This October, Spider-Man’s occasional enemy and current ally the Prowler gets his own ongoing series for the first time ever. Launched by writer Sean Ryan and artist Jamal Campbell, Prowler spins out of the upcoming Spider-Man event The Clone Conspiracy, with an appropriate twist coming fresh out of this week's Amazing Spider-Man #17.
Read on to find out how Ryan and Campbell plan to take Hobie Brown into the A-List, and his surprising ties to the Jackal, the new female Electro, and the larger Spider-Man mythos.
This article also gives readers the first glimpse at Jamal Campbell’s interior art for Prowler, along with his variant cover for Prowler #1.
Newsarama: Sean, you’re writing Prowler’s first-ever solo ongoing series. How do you plan to elevate him from B-lister to leading man?
Sean Ryan: A fantastic and terrifying question. That’s certainly the challenge of a book like this. The plan is to, rather simply, really dive into who Prowler is as a person, figure out what’s cool and interesting about him, and hopefully write him in a way that gets all of that across. I didn’t really know that much about Prowler before getting the assignment, but in the short time I’ve spent with him, I’ve really grown to like him. The trick is just going to be getting everyone else on board.
Nrama: Marvel has made it clear that Prowler plays a big part in The Clone Conspiracy, and this series spins out of that. What can you tell us about where this series finds Hobie Brown?
Ryan: The series actually finds him returned from the dead. In Amazing Spider-Man #17, before our series begins, Prowler gets into trouble investigating New U. But thanks to technology at New U, he’s brought back from the dead as a clone! And, while it’s still basically the same Prowler, Something is… different. Stranger still, the series opens with him working at Jackal’s New U, believing in what they are doing there.
Nrama: In the Ultimate Universe, the Prowler is Miles Morales’s uncle. Now that Miles is in the mainstream Marvel Universe, will Jeff Davis or even Miles himself play a role in Prowler?
Ryan: No plans for that at this time, no.
Nrama: Prowler hasn’t always been a hero. He works alongside Peter Parker right now, but he started out as a thief and an enemy of Spidey, and in fact the solicitation for the series has him working with the Jackal. Is he a hero or a villain? Or something in between?
Ryan: I don’t think Prowler really knows. In the first issue, he says he’s not a hero or a bad guy. One of the main thrusts, early on in the book, is Prowler trying to figure out what he is, not just in terms of “hero” and “villain,” but more in an even general sense. He’s bounced around from this to that his whole life. He started out as an inventor/window washer, and then, like you said, then thief, then friend, and then he worked for Silver Sable for awhile. More recently, he was Spider-Man’s friend again, and now he’s working for Jackal. Why is that? Why does he just bounce around? A big part of the story is going to be Prowler trying to figure out just what he is.
Nrama: Will Prowler square off with other classic Spider-Man foes, or will you be building a rogues gallery all his own?
Ryan: In the first arc, that ties into The Clone Conspiracy, yes. As readers who picked up Amazing Spider-Man #17 could probably guess, the new female Electro is going to be playing a big role in the story. She’s the one that takes out the original Prowler in Amazing Spider-Man, so needless to say, there is some pretty bad blood there.
Nrama: Jamal Campbell is drawing Prowler. What does he bring to the table, and what’s it like working with him so far?
Ryan: He brings amazing artwork to the table! Once I heard he was drawing the book, I immediately looked him up and was floored by what I saw. I can’t wait to start seeing pages from Prowler #1. Unfortunately, I just finished the first script to one, so I haven’t seen artwork just yet, but I’m sure he’s cooking up something terrific. [Newsarama Editor’s note: The first pages from the issue are seen in this article.]
Nrama: Once The Clone Conspiracy wraps up, what can fans expect from Prowler?
Ryan: We’re still finalizing how everything wraps up at the end of The Clone Conspiracy arc, making sure everything lines up with the larger event that Dan Slott is masterminding. I’ve got some ideas of where it can go, but I don’t want to risk spoiling too much. Fans can expect a book about a man trying to find himself, a man trying to do good while being bad, with thrills, chills, laughs, tears. And it will provide the reader with unending joy and contentment for the rest of their days.