“I have no idea what I’m doing.”
After a grand total of 0 people demanded it, Marvel have decided to give Hobbie Brown – the Prowler – his own book. Will this series be a smash-hit like Superior Foes or will it suffer from the dreaded event syndrome? Read on to find out!
Writer: Sean Ryan
Artists: Javier Saltares & Jamal Campbell
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Devin Lewis
Prowler-Plot: The robbers from the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer are raiding a bank when they are taken are taken out by an off-screen assailant – the Prowler! As all the badassness is going on, Hobbie is monologuing about how lost he is, trying desperately to give him a hint of character. Meanwhile back at New U, the fully-kitted out, costumed supervillains (god knows who thought that was a good idea) are starting to fight. Prowler turns up just in time to separate Jack-O-Lantern and Massacre. However, the Jackal (no, not that one – the sexy one) calls Hobie in to tell him off for Prowling without permission. Hobie is then tasked with investigating a hacker who is trying to find out what New U is up too. Before this he seeks the ominous advice of the newly-reanimated Cassandra Webb, who tells him he will find problems in a generic-sounding place. As he leaves, the playful She-Electro rears her head to remind us of the existential ‘who am I?’ themes of the series. Prowler then goes to the source of the hacking, which is obviously the ominous generic place that Webb warned him about, and he is caught by webbing and a threatening trouser leg! But he repeats the opening monologue so the ending kinda has some weight…I guess?
Prowler-Thoughts: I’m going to level with you guys – I have not being enjoying ‘The Clone Conspiracy’. If you want to see my full rants, go check out our Crawlspace-Mega Reviews. But this is its own thing and I’m going to judge it on its own merits. And after reading it, what do I think?
Let’s just get this over with.
Let’s start with the positives. The art by Saltares and Campbell is really good and never falters from its cartoony/realistic hybrid throughout. My personal highlight is when Hobie tell his backstory on the window panels of a skyscraper – it revives classic moments of Spider-history brilliantly. The issue also does an alright job of catching you up on Hobie’s status quo after ASM, albeit with the odd bit of clunky dialogue. It’s good to see the new Electro again, as I think she is a character with lots of potential.
And that was about all I enjoyed.
But here’s the weird thing – that didn’t mean I thought this issue was bad. In fact, nothing ever struck me as awful. It was just that it never had the balls to stray away from mediocrity. What we essentially get for most of the issue is an average day of Prowler working at New U. He stops a bank robbery, breaks up a villain fight and has meetings with his bosses – it’s essentially the clone equivalent of chores. The only hook is a hacking mystery that just comes across as bland and really failed to grab my attention. The cliff-hanger was uninteresting – upon reading I wasn’t too excited to see where it was going or who was behind it all. I was just bumbling my way through, much like our hero. I pretty much forgot about this book a good couple of minutes after reading it.
And then there is Hobie. I think he himself sums it up best when he says ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ (seriously guys, that’s an open goal for a critical reviewer!). This book, and its titular protagonist, seems aimless and that’s definitely a wrong step for a first issue. This dude died and came back from the dead – why don’t we explore that? Or we could sit through a mediocre comic that is boring and predictable. Instead of opting for the existential debate of coming back from the dead, we get the existential debate of ‘a crap hero trying to find his place’ (Geoff Johns did it better!).
And do you know what – I think this is the worst kind of story. One that isn’t great, or a pile of garbage. One that is just there. Without any sort of risk, this is just telling its default story. It’s forgettable and, two months after its cancellation, I will forget it ever existed.
That’s just my opinion. I hope you enjoyed it. But I most certainly did not. There were a few interesting art choices and it was cool to see Electro again, but that doesn’t excuse the pure mediocrity that comes packaged for $3.99. That’s why I’m giving this a:
Well I’ve got a bit of catching up to do with my reviews. More Prowler. Yay…? This is usually the point where I’d do points of interest, but I’m going on strike this week. Why should I put effort in when…okay, I think you get my point. See you all next time!