Do you know what makes a good superhero? The moment you think about them, you immediately think about their most formidable villain as well. The most popular superheroes, such as Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, have a number of formidable villains they faced off in the comics since their inception, but even the less known heroes have at least one archenemy they face off against over and over again. Miles Morales, the second Spider-Man, is one of the newer Marvel superheroes, also has an established archenemy, and in this article, we’ll talk about that villain. So, who is Miles’ archenemy?
Out of the villains that are associated primarily with Miles, the most known is arguably Aaron Davis, also known as the Prowler. The character of Prowler existed long before the introduction of Miles but as a minor Spider-Man antagonist with a different character under the mask. After Miles’ debut, the Prowler was reintroduced as Miles’ criminal uncle Aaron Davis, who became one of Miles’ most formidable enemies.
Miles’ uncle Aaron Davis isn’t the only one, but he’s arguably the most known Prowler in Marvel Comics. The popularity of the character rapidly increased alongside Miles’ since Prowler was featured in both ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ movie and ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ video game, two projects that made Miles Morales one of Marvel Comics’ A-listers. However, the character of Prowler existed long before Miles Morales was first introduced, and in the rest of this article, we’ll dig deeper into the character’s history.
Miles was introduced in 2011, but the Prowler’s history goes all the way back to the 60s!
As we already mentioned, the Prowler is an alias used by several characters Marvel Comics introduced throughout its history. The first ever Prowler, Hobie Brown, was first introduced in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man #78’ in November 1969.
Hobie Brown was a teenager who created the Prowler technology to operate as a small-time thief, which made him an adversary to Spider-Man. However, Hobie realizes his ways are wrong after his encounter with Spider-Man. After that, he served as an ally to Spider-Man, and as a superhero, he even got his own ‘Prowler’ limited series in 1994.
After Hobie Brown, two more Prowlers were introduced before Aaron Davis. The first one is an unnamed individual called “the second Prowler,” who debuted in October 1980. After Bella Donna stole Hobie’s equipment, she hired a cat burglar to become the new Prowler. At one point, the second Prowler kills a guard, and Hobie is accused of the murder. Spider-Man eventually caught Bella Donna and the second Prowler, proving Hobie’s innocence.
The third incarnation of Prowler also got a hold of the suit from Hobie. Rick Lawson, a medical intern, stole Hobie’s suit while he was in a hospital. Rick used the suit to rob patients and get revenge on people who wronged him in the past. Rick eventually encountered Vulture, who sought revenge against Hobie, and he nearly killed Rick before Spider-Man intervened and defeated the Vulture. After Rick was taken to a hospital, the Prowler suit was returned to Hobie.
The history of Aaron Davis’ Prowler
The character of Miles Morales, the second Spider-Man, was first introduced in August 2011. The character was initially placed in an alternate universe called Earth-1610. Aaron Davis was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, the creators of Miles, and first appeared in ‘Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man’ #1 in November 2011. Aaron was depicted as the alternate Prowler from Earth-1610 and Miles’ uncle.
Aaron Davis is a burglar and career criminal, and his brother Jefferson used to be his partner in crime once. However, Jefferson turned his way and reformed when he became a father, while Aaron continued his criminal activities and became estranged from his brother.
Aaron was also indirectly involved in his nephew becoming Spider-Man because the spider that bit Morales crawled into Aaron’s bag while he was stealing technology from Oscorp. Thanks to 2015’s ‘Secret Wars’ storyline, both Miles and Aaron were incorporated into the prime Marvel continuity, officially called Earth-616. In the comics, Aaron’s Prowler was also a member of the Sinister Six.
In 2018, Miles Morales finally got his chance to shine among the general audience with the release of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,’ which became an unexpected hit. The movie featured the Prowler as one of the villains, and the viewers unfamiliar with the source material were most likely surprised with the plot twist when it turned out the Prowler was Miles’ uncle Aaron, who was voiced in the movie by Mahershala Ali, who is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Blade in 2025.
After finding out each other’s secret identities during an encounter, Aaron refuses to kill Miles, but because of that, he’s shot and killed by Kingpin. And although Aaron died in the first movie, Mahershala Ali reprised his role in ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ as another variant of Aaron Davis from Earth-42, which is the universe where Spider-Man doesn’t exist, and Miles Morales in that universe became the Prowler instead. This version of Prowler is the original incarnation since there’s no variant of Miles that became the Prowler in the source material.
Another incarnation of the Prowler worth mentioning is Aaron Davis from Insomniac’s ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ video game franchise. This incarnation is also depicted as Miles’ criminal uncle whose nephew looks up to him, unaware of his criminal life. After his brother’s death, Aaron started working on a subway in an effort to reconcile with his remaining family.
However, his criminal life eventually puts him against Miles, but their encounter finished with a happier ending than in the ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise. Although he was eventually defeated, arrested, and imprisoned, Aaron took a plea deal and helped to expose the crimes of the Roxxon organization, resulting in his sentence being reduced to only two years. While in prison, Aaron called Miles and thanked him for making him a better person.
We don’t know if that’s intentional or not, but the uncles are somehow always very important for the characters that wear the mask of Spider-Man. While Peter’s uncle Ben suffered a tragic fate but still became a lifelong inspiration for his nephew, Miles’ uncle Aaron is depicted as an adversary who can’t shake off of his criminal life, but when it comes to family, Aaron proves how he is way more than a criminal. Now that we’ve put it this way, maybe it’s a hard word to call him Miles’ archenemy, but the most known adversary to Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, the Prowler surely is.
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