Today I’m finally here with a guide for all Patrons of CK that I’ve been preparing for by adding guides to Heroes For Hire and Spider-Man, Peter Parker (2018-Present)! I needed both guides in place because both of those titles housed this character while she was a stray with no title of her own, but that all changed started in 2019. I’m happy to share the August 2022 Patron’s Choice: Guide to Black Cat, Felicia Hardy!
Felicia Hardy is not who you think she is.
Or, at least, she’s not who I thought she was.
That’s true whether you know her from her origins or from her most-recent appearances, because Black Cat has been at least three distinctly different characters in her comic career – so much so that her current incarnation feels completely disconnected from her debut, even if her arc from start to finish makes sense.
(I know this because I’ve now read every panel she has ever appeared in to put together this Guide to Black Cat!)
I think many folks assume that Felicia Hardy is Marvel’s Catwoman – a cat burglar villain turned vigilante through the power of her attraction to the flagship hero.
That’s not entirely wrong, but Felicia Hardy was only ever a cat burglar for her first four appearances in Amazing Spider-Man (1963) in 1979 and she was never a villain until 2015! We barely even see here do any burgling on-panel between 1980 and the mid-00s unless it’s for her job as a security consultant. Instead, she quickly gave up her life of crime due to an obsession with Spider-Man. As she was originally written, all Felicia wanted to was to be Spider-Man’s partner in adventure and in romance.
Curiously, she has no interest at all in who Spider-Man was under the mask. In fact, when Peter first reveals his apartment and identity in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #74, Felicia reacts with a combination of distaste and horror. To her, the fantastical life of a hero or vigilante is a necessary escape from the dull routine of civilian existence. To think about the regular person beneath the spider-webbed mask ruined her fantasy. [Read more…] about Patron’s Choice: Guide to Black Cat, Felicia Hardy