Man" #304, 1988] . He is first seen attacking the Black Fox for possession of a chalice, to keep his wife, Mindy, out of prison. Mindy accepted a bookkeeping job at Transcorp New York. The company was caught in some shady stock deals and Mindy was set up and blamed for the crimes. The only way to clear her name, Hobie redonned the Prowler costume and found the books that Mindy was blamed for stealing. He hid the books on an information chip and put the information chip on the chalice, where no one would look for it. Prowler and Spider-Man team up to take on the Black Fox to take the chalice back. They succeed and Hobie's wife is cleared of all charges. He was last seen during a poker game organized by the Thing.
His costume and equipment were stolen by Nightcreeper, and the Prowler then battled Nightcreeper and the Vulture ["Prowler"
limited series#1-4, 1995] .
Later, Hobie was paralyzed during the Great Game ["Spider-Man Unlimited" #16, during "The Great Game" plot, in story-arc started with "
The Sensational Spider-Man" #16 (1997)] . The Prowler was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.recently in Ms. Marvel's Civil War tie-in. With the release of the other heroes, he has been set free and went to the wake of Stilt-Man, along with many other villains and former villains. Spider-Man had Puma escort him out for making a fool of himself. Shortly after Hobie leaves the Punisherdetonates the wake.
In a story-arc seen around "
The Spectacular Spider-Man" #47 (1980), a villain named Bella Donna stole Brown's costume and equipment and hired the cat burglar whom Spider-Man originally fought in "Amazing Spider-Man" #30 to become a "new Prowler". That criminal, who wore a simpler version of Brown's costume, accidentally killed a guard during one of his crimes. Unfortunately, that Prowler's similar silhouetted profile confused witnesses enough to have Spider-Man implicated in the murder. Eventually, Spider-Man captured both Belladonna and her accomplice, cleared his name and returned the stolen equipment to Brown. [http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/catprowl.htm] He recently appeared in " Punisher War Journal" #4, where he was seen at the " Bar With No Name" attending Stilt-Man's wake, identifying himself as the "Cat Burglar." He had a brief fight with the Prowler, who was also attending Stilt-Man's funeral, calling the Cat Burglar an impostor. Sometime after the Prowler had left, the Punisher poisoned the guests' drinks and blew the place up. It was later mentioned in " She-Hulk" (volume 2) #17 that "they all had to get their stomachs pumped and be treated for third-degree burns."
The Sensational Spider-Man" #16-18, a medical intern named Rick Lawson stole the Prowler costume and used it to both rob patients in the ICU and get revenge on those who had 'wronged' him in the past. However, he eventually ran into the Vulture, who was at the time rejuvenated and attempting to kill all who knew him as an old man; he mistook Rick for Hobie and was unconcerned about the mistake. Eventually, he managed to badly injure Rick by slashing him across the chest with his razor-sharp wings, but was unable to kill Rick. As Spider-Man defeats the Vulture, Rick was taken to the hospital and the Prowler costume was returned to Hobie. After this event, Rick Lawson's current location is unknown; presumably he was sent to prison once he had recovered enough to stand trial.
Powers and abilities
Prowler has no superhuman powers. He relies on a grab bag of technical gimmicks, most notably:
* Wrist bands which can fire powerful blasts of compressed air, as well as pellets filled with sleeping gas.
* Gloves with steel-tipped claws for climbing walls.
A technological genius, he also designed the cybernetically-controlled wing harness used by Peter Parker in the alter ego of the Hornet during
A zombified Prowler is seen in Dead Days during The Ultimate Fantastic Four. He is seen on off to the side of Tigra on the 2-page layout of the zombies.
* Hobie Brown appeared in on the voiced by
Tim Russ. He first appeared working for a crimelord called Iceberg and was feeling he wasn't earning his fair cut for the work he was doing. When Iceberg found out, he had his boys attempt to kill Hobie. After narrowly escaping that fate, he knew he needed to get out of town. He stole a passer by's purse in order to fund his new trip. It turned out to be Mary Jane's purse when she and Peter Parker are in the process of apartment hunting but was stopped by Spider-Man and Hobie was sent to jail for violating his parole. While in jail, he saves Richard Fiskfrom an attempt on his life. As payment, the Kingpin arranges for a hot shot lawyer to enable Hobie's release and gives him a special suit. He used the costume to get back at his old boss Iceberg. There are strings attached, however: the belt will detonate if he tampers with it. He and Spider-Man team up against the Kingpin and destroyed the controls to the belt so it wouldn't detonate and Prowler's suit is recharged. Hobie gave up crime so he can have a chance at returning to a normal 'good' life.
* Hobie Brown appears in the "Spectacular Spider-Man" series as one of Peter's classmates. He, along with Pete and
Harry Osborntry out for the school's football team.
* Prowler made his video game debut in "" voiced by
* [http://www.spiderfan.org/characters/prowler.html The Prowler's profile at Spiderfan.org]
* [http://marvel.com/universe/Prowler_%28Hobie_Brown%29 The Prowler on the Marvel Universe character bio wiki]
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