Monday, February 27, 2017

The Prowler #5 Review

The Prowler #5

Writer: Sean Ryan
Art Team: Jamal Campbell & Javier Saltares
Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 23, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

Prowler starring as Bobby Ewing

The Prowler, as a title coming out of the latest iteration of Marvel Now!, genuinely surprised me as a book worth paying attention to after its first two issues.  However I have a feeling its tie-in status, to the Clone Conspiracy event, has dragged it down from progressing at a rate to hold readers interest, possibly killing the title before Sean Ryan even had a fair shot at making it work as a solo book. What has been consistent however is some gorgeous art from the team of Jamal Campbell and Javier Saltares making this a title at least worth flipping through for the eye candy. Well let’s see if Prowler can start to dig out of this rut in issue five and what Clone Conspiracy related surprises we have in store shall we?

The issue starts by retreaded events that we’ve seen several times over if you’ve been reading the Clone Conspiracy in any capacity over these last two months.  Prowler comes to Spider-Man’s rescue, after gathering himself from his latest ass kicking, to save the hero from a gaggle of cloned villains moving in on him, as they degenerate from the sound emulating throughout the New U facility, set off by Ben Reilly.  

As Spidey sets off to stop Ben, Prowler stays to control the out of control clones and stop them from progressing outside the facility into the outside world. He finds a little help from Jean Dewolff, Spider-Gwen, and Kaine and in turn they stop most the clones from infecting the surrounding area with the Carrion virus. Despite their initial success however Prowler is in bad shape and in need of Web-Ware or medicine S.T.A.T. that he can’t find, so the crew hides him in a ‘safe’ place, as they continue to hunt anyone else infected who may have gotten away.

Now I mention ‘safe’ place because as Prowler lay struggling on the ground Electro finds our title character in his hiding spot pretty quickly. If you’ve been reading this series at all you know these two are well past the first date between enemies so this is bad news for a weakened Prowler but luckily his guardian angel of this series, Julia Carpenter, comes to his rescue once again. 

The ending of the title is difficult to describe but is interesting. Although we discovered Prowler’s true fate at the end of Clone Conspiracy #5, here we are given more details into how the cloned version perished, intercut with the real Hoobie discovering what’s exactly happened while he was ‘gone’ and ‘out’.  

Basically the clone version of Prowler finally steps up to become the hero he struggled to be this entire series through his actions by saving Julia, while sacrificing himself, and taking down Electro in the process.  The twist ending is actually a pretty good way to end the story arc, but again its impact is mildly affected because of previous discoveries concerning the real Prowler’s status being revealed in a titles of this event last week. If those final add on pages were left out of Clone Conspiracy #5 this would have definitely had the intended impact it’s meant to on invested readers.

Overall the Prowler title wraps up its tie-in status to Clone Conspiracy in pretty decent fashion providing further details about the cloned version of Prowler the event book didn’t have time to reveal.  Sean Ryan has been handcuffed by the story he was allowed to tell undoubtedly but put together a decent showing overall and we even got a Bobby Ewing-esque ending to boot! The art again steals the show for me personally though here. I've just loved seeing what Jamal Campbell and Javier Saltares have been able to do with the creative freedom they’ve been given.

Bits and Pieces

Pairing Ryan’s twists in story telling with the art team of Jamal Campbell & Javier Saltares makes this a tie-in worth checking out for anyone invested in the Clone Conspiracy story as a whole. If you are however looking for an independent Prowler tale there may be better options out there available for the money.


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