Writer: Jed MacKay
Artists: Dike Ruan & Annie Wu
Color Artist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Ferran Delgado
Cover Artists: J. Scott Campbell & Sabine Rich; Jay Anacleto & Neeraj Menon
Release Date: January 8th, 2020
Black Cat is at it again, this time breaking into the Rand building with a little help from a friend. But will a recent talk with her mom, as well as a myriad of other worries, keep Felicia from fulfilling the job at hand? Let’s break into Jed MacKay’s BLACK CAT #8 and find out!
The issue throws readers right into the start of Felicia’s next heist, breaking into the Rand building to scan Iron Fist’s “Randall Gate.” It’s just another piece of the puzzle needed for the grand scheme of ripping off the New York Thieves Guild. Black Cat isn’t alone for this caper however, having enlisted the aid, or more accurately, backup, of Sinister Syndicate member, The Beetle. Jed MacKay’s banter between the two thieves is just plain fun, and it was a great idea to include a new character for Felicia to interact with. Not to mention that if she went it alone, we’d just get more of Black Cat’s inner dialogue, which at times in the series has been hit or miss. Granted, it’s pretty much all ‘hit’ in this issue, perhaps because the quips work best against a foil, and the inner doubts Felicia has here feel more sincere.
As soon as the two crooks gain access to the building, we jump to a flashback of a recent discussion between Felicia and her mother. The art change is a bit jarring at first, but that has a lot to do with the brightness of the colors of these scenes, as they take place at an open air market during the day as opposed to a shadowy high-rise at night. Co-artists Dike Ruan and Annie Wu make a nice team; their styles are a bit different but compliment each other and fit not only the tone of the book, but the scenes as well.
MacKay does a good job with the mother/daughter discussion, even if the 80s band references at the beginning may confuse younger readers. Hashtag Okay Boomer. The issue jumps between this discourse and the heist, but the two manage to blend well together. The gist of the flashbacks are that Felicia is worried for her mother’s safety in light of Odessa Drake’s threats, and we get some background about Felicia and Odessa’s parents and the Black Fox, who Mrs. Hardy is NOT a fan of.
As for the main story break-in, Black Cat and the Beetle make it to the Randall Gate, and Felicia begins scanning it with a drone. Not before a lot of playful banter between the two, the best bit of business being Felicia offended that Beetle thinks of her as a villain. It’s worth stating again how entertaining MacKay’s writing is in this issue- easily the best of the series.
Things are going a little too well for a Black Cat job, so out of nowhere Felicia is “attacked” by Iron Fist’s protege’s dragon. It’s a bit silly, but still fun, and helps get Danny Rand into the picture, so whatever. We get some nice fighting and dialogue between Black Cat and Iron Fist, the latter being thrilled at having to deal with a “fun” villain for a change. Meanwhile the Beetle is getting her butt kicked by “Kid Fist” and her dragon, hilariously fulfilling her true purpose on the heist as cannon fodder.
Knowing her brawn won’t win the day, Felicia instead uses her brains, and escapes with what she came for yet again. The final splash page is both beautiful and foreboding, and fellow readers enjoying this series can’t help but be hyped for what’s to come.
Jed MacKay, Dike Ruan, and Annie Wu deliver the best issue of BLACK CAT to date. The dialogue is fun and witty throughout, sprinkled with some necessary introspection by Felicia. The art is solid, from the action scenes to the intimate setting of a mother and daughter at lunch. Simply put, if you want an entertaining comic, pick up BLACK CAT #8.