Hello, and welcome to another edition of Marvel Snapshot! In this week’s character spotlight, we’ll be focusing in on one of Peter Parker’s old flames, the Black Cat! Yes, that sexy siren that has been Spider-Man’s ally and enemy is in the spotlight this week. Felicia Hardy was created by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard in 1979 (ASM #194). (Image below by Pascuale Qualano.)
Felicia Hardy is the daughter of world class thief Walter Hardy. She grew up with her father telling her that second best wasn’t good enough, and that she should always strive to be the best. After Felicia was sexually assaulted by her then boyfriend, she decided she would never be a victim again. She trained in different forms of martial arts, gymnastics, and all sorts of hand to hand combat. After a few months of training, she went after her ex-boyfriend to kill him. She was too late, though, as he’d died in a car accident. Felicia was furious that she didn’t get her chance at revenge, so she took up the mantle of the Black Cat, and followed in the footsteps of her father, and became an infamous thief. Felicia then decided to break her father out of prison. As she attempted this, she was intercepted by Spider-Man. This first meeting proved to be very fortuitous, for both of them. She felt like Spider-Man was a loner, like her, so she then pursued him romantically.
Soon after some back and forth between her and Spidey, she eventually became a superhero, and gave up her life as a thief. The two heroes fell in love with each other, and Spidey actually trusted her so much that he revealed his secret identity to her. During this time, Felicia was shot and almost killed by some of Doctor Octopus’s henchmen. Spidey rushed her to the hospital just in time to save her life. Felicia then decided that she was going to do whatever it took to get superpowers like Peter, because she thought she was inferior for not having any. She tried to get help with this from her other super powered friends, but nobody would help her. In an act of desperation, she asked the Kingpin for help. He then used the same process on her that was used to create the Scorpion. She did become more powerful, but the secret drove a wedge between her and Peter, and they broke off their relationship. Felicia then struck out on her own, and Spidey went back to his normal life. Not much later, Peter was introduced to Mary Jane Watson. This was great for Peter, but Felicia was insanely jealous. She even went as far as to threaten Mary Jane’s life! She also dated Flash Thompson to annoy Peter even more. For a while she dated Michael Morbius, as well.
During Marvel’s event Civil War, Felicia was sent into a rage over the fact that Spider-Man reveled his true identity to the world. She felt betrayed because that was a bond they shared together. She eventually joined the group Heroes for Hire. Following the events of “One More Day,” Felicia again began having a relationship with Spider-Man, although she no longer remembered his secret identity. Felicia’s mother was abducted by the Kravinoff family during “Grim Hunt,” but through some trickery and guile, Felicia saved her mother. She was later approached by Mary Jane and asked to help find Spidey, who was kidnapped by Doc Tramma. Spidey and the Black Cat defeated him and returned home. Felicia still harbors some feelings for Peter, so who knows what will happen between the two. She was seen recently in Spider Island.
As usual, check out my recommended reading list, and some of the Black Cat’s best cover shots! See you next week!
The Amazing Spider-Man: Spider-Man vs. The Black Cat vol. 1 – Tpb
The Amazing Spider-Man: The Origin of the Hobgoblin – Tpb
The Amazing Spider-Man: Invasion of the Spider Slayers – Tpb
Felicia Hardy: The Black Cat (limited series) #1-4
The Amazing Spider-Man: Return of the Black Cat – Tpb
The Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time – Tpb
Spider-Man: Spider Island – HC