Published January 26, 2017

Pitted Against the Prowler

Hear who Hobie Brown must face off against as New U turns on its lieutenant!

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Jackal has lost control. New U has begun to collapse into itself and the villains he so kindly resurrected can smell that the end draws nigh. They feel scared, angry, confused and they want someone to take it out on.

Enter Hobie Brown in PROWLER #5 on February 22.

As an established hero and a sort of lieutenant to The Jackal, Prowler proves too tasty a bit of revenge for a quintet of villains. We caught writer Sean Ryan trying to dump New U stock at the end of the trading day and he took some time to tell us what bad guys and girls will be seeking a bit of therapy by Prowler.

A revolutionary to some, a terrorist to others, Anton Miguel Rodriguez found himself cast out from his fellow agitators after he murdered someone without reason. He immediately betrayed his apparent ideals and joined the government as Tarantula, conceived as a kind of Captain America figure for his country. However, once again, Rodriguez’s amoral behaviors led to him being fired from the position and going freelancer mercenary.

He died via suicide by cop in the midst of a horrifying transformation due to a genetic experiment gone awry.

“He’s a skilled fighter, agile and a weapon master,” Ryan points out. “The guy knows how to fight. We didn’t actually saw Tarantula and Prowler interact in my series, but you have to imagine that [with] Prowler as basically the ‘warden’ of New U, Tarantula probably couldn’t wait to get his hands on [him] for bossing him around.”

A kangaroo enthusiast from childhood, Frank Oliver studied the animals and developed a leaping fighting style inspired by them. Eventually, he lost himself in the moment, however, and jump kicked a boxing opponent, critically injuring him. Oliver tried to escape to the United States where he found himself detained for extradition. Instead he escaped and became a petty criminal.

Significantly overmatched by the heroes of Manhattan, Oliver turned to Dr. Jonas Harrow for a power boost which allowed him to at least tangle convincingly with Spider-Man.

His quest for power ended up undoing him, however, as he—in order to keep his powers—went to steal a radioactive isotope for Harrow. Not educated about the dangers of radiation, Oliver did nothing to protect himself from it and ended up reduced to a pile of smoldering ash during the robbery.

“Kangaroo is a real beast,” argues Ryan. “He’s got those super powered legs just begging to kick Prowler right in the chest. Kangaroo doesn’t like being kicked around by other people, so he’s excited to kick him right back.”

Raymond Bloch possesses incredible strength and, typically, fights alongside Fancy Dan and Montana. He recently died in a fight with Spider-Man and Deadpool when Itsy Bitsy joined the fray and stabbed him repeatedly.

“Ox is also a real beast,” acknowledges Ryan. “[He] is a massive dude who could pummel Prowler to a pulp without really even thinking about it. Which is good for Ox, since he doesn’t do much thinking. He never liked Prowler acting better than all of the other bad guys in New U. He’s looking to smack Hobie down to size.”

Ox’s teammate in the Enforcers, Montana came to Manhattan with a ton of rope tricks and a desire for crime. He paid with his life recently too, at a moment of his highest achievement—becoming Kingpin’s chief lieutenant—when he got tossed out a window by Hobgoblin.

“Montana is an expert with a lasso,” Ryan states. “He could tie Prowler up before Hobie even knew it. Montana is a man that always feels in control. Seeing Prowler run the show got under his skin more than he thought it would. He can’t wait to get Prowler all tied up.”

Less charitable people might label Francine Frye a super villain groupie. She would claim “enthusiastic fan” as a more accurate moniker. Regardless of what you’d choose, she became friends with the original Electro and sought to become even more. Unfortunately, Max Dillon lost control of his power and accidentally killed her the moment they kissed.

When Jackal resurrected Francine, she came back with electricity powers as well due to the DNA of Dillon’s saliva. Under Jackal’s direction, she went to Dillon to convince him to come to New U to receive a treatment sure to return his powers. Instead she took the moment to kiss him to death, literally. In the aftermath, she proudly took on the identity and costume of her would-be lover/murderer/first victim.

“Prowler and Electro have been brawling a lot recently,” Ryan reminds readers. “She killed him in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #17. Then they fought again in PROWLER #3. Each one has a victory, so issue #5 of PROWLER is the tiebreaker.”

PROWLER #5, written by Sean Ryan with art from Jamal Campbell and Javier Saltares, hits Hobie Brown hard on February 22!