Hobie Brown was born the youngest of nine siblings, one of which was Black Tiger. His father, Tiger, left when he was a baby, and his mother soon succepted to alcoholism, leaving him and his siblings to essentially raise themselves. Although a clever inventor, Hobie found himself working as a window cleaner to pay the bills. While he was a window washer, he was caught in a battle between the Stilt-Man and Daredevil and was rescued by the latter. He was inspired by the Stilt-Man's Suit enough to make his own secret identity.
In order to make his job easier, Hobie had invented special equipment such as wrist and ankle bracelets to hold cartridges of cleaning fluid, steel claws and special boots for climbing. When he lost his cleaning job, he decided to give crime a shot. He didn't want to hurt people, but he felt trapped by life. He modified the bracelets to shoot pellets filled with sleeping gas, made a hood, cape, and costume, and set out on his short-lived career of crime.
The Prowler was discouraged from a life of crime, and reformed. His credits include impersonating Spider-Man to save Peter Parker's secret identity, attacking Spidey because he was appointed as responsible for the death of Captain George Stacy, and having his costume stolen by two different guys, who were stopped by Spidey. He married his girlfriend Mindy and started doing construction work. When his charge in the big brother program, Manuel Lopez, was killed in a gang incident, Brown attacked the White Tiger, whom the police believed responsible for the death.
For a time, he retired, but his Prowler equipment was stolen by the Cat Burglar under the orders of Belladonna to be the new Prowler. When Spider-Man was mistakenly accused of killing a guard who was accidentally killed by that Prowler, Spider-Man confronted Brown who finally learned of the theft of his equipment. Brown was eager to join the hunt for the new Prowler, but Spider-Man persuaded him to stay home so he would not be suspected of the felony murder himself. Eventually, Spider-Man captured both the Cat Burglar and Belladonna and returned the Prowler equipment to Brown.
Hobie worked for Silver Sable, and he also teamed up with several other rehabilitated villains (Rocket Racer, Will O' The Wisp, and Sandman) and with a not so rehabilitated Puma, to form the Outlaws. They, among other things, helped Spidey clear his name once, and helped Spidey against the Avengers.
When mercenary work got slow with the Wild Pack, Prowler and Rocket Racer sought sponsors for the Great Game and hoped to split the profits from staging a fight with one another. They were interrupted by the rogue player El Toro Negro, however, and Hobie was left paralyzed from the waist down for a time. While he was inactive, his Prowler gear was stolen again by an enterprising criminal, Rick Lawson. Hobie resurfaced with his mobility regained during the superhuman civil war. He was apprehended for violating the Superhuman Registration Act, and was among the escapees who fought in the final battle of the conflict.
After Peter Parker established his own company, Parker Industries, he was able to convince Hobie to impersonate him as Spider-Man to help hide his alter-ego. While infiltrated in New U Technologies per Parker's request to learn more about the company, the Prowler stumbled upon an experiment that was supposed to give Max Dillon's powers back to him, however, it was Max's former girlfriend, Francine Frye, who ended up becoming Electro instead. The Prowler was discovered and then chased down by Francine, who almost killed him in the process. The Jackal put a heavily burned Hobie Brown inside a healing pod to restore his body while a clone of him acted as a spy for the Jackal within Parker Industries.
The original Hobie Brown was eventually found fully recovered in one of the sub-basements of the Jackal's second headquarters following the deterioration of his clone. This episode and his continuing uncertainty for the future prompted Hobie to leave Spider-Man's side. Later, he was installed as the head of Fairgray Pay, a previously-shady crowdfunding organization, by Tony Stark.
When the symbiote god Knull invaded Manhattan, Hobbie debuted his new costume, adopting the identity of Hornet. He helped fend off the symbiote invasion using hacked Starkphones to broadcast a high frequency music to repel the symbiotes away. This crisis prompted Hobie to plan the expansion of Fairgray's operations beyond normal crowfunding, and set out to use his own intellect and his contacts in the super hero community to help people affected by such crises. Hobie's plans were halted when the giant Beyond Corporation bought-out and terminated Fairgray on the same day. Brown became suspicious of the egregious severance package all employees received, so he investigated Beyond to find their true intentions. His search was interrupted when the former Slinger Dusk sought his help to find her former teammate, Ricochet. They tracked him down to a Beyond facility, but were surprised to learn he had voluntarily joined Beyond's super hero division. After Hornet proved vital in helping Ricochet stop an outbreak of inter-dimensional monsters, he was offered a job at Beyond by one of the facility's operators.
Genius-Level Intellect: Hobie is a genius inventor, knowledgeable in pneumatic technology, despite having no formal education in the field. He build his first suit and weaponry.
Stealth: Hobie is skilled in stealth, he in an excellent criminal and able to sneak in high-security places.
Olympic Level Athlete: He has reflexes, agility, and stamina of an Olympic level acrobat. He is physically very strong and athletic and has great physical endurance.
Expert Acrobat: Hobie is great acrobat and able to mimic Spider-Man's movement.
Expert Martial Artist: Hobie is expert martial artist, he has a Green Belt in Taekwondo, plus plenty of street fighting experience.
Prowler's Suit: The suit is a modified coverall and is armored like a military flak suit which protects him from high explosive weaponry like anti-aircraft artillery, grenades, shotguns, land mines, shell blasts, and rocket fragments. It protects him from falls from high places, like a New York City building. The costume's cape can expand with air giving it a rigid shape allowing him to glide for short distances. Spare Cartridges for gauntlets. The suit has a grappling hook. Rubber insulated pneumatic boots. The gauntlets have steel claws that facilitate climbing, and they can also be used as effective weapons in close quarters combat.
The Prowler uses a costume equipped with specially-designed high-tech weapons based on pneumatic technology. Gauntlets that shoot an assortment of projectiles; Sleeping gas pellets, cleaning fluid, steel darts, gas canisters capable of producing a damaging compressed air blast, and magnesium flares. The gauntlets are also tipped with steel claws.
Pneumatic glider cape. Pneumatics in the Prowler’s boots allow him to leap remarkable distances.
- The Prowler was created due to a suggestion by then 13 year old John Romita Jr. Romita Jr.'s character design was unused, but his father did use the name, combined with the costume for the villain of the unpublished story "The Mystery of the TV Terror".
- Hobie has blue eyes in his very first appearance, but his eye color was changed to brown later on.
- 64 appearance(s) of Hobart Brown (Earth-616)
- 10 minor appearance(s) of Hobart Brown (Earth-616)
- 6 mentions of Hobart Brown (Earth-616)
- 74 image(s) of Hobart Brown (Earth-616)
- 11 quotation(s) by or about Hobart Brown (Earth-616)
- 5 item(s) used/owned by Hobart Brown (Earth-616)