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Aaron Davis, also known as the Prowler, is a supporting character in Marvel's Spider-Man series, with a major role in Miles Morales and a minor role of Marvel's Spider-Man 2. He is the uncle of Miles Morales and younger brother of Jefferson Davis. As the Prowler, he makes use of advanced technology in his suit, as well as his own athletic skills.

As the Prowler, Aaron Davis was a master thief, hired by several powerful clients including Wilson Fisk and Simon Krieger. This put him at odds with his brother Jefferson, a police officer, leading Jefferson and Rio Morales to cut ties with him and keep Miles away from him. Aaron later figured out his nephew was the second Spider-Man, and became involved in his battle with Roxxon. Though they were once again at odds, Aaron ultimately made attempts to reform and move past his life as a thief, while Miles' help.

History[]

Early history[]

Young Aaron and Jefferson Davis from MSM2 screen

A young Aaron and Jefferson.

Aaron was born in Harlem, New York City, around 1978, approximately three-four years after Jefferson.[1][2][a] Aaron grew up in Harlem before moving to Brooklyn in high school.[3] He and his brother were close, mixing hip hop music together with samples rom around New York,[4] and playing basketball together. The two almost gained airtime from a station for up and coming artists in Brooklyn but lost out to a group from Staten Island last minute.[5]

While Jeff entered the police force, Aaron turned to a life of crime, putting the two at odds. Aaron Davis' first job came after high school, when he was paid by a man to mug his boss. Jefferson found out and scolded Aaron for the act, but never told their parents. Around the time Aaron began calling himself the Prowler, things seemed good, with Jefferson as a new cop and Rio having her first job as a teacher, the three each keeping secrets about their jobs.[3] Miles growing up considered Aaron the "cool uncle", and played basketball with him.[1]

Aaron's first client as the Prowler met him beneath Times Square and wanted him to steal a painting; Jefferson witnessed the exchange and was disappointed.[3] Aaron's first successful score as the Prowler was the the Braxton heist, in which he worked with a crew to steal prototypes from their tech division but was betrayed by a younger female thief who accompanied them.[5][b] At some point, after graduating the police academy, Jefferson told Aaron he could no longer cover for him if he got in trouble; Aaron promised he was done with that life, and Jefferson pretended to believe him.[3] The struggle continued, however, and at one point, Aaron hid in a shipping container for hours to evade Officer Davis' capture.[5]

Over time, Aaron gained notoriety and worked with more dangerous clients, including Simon Krieger and Wilson Fisk.[6][3] While on Fisk's payroll, Aaron purchased a penthouse with the money, but Jefferson was ashamed knowing how he got the money.[5] As Jefferson Davis continued investigating the Prowler, Aaron confessed to Jefferson that it was him, in a bid to protect Miles and Rio from his powerful clients Fisk and Krieger. Jefferson complied with Aaron's request to back off the investigation, but severed Miles' contact with his uncle to prevent Miles from following the same path.[3]

Marvel's Spider-Man[]

Aaron was mentioned by name in the news reports after Jefferson Davis was killed during the terrorist attack set by Martin Li and his Inner Demons in "And the Award Goes to...".[7]

Miles Morales[]

Jeff's death was a turning point in Aaron's life: he took a job as a subway worker, likely in hopes that turning away from a life of crime would allow him to reconnect with his remaining family.

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Using the FNSM App, in "Harlem Trains Out of Service", he called the new Spider-Man for help getting the subways running again. Miles, as Spider-Man, arrived to help, awkwardly trying to hide his identity in his interactions with his uncle. After Miles finished the job, Aaron gave Miles a free year-long subway pass and revealed he knew his secret identity as Spider-Man, urging him to come to him if he was ever in trouble. In "Time to Rally", Aaron later arrived at Rio Morales' campaign rally, but left before she could see him. He called Miles up after the subsequent Underground attack, warning him that Roxxon would blame anyone, including him, for what followed.

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Miles and Aaron

During Miles' infiltration of a Roxxon lab in "Corporate Espionage", Aaron, as the Prowler, ran into Miles. Aaron insisted that Roxxon was dangerous and urged Miles to leave while he still could, but Miles refused, determined to find the missing evidence against Roxxon he was looking for. Aaron reluctantly helped Miles, first guiding him to the center of the lab, and then helping him escape via the subway.[c] After the mission, Aaron advised Miles never to take off his mask so as not to endanger anyone he loved. Miles told Aaron that his friend, Phin Mason, was leading the Underground, and asked for advice. Aaron suggested Miles lie to Phin to investigate the Underground for more information. Miles was uncomfortable with the idea at first and instead wished to reveal his identity to Phin and talk it through with her, though Aaron responded that him revealing his identity as the Prowler had driven a wedge between him and Jefferson, suggesting Miles cannot be sure who to trust.

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Miles talks to Aaron

In "Breaking Through the Noise", Miles contacted Aaron after his run-in with Phin, in which Phin learned that Miles was Spider-Man following a confrontation. Aaron urged Miles to get back in touch with his music mixing hobby to block it out, showing him how to capture sounds of the city. Before leaving, Miles told Aaron that he planned to meet Phin at Trinity Church to talk it out. Aaron then reported this to Simon Krieger of Roxxon, with Krieger agreeing to leave Spider-Man alone.

Much to Aaron's anger, Krieger failed to uphold his end of the deal and captured Spider-Man along with the Tinkerer. He confronted Krieger during "Tinker Tailor Spider Spy" about the breach of contract and demanded Spider-Man be freed, first offering further services and then threatening to leak Krieger's actions like his murder on Tinkerer's brother, Rick Mason to the public. Krieger brushed off the threat, knowing Aaron had no desire to serve time for his crimes as Prowler (let alone the ones he committed for Roxxon). Unbeknownst to either man, Miles overheard part of the exchange and learned of his uncle's betrayal.

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Aaron attempts to stop miles from escaping

In "Thicker Than Blood", Aaron tranquilized and imprisoned Miles while Miles was on his way to stop Phin. Imprisoning him in an abandoned subway terminal, Aaron explained to Miles when he came to that he was better off letting the Underground and Roxxon kill each other off, and staying out of trouble. Miles was angry and furious, saying that he would never sit idly by while others were in danger just to save his own skin. After breaking out, the two fought one another, Aaron trying not to let Miles leave so as to help save Miles' life, while Miles was determined to do the right thing. After beating Aaron, Aaron made a final appeal to Miles, explaining that he had tried unsuccessfully to keep Krieger away from him, and saying he did not want his relationship with Miles to end up the way it had done with Jefferson. Miles refused to consider them family one another, and was unsure if he could forgive Aaron thereafter.

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Prowler tackles Roxxon soldier

Later, in "The Battle For Harlem", Aaron showed up as the Prowler just when Roxxon were attacking Harlem, helping people evacuate and urging Miles to do what he had to do. After Miles successfully stopped the Nuform reactor, Aaron turned himself in to expose Roxxon's crimes, having been inspired by Miles to do the right thing. In exchange for his whistleblowing (which resulted in Krieger's arrest), Aaron was able to make a plea deal and reduce his sentence to two years.

While in prison, Aaron phoned Miles to thank him for making him a better person.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2[]

Kraven's henchmen also show a profile for the Prowler when suggesting he hunt for new prey in New York.

After being released from prison, Aaron received parole conditions that meant putting Prowler into retirement, and called Miles to help him to gather some Prowler tech he stashed away. After clearing all the stashes, Miles found a blueprint identical to his apartment, fearing his uncle robbing it. Upon returning, Rio explained that she was inspired by Miles forgiving Aaron despite the betrayal, leading her to give him another chance and co-leasing the apartment above them.[5]

Characteristics[]

Personality[]

Aaron Davis is a flawed but ultimately well-intentioned man, who struggles between a life of crime and loyalty to his family. He was close with his brother Jefferson as the two creatively mixed music together from sound samples of New York in their free time,[4] and Miles considered him the "cool uncle" growing up, who played basketball with him.[1] Even after Jefferson and Rio told Miles not to hang out with him, Miles still turned to him for advice numerous times during the events of Miles Morales, and Aaron protected him as the Prowler on a few occasions. Aaron is also flawed deep down, having had several run-ins with the law and a life of crime. Though he tried unsuccessfully to leave this life behind by becoming a subway worker, he ultimately resumed work as the Prowler again.

Aaron has selfish motivations of preserving himself and those he cares about, and is very deceptive by nature. Believing Roxxon is too dangerous to oppose, Aaron works with them instead, and strongly urges Miles not to oppose them. When Aaron tells Krieger he has the power to bring Roxxon down if he leaked everything, Krieger's threat in response is enough to convince Aaron to back down.[8] Aaron later admits to Miles that he does not support Roxxon and simply intended to let them and the Underground kill one another.[9] Aaron is also somewhat of a bad influence on Miles. He kept his identity as the Prowler from his brother Jefferson for a long time, and urged Miles to lie to Phin in the same way in order to infiltrate the Underground, a decision which drove a wedge between Phin and Miles.[d]

Aaron has had trouble with relationships with others, as both Miles and Jefferson had cut Aaron out of their lives for a similar reason, believing he was a toxic influence.[9] Ultimately, the guilt Aaron harbored as a result, and Aaron being inspired by Miles' bravery, led Aaron to redeem himself by helping Miles in the final battle and later by following through with taking Roxxon down and turning himself in. Even before this, beneath his flaws, Aaron was attempting to do right by his family, helping Miles survive during his infiltration of Roxxon's lab,[c] and trying to stop Krieger from harming Miles. Though Miles was unsure if he could forgive Aaron following the betrayal, he and Rio ultimately was very proud of him after taking Roxxon down, something which Jeff would be proud of.[1]

Abilities[]

As the Prowler, Aaron Davis has strong athletic abilities, reflexes, and strength. This, coupled with the advanced technology used in his Prowler suit, allows him to easily dispatch Roxxon's soldiers that themselves use powerful gear, and even allows him to fight on a level playing field with Spider-Man. Aaron's athleticism is enhanced by his equipment, giving him enhanced strength and durability to a level of fighting his superhumanly strong nephew and he is capable of making small dashes of superhuman speed in battle, and his suit includes a cloaking device, grappling hook, hologram technology, projectile lasers, sleeping canisters, a shield, fire out thermal bombs, and claws.

Aaron Davis' main strength is his electrical engineering skills. This allowed him to build his advanced Prowler suit, with technology he both created and stole, but also served him well as a subway worker. Aaron's athletic ability is also natural, as Miles said he "never misses a three-point shot".[1]

Original appearance[]

In the comics, Aaron Davis first appeared in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man vol. 2 #1 (November 2011).

The Prowler mantle was first used by Hobart Brown in The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #78 (November 1969)

Notes[]

Annotations[]

  1. As of Marvel's Spider-Man, which took place in 2018, Jefferson Davis was 44 years old,[2] while Aaron was 41 years old at the time of Miles Morales.[1]
  2. Aaron Davis' description of the female thief he worked with as a pro and a "thief in the truest sense of the word" closely matches that of Felicia Hardy.[5]
  3. 3.0 3.1 It is unclear when Aaron first began working for Roxxon Corporation. During "Tinker Tailor Spider Spy", it is implied Aaron worked with Roxxon for a while as Aaron knew a great deal of the atrocities Roxxon had committed that could lead to their downfall. However, during "Corporate Espionage", Aaron fought several Roxxon soldiers, who did not recognize him at the time, and he did not appear to be reprimanded for it later, suggesting he may have made a deal with Roxxon after this. If Aaron was working with Roxxon even when he helped Miles escape the lab, this implies Aaron risked his job and safety for Miles' sake; otherwise, it implies his deal with Roxxon was a flawed attempt at ensuring Miles' safety.
  4. Miles going along with Aaron's idea to lie to Phin caused Phin to doubt everything Miles had to say thereafter, including his warning about the Nuform reactor's damage, as she felt deceived by him. This may have contributed to Phin's refusal to back down from her plan until the last minute, and thus, may have contributed to her demise.

Citations[]

References[]

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