Prowler #3

Background

Characters like the Prowler, Mysterio, and others who have little or no real superpowers, have always been my favorite kind of Marvel character. They rely on pluck (or foolhardiness) and ingenuity, and because they don't have godlike powers, have to think their way through situations to win, which makes for much more interesting plots and storylines than ones in which the reader sees splash pages of gods blasting each other, with as much interest to readers as characters in a videogame.

For those not familiar with this character, the Prowler is very similar to a young Batman but without the cash; he is intelligent and inventive, but doesn't have the billions Batman does to create superweapons, which makes him even more interesting; how could he ever compete (or survive) in a world with the likes of the Hulk, Thor, or Doctor Doom?

He started out at a villain (see review of origin elsewhere on this site), but was convinced to change by Spiderman. In this series, his origin is more or less rewritten as he is asked by Spiderman (in a cameo appearance) as to why he decided to become the Prowler, and it takes him a while to answer this question for himself; his original criminal intentions seem to have been forgotten in this version.

Story 'Enlightened Gloom'

  Prowler #3
Summary: Nightcreeper & Vulture
Arc: Part 3 of 'Creatures of the Night' (1-2-3-4)
Editor: Mark Powers
Writer: Carl Potts
Pencils: Bill Reinhold
Inker: Bill Reinhold
Articles: Prowler

Our hero is falling like a rock, complete with dialogue from the end of the last issue. Unfortunately, his efforts to save himself fail and he is splattered on the concrete below, as Spiderman arrives too late and slaps his own head for letting the Prowler continue this insane career (just kidding; of course, he saves himself through luck and one of his Batman-like gadgets).

Later in the issue, we find that Nightcreeper is conflicted about the murders he has committed, and we find out why he is so ruthless; thugs killed his young daughter in a drive-by shooting, and he went off the deep end. However, by this time we find out who the mystery character is; none other than the youthened Vulture, who has discovered that Yuppie crime pays big, with little or no penalties (showing his precognitive genius ten years ahead of Enron! Hmm, maybe he went into energy trading after this...). I was as nauseated as everyone else regarding the bogus "youthened/re-aged Vulture fiasco, during which this apparently occurred, and found it easier to pretend this character was one of those Vulture wannabes that ripped off Vulture's technology, rather than the real Vulture, who this character looks and speaks nothing like. (There is nothing in this young character's personality or dialogue that makes him similar to the original Toomes character).

Unfortunately, the Vulture, in addition to having murdered the chairman in the last issue, also wants to rip off the Prowlers pneumatic technology to add to his own costume. Hobie overhears the Vulture gloating with some high-tech bugging, and knows he has to be stopped. Unfortunately again, the Vulture decides to put an end to both Prowlers; one at a time, he gets the advantage on them, swooping down from above and shredding their "gliding" capes with his razor-tipped wings. Nightcreeper almost dies in a fall and is "partially paralyzed, and the Prowler is only a little luckier. Prowler vows revenge on the Vulture, which sets the stage for the last issue. Meanwhile, Mindy, Hobie's long-suffering wife, discovers Hobie is the Prowler, and begs him to stop going out at night. Naturally, Hobie proceeds to go right back out again, as his wife tearfully watches him.

General Comments

Carry on reading the review of the final part, and then we'll get out the knives and start the dissection.

Overall Rating

Three webs for now. Judgement deferred.