Monday, February 26, 2007

The Prowler

The Prowler is really an African-American teenager from the Bronx named Hobie Brown. He was first seen in the late 1960’s in Amazing Spider-Man #78. Hobie has the skills to be an engineer but could only get a job as a window washer. However, he got fired from that job. So he thought of a plan to create a supervillain called The Prowler. He used his engineering skills to create steel claws and boots to climb walls. He would rob from the wealthy in their penthouse apartments as the Prowler but return them as Hobie Brown and get the reward. It seemed like a great plan but he met Spider-Man on his first job. He was caught and unmasked. When he saw he was just a kid like himself Spider-Man told Hobie to use his skills to help people. Hobie took the advice and turned his life around with a new job and got married. Along the way he would sometimes help other with superheroics. He was briefly a member of the Defenders and the Outlaws. The Outlaws was a group of reformed supervillains like Sandman, Puma and Rocket Racer. One of his own adventures was to help clear his wife so she would not go to jail.
In 1994 Marvel gave Prowler his own mini-series.
Others have also tried to become the Prowler. The second one was a cat burglar. He stole Hobie’s costume and accidentally killed a guard while committing a crime. Eyewitnesses only saw the silhouette of the killer. Unfortunately it looked just like Spider-Man. Spider-Man caught him and cleared his name and returned the stolen costume to Hobie Brown.
The other person who tried to become the Prowler was a medical intern named Rick Lawson. He stole the costume too. (Hobie needs a better lock on his door.) He used the costume to help him steal from his patients. He met up with the rejuvenated and younger Vulture. Vulture was killing all those who knew him as an old man. The original Prowler was one of those people. Vulture tried to kill Rick not realizing that he was not the original Prowler. Spider-Man intervened and defeated Vulture and took a badly injured Rick Lawson to the hospital. Later he once again returned the stolen costume to Hobie Brown. Hopefully Spider-Man gave him a good talking to about how to take care of you valuables. You would think a former cat burglar would know how to do that.
For a time Hobie decided to settle down and get married. When he decided he wanted to become a crime fighter again he had to chose between being a superhero or his wife. His decision broke up his marriage when he became the Prowler once again.
Recently Hobie became involved in the Civil War mini-series. In that series he was captured by SHIELD in Ms. Marvels tie in comic book.

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