Who Is The Prowler? The Criminal Enemy And Uncle Of Miles Morales
Several fictional characters appearing in U.S. comic books published by Marvel Comics go by the alias of Prowler. They represent the main adversaries of Spider-Man.
Many have occupied the command of Prowler, but in this post, we will talk about Aaron Davis, Miles Morales’ criminal uncle. And like the other incarnations of this character, he wears a green and purple battlesuit with a cape and clawed gauntlets.
Who is the Prowler?
Image: Marvel Comics
Writer Stan Lee and artists Jim Mooney and John Buscema created the Prowler. He first appeared in 1969 in The Amazing Spider-Man #78.
Miles Morales’ uncle, Aaron Davis, is one of the Prowlers. While Davis was stealing a formula from an abandoned Osbourne Industries lab, a genetically modified spider hid in his backpack. That caused his nephew to be bitten and transformed into Spider-Man.
That shows an origin quite different from what we saw in Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse. There, Prowler was the most tenacious adversary against his nephew Miles Morales until he redeemed himself.
The original Prowler was Hobie Brown, a criminal who became a superhero thanks to Spider-Man. But this is not the only one; the second version came out in 1980, in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #47.
The third version came out in 1997, in Sensational Spider-Man #16. Writer Todd DeZago and artist Mike Wieringo created it. Also, in an iteration of Ultimate Marvel, in 2011, in Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #1, Aaron Davis appears.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli created this fourth character. It is the most recent version and has appeared in recent Spider-Man movies.
Fictional Biography of the Prowler
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The Prowler Hobie Brown
Hobie Brown is the first version of the Prowler. This character was born in the Bronx, New York, and is a bright African-American teenager. He worked as a dishwasher and was fired, which caused him a lot of anger.
That led him to use his engineering skills, which he had even though he had never studied engineering. He aimed to steal objects disguised as supervillains and return them as Hobbie.
His first assignment was in the Daily Bugle; he wanted to gain publicity. That’s why he put on his green and purple Prowler costume. But, quickly, Peter Parker thwarted his attempt.
Unable to reveal his true identity, Brown threw himself out of a window since the editor, J. Jonah Jameson, watched him in the middle of the fight. He survived since, being outside the building, he could use his webs.
Hobie was traumatized in the event, managing to escape through the roof of the building. But, on his way out, he met Spider-Man, who defeated and unmasked him. Upon meeting him, he realized that he was just a misunderstood child, what happened to Peter.
Therefore, Spider-Man guided the young man to leave that life of crime and redeem himself. That led Hobie to take the advice to heart and become a model citizen. After some time, Hobie, at the request of the superhero, pretended to be him, seeking to convince Peter that he was not Spider-Man.
Hobie somehow became convinced that Spider-Man had something to do with the death of George Stacy, Captain of the police, trying to bring him to justice.
Hobie Marries and Settles Down in Life
Image: Marvel Comics
This character managed to marry Mindy S. McPherson and rebuild his life. He established a career in construction as a laborer. At the same time, he began taking care of his younger brother Manuel “Manny” Lopez, which was part of the Big Brother program.
Sadly, Manny was murdered, again turning Hobie the Prowler to seek justice. He believed White Tiger was responsible and sought missions to meet his end.
Among his exploits was joining The Defenders, a group of superheroes, which was thwarted when he was thrown from a harbor by Valkyrie. Hobie decided to retire his identity, but later his costume was stolen by the white-collar thief.
The latter assumed the second version of the Prowler, who commits crimes. His true identity was Bella Donna. Brown needed to find out who had stolen him, but Spider-Man convinced him to stay home for safety.
Spider-Man finds the second Prowler and defeats him on the spot, defeating him and returning the stolen equipment to Brown. Sometime later, the Prowler appears in California, where he attacks Black Fox.
The criminal had a stolen chalice. He tried to protect Mindy but to no avail. The company where she worked was involved in illegal actions blaming her.
That made Hobie wear his suit again; he needed to clear Mindy’s name. So he found the ledgers that were proof that she had stolen. He recorded the information from those ledgers on a chip. Thus, together with Spider-Man, he managed to reinvent Mindy’s name.
Subsequently, Spider-Man was falsely implicated in a crime. The Prowler tried to help him, meeting with Silver Sabie and The Outlaws. Prowler joined the latter to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Canadian official.
In 1980 the story The Spectacular Spider-Man #47 showed Bella Donna assuming the new role of the Prowler. To do so, she first steals the suit and equipment belonging to Brown and takes the rap.
She assumes the alias of the White Glove Thief, a criminal that Spider-Man fought in Amazing Spider-Man #30. It was a much simpler version of Brown’s typical costume.
The criminal accidentally kills one of the guards in his misdeed. But, his silhouette is camouflaged, confusing the witnesses and implicating Spider-Man. This event starts a chase against him.
Spider-Man finally manages to capture Bella Donna and clears his name, also returning the stolen equipment from Brown. Another version of the Prowler was seen in the unnamed Bar, attending the burial of Stilt-Man.
He identified himself as the second version of the Prowler, having a brief fight with the original Prowler at that funeral. As the Prowler left, Punisher poisoned the guests’ drinks and blew up the place.
Rick Lawson is another of those who stole the Prowler costume. That happened when Hobie had back injuries and went to the hospital. He was wearing his outfit, but all cut up, trying to hide the superhero’s identity.
Rick steals the suit in an oversight of Hobie’s friends who cared for him, stealing from patients in the I.C.U. He takes revenge on all those who had wronged him before. Among them was a foreman of the construction company where he worked, who fired him without cause.
That happened when Rick most needed the income to finish medical school. Later, by chance, he met the Vulture. But this time, he was younger.
The villain mistook him for Hobie, seriously wounding him in the arm. He did not manage to kill him because of Spider-Man, who interrupted the fight. The superhero stopped the Vulture and took the Prowler to the hospital, returning the suit to its original owner Hobie. Hobie was beginning to recover from his paralysis.
The Prowler Powers and Abilities
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The Prowler is a character that has no powers over humans but has abilities that make him extraordinary:
- He is a master in stealing, managing to open locks, evading alarms and opening safes.
- An expert acrobat capable of performing the most difficult feats.
- To be an Olympic-level athlete with unmatched reflexes, endurance and agility.
- To be an expert martial artist, standing out for his hand-to-hand fighting, defeating his nephew Miles Morales and many of Scorpion’s henchmen.
- An expert marksman.
He is truly a technological genius, an innate inventor, especially in the field of pneumatics. All this without having received a formal education in the area of science. Among his inventions is a harness Peter Parker wears in the alter ego of the Hornet.
Among the equipment he uses are:
- Flight harness, consisting of a pair of mechanical wings.
- Getaway Jacket, which makes him look great, surprising everyone.
- Vibro-Shock gauntlets, which emit sonic waves.
- Iron spider armor.
- Insulated boots made of shock-absorbing foam rubber.
- Cloak, containing a network of filaments that give it a rigid structure, allowing it to glide at short distances.
- Arsenal of projectiles, including steel darts, small explosives, magnesium flares, gas bullets, and cleaning fluid.
The Prowler Other versions
Image: Marvel Comics
In other versions of the Prowler, we see:
House of M
Hobie Brown is a Luke Cage’s Resistance technician, featured in the timeline House of M.
In The Ultimate Fantastic Four appears a zombified Prowler. Tigra’s pig appears in Days of the Dead.
In the Daily Bugle database is a list of cat burglars where the Ultimate Marvel versions of Rick Lawson and Hobie Brown appear.
In the fourth version, Aaron Davis has come out of the Prowler, who plays the uncle of Miles Morales’ Spider-Man and the brother of Jefferson Davis. The latter reformed by marrying Rio Morales, but he becomes the Prowler when Aaron doesn’t arrive.
Prowler breaks into an abandoned lab at Oscorp to steal a red box and various rare items in a safe. While doing this, Oscorp’s genetically altered spider unknowingly gets into his backpack. And Miles is bitten, becoming the new Spider-Man.
It is the version that appears in Spider-Punk.
Hobie Brown is in the pages of Spider-Gwen, which takes place on Earth-65. There she is a Yancy Stret’s gang member, and they are looking for Spider-Woman.
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew your vows
In the “Secret Wars” story, Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Prowler emerges as part of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secret resistance against Regent.
Versions of the Prowler in Other Media
In other versions of the Prowler in different media, he appears in:
The Prowler in Television
On television, the Prowler appears in the series:
- Spider-Man, episode “The Prowler”, where Tim Russ performs the voice.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man, where Hobie Brown is one of Peter’s classmates.
- Spider-Man from 2017, where the incarnation of Hobie Brown, appears in the episode “Bring on the Bad Guys”, interpreted by Nathaniel J. Potvin.
In the cinema he appears in the movies:
- Spider-Man: Homecoming of 2017, Aaron Davis is played by Donald Glover.
- Spider-Man: A New Universe comes out the version of Aaron Davis with the voice of Mahershala Ali.
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse of 2018, with its sequels in alternate versions.
- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse from 2023, which is a version that exists in the mind of Miles Morales. It looks at the Aaron Davis of Earth – 42 who jmás became Prowler.
In video games, the Prowler is in:
- Spider-Man: Friend or Foe with the voice of Chris Gardner.
- Spider-Man Unlimited, where he appears as the Prowler and Spider-Punk.
- Spider-Man Miles Morales.
The Prowler, a Villain with Many Versions
The Prowler is one of the villains with more versions in Marvel Comic. We see him in several animated series adaptations, as well as in movies and different video games.
The most recent version is made by Miles Morales’ uncle, Aaron Davis, in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in 2023. A film that critics have acclaimed as one of the best of our times.
Featured Image Via Marvel Comics
I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.