Hobie Brown was a window washer, but he felt as though he wouldn't live up to anything special. His wife Mindy tried to convince him that he should give his ideas to his boss, but at first Hobie didn't know what difference it would make. But he eventually brought his invention ideas up to his boss, who simply laughed at him in his face and told him to get back to work. Hobie quit his job as the window washer and then went to try and invent a suit so that he could become a superhero. But he later decided to use his suit to steal stuff instead, having his alter ego Hobie Brown come with the stuff to portray himself as a hero. He may also have nine older siblings, as Abe Brown mentioned in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu that he himself is among eight other siblings.
But in his first act of crime, he got caught by Spider-Man, who then battled the Prowler. Prowler managed to get away with help from his sleeping gas. But during their next encounter, Spider-Man managed to unmask him to realize he was no older then himself. So he told Hobie not to throw his life away and he didn't bring him into the police.
Later on, Hobie dressed up as Spider-Man as a favor for Pete, showing up at his house in front of Peter and others.
Hobie Brown was created by Stan Lee, John Buscema and Jim Mooney and first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man issue 78 (1969).
Major Story Arcs
Bringing in a Murderer
Although Hobie and Spider-Man had become friends, eventually this changed when Hobie put his suit on once more to try and bring Spider-Man to justice as he believed he killed Captain George Stacy and had used him in dressing him up as Spider-Man. But as he fought Spider-Man, Prowler endangered his own life and Spider-Man had to save him and later take to the hospital to get taken care of.
The Prowler series
In the series that starred the Prowler, it showed his crime fighting career and his criminal called Nightcreeper, who had a similar suit as Prowler. When Prowler found out on the news that someone was making crimes posing as the Prowler, he went to stop the criminal. He then encountered Nightcreeper and the two battled.
But as they did, Prowler then realized that Nightcreeper wasn't killing people and that Nightcreeper could help him find the murderer. As he went back home that day though, Mindy was devastated to learn that he had been going out as the Prowler behind her back and left away crying. When Hobie went back to the company he worked for the next day, he encountered the man trying to take over the company, who he didn't know at the time was the Vulture.
He later meet up with Nightcreeper that night and they both fought a gang in an alleyway. But when Prowler noticed that innocent civilians were getting caught in the crossfire, he took Nightcreeper and dragged him out of there. Nightcreeper was angry at this and ran away from Prowler.
After a training session with his older brother Abe Brown, he then went and tracked down the Nightcreeper and told him to turn himself in. But later that day, as he was discussing Mindy's new job opportunity in California for her, he found out that Nightcreeper had been knocked out of the sky by the Vulture.
So Hobie went and tracked the Vulture as Prowler, but he also got knocked out of the sky. Later on, Prowler with help from his newly developed pneumatic laser bugging system, listened in on a conversation and found out Vulture's secret identity. He later confronted him where they got into a battle once more. Vulture eventually escaped though as the still injured, when Nightcreeper came on the scene. And also Mindy left Hobie to go to California, Hobie stayed in New York feeling that he couldn't leave being the superhero Prowler.
Black Fox and Redeem
Prowler later appears in comics to try to prove his wife Mindy innocent of book deal fraud. He and Spider-man then teamed up and went after the Black Fox, to try and get back the chalice he had stolen, which had information which could clear Mindy's name. He later got a job as construction worker.
Hobie was one of the many individuals hunted down for refusing to register with the Super-Human Registration Act during the Civil War. After being released by Carol Danvers, he went to the funeral of Stilt-Man, but was escorted out by Spider-Man and Puma before he makes a fool out of himself. The funeral was later bombed by the Punisher.
Working for Spider-Man
More recently, Hobie became an employee of Parker Industries. Here he sometimes acted as a Spider-Man double on a few ocassions but also used his own superhero alterego the Prowler.
On one ocassion while working for Parker Industries, Prowler was tasked by Peter Parker to investigate the building of an organization known as New U. This organization had a revolutionary treatment in helping victims with unhealthy organs. New U claimed to develop healthy new organs cloned from the patient's own organs. Peter did not fully trusted and asked Hobby to search for anwsers. While Hobbie, as Prowler, broke into their offices, he found out that it was owned by Spider-Man foe, the Jackal. While fleeing, he was stopped and eventually killed by Francine Frye, a woman whom had become the new Electro. He was soon afterwards cloned, and seemingly had become loyal to the Jackal, since he did not inform Peter anymore about what he found out.
The Prowler has no superhuman abilities, but he is an intelligent inventor, creating several gadgets and designs to enhance his Prowler suit. With it, he has steel-tipped gloves that allow him to scale walls and make effective melee weapons and even glass cutters. He has rubberized soles in his boots and shock absorbers in his suit that allow him to sustain falls from a few stories up with minimal injury. His cape also has rigid structure which allows him to glide in the air.
Prowler's gadgets and gear is based on pneumatic systems. Through this, he has created pneumatic devices that grant him the capability to fly through the air, and he has gauntlets on both his wrists and ankles, through which he can fire a multitude of objects, including the following:
- Concussive air blasts, (which in his boots, can help give a boost while flying or jumping)
- Laser blasts
- Sleeping gas pellets
- Cleaning fluid
- Sharp-tipped diamond shaped metal fletchettes
- Concussive gas canisters (creating obscuring fog, and knockout gases)
- Grappling hook
- Magnesium flares
Prowler is also a skilled athlete and has a green belt in Tae Kwon Do, along with having plenty of street fighting experience.
Marvel Adventures (Earth-20051)
He also appeared in one issue of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man comics, being confronted by Spider-Man as he thought he was doing crimes across the city but later found out he was trying to find the man who stole his inventions. They later encountered Dragon-Man, who was helping to steal the inventions. They later tracked him down and found that Phil Sheldon was the man behind controlling Dragon-Man, stealing Prowler's inventions. But he was quickly brought to justice... Prowler left Dragon-Man as his own little pet.
Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)
Ultimate Prowler was introduced by Brian Michael Bendis in the new Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.
Aaron Davis is the uncle of Miles Morales and is also the Ultimate Prowler. He breaks into the abandoned Oscorp research facility to steal a package when a genetically enhanced spider crawls into his bag. Later on Aaron is visited by his nephew Miles. While over, the spider bites Miles on his hand causing him to faint. Aaron is forced to call his brother (Miles' father) who does not like the two hanging out. The brothers get into a heated argument while Miles runs away. Miles' father catches up to him and explains the details of him and his brothers past together. He reveals that he used to aid Aaron in his heists but left that life behind when he saw the good things he could have in his life. Aaron however, continued his ways. Miles goes to visit his uncle the next day and finds his apartment is completely emptied out.
Aaron is next seen in Mexico City meeting with a man called "The Scorpion". Scorpion's guards hassle Aaron who electrifies them with a device from the Tinkerer. Aaron was supposed to exchange an item he stole for some money but does not deliver his end based on Scorpion's disrespect of Aaron. Aaron stabs him in the chest with a knife which has no effect on Scorpion. While fleeing the exchange, Aaron is apprehended by Mexican police and thrown in jail. While in his cell, Aaron reads a newspaper article about a new Spider-Man back home.
After escaping prison in Mexico, Prowler returns home and approaches Miles, revealing he knows his secret. He then heads to the Tinkerer but finds Scorpion in his place. Aaron unloads with a pair of Vulture wings but Scorpion survives. Aaron flies off in fear and reaches out to Miles to help him in taking down Scorpion. The two fight it out until Aaron convinces Miles that Scorpion is a true bad guy and needs to be dealt with. Miles agrees to help this once and aids his uncle in taking down Scorpion. When Miles refuses to continue working with Aaron they battle it out. Aaron's tech malfunctions during the fight and explodes in his face leaving him in questionable condition.
The Amazing Spider-Man series: In the 1990's Spider-Man animated series, the Prowler wanted to become a crime lord, to prove that he was worth something, to this end he accepted a deal from the Kingpin, but after it became clear Kingpin double crossed him, Prowler joined forces with Spider-Man to help take down the Kingpin
Spectacular Spider-Man series: Hobie Brown is a football player at Midtown High. He caught the game winning catch that won them championship after Harry Osborn had to take a leave from the school. And he also took over for Harry at the school play as the character "Puck" when Harry went missing. He is voiced by Charles Duckworth.
Prowler's video game was an feature character in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe.