Published November 29, 2016

Prowler: Shadows of Morality

Sean Ryan spotlights the evolving perspective of Hobie Brown!

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From the start of PROWLER, Hobie Brown has been acting a little off and it can be no wonder. Slain by Electro and brought back to life by The Jackal, Prowler has found himself in the debt of someone he had been sent by Spider-Man to investigate. Add to that that Prowler seems to believe in the mission statement of New U while still concealing his allegiances from many and Brown must be one conflicted guy.

But how real does his dedication to New U run? How does he really feel about the man responsible for not only his rebirth but the woman who killed him in the first place? We got in touch with PROWLER writer Sean Ryan to find out. Prowler has obviously already had a complicated history with New U given his initial mission to expose them and now his dedication to the company. Has Hobie been as onboard with them right after his resurrection as he appeared or did he view it as a marriage of convenience?

Sean Ryan: I think Hobie was fairly onboard right away. Obviously the being killed wasn’t great, but once he learned about what Jackal was doing and trying to do, he was onboard. Despite the complications that have ensued since, it does appear that Brown has a bone deep belief in the goodness of the program. Would that be inaccurate to say?

Sean Ryan: Nope, it’s not inaccurate at all. Prowler really does think what New U is doing is great. The company is promising universal cures and to bring dead loved ones back to life. Now obviously, there is an ethically grey area there, but if it could mean an end to disease and even death…it’s something to pay attention to. A large part of that ethically grey area is obviously Electro. More so than anyone else in the book, Prowler seems to have a very antagonistic relationship with her. Why do they activate each other so significantly?

Sean Ryan: The main reason, I’d say, is because she’s killed him already. I think I’d have a tough time getting along with someone who murdered me and seems to have no remorse whatsoever about it.

Electro definitely represents the dark side of New U. The side that does things it needs to do, in order to protect what it’s creating. Prowler isn’t wild about that side, but for Prowler, things aren’t so clear cut, black and white. Just like his character, who has been both hero and villain, Prowler can deal with some moral compromise.

I think Electro loves rubbing it in that she’s already killed Prowler. Electro is a real jerk. She loves hurting people and causing pain. She has a very pure vision. She knows what she is. She can tell Prowler doesn’t know what he is, and she loves calling him out for that. Is Electro the only reason Prowler might find his “faith” shifting? If not, what else would factor into it?

Sean Ryan: She definitely is a big part of it. Why would Jackal keep someone like Electro around? It frustrates Prowler.

But he also has his doubts when talking with Julia Carpenter in [issue] #2. She’s on the side that thinks that Jackal is bad and no matter what he’s doing [it’s] bad. This hits Prowler, but then I also think it has the opposite effect at the same time of strengthening his faith. It’s like if you’re into a movie and someone tells you how awful it is just because of some vague reasons; you want to like the movie more. On the other side of things, Prowler seems to have a developing connection to The Jackal. How does he feel about his “boss” and what is he willing or not willing to do for Jackal? Is his allegiance only owed to the drug or is there more to it?

Sean Ryan: The drugs are certainly part of it, but I really do think he believes in what Jackal is trying to do. Maybe he doesn’t 100% believe that Jackal is the best man on the planet. But for Prowler, again, it’s not always so clear cut. Prowler knows that Jackal is a flawed and complicated guy, but that doesn’t mean they should destroy what he’s trying to do because of that. As the writer, how do you view Brown’s struggle? What are his motivations and how is he living them or compromising them at the moment?

Sean Ryan: Hobie’s had a tough life. He’s bounced around a lot in the Marvel Universe, trying to find his place in it. I think Prowler is someone just desperately searching for something to be a part of. He’s a lonely guy, so he reaches out to people or ideas, thinking that will help him. Whether that will be Silver Sable, Spider-Man, or now, New U. I think what Prowler really needs to do is find himself and figure out who he is and what he wants, instead of always clinging to whatever new thing comes his way.

Hobie Brown continues his ethical tightrope walking on December 7 in PROWLER #3 by Sean Ryan and Jamal Campbell!