Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Kris Anka
Color Artist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Ferran Delgado
Covers: J. Scott Campbell & Edgar Delgado; Carlos Gomez & David Curiel
Release Date: February 5th, 2020
Odessa Drake has declared war on Black Cat, and New York has become too hot for the thief and her cohorts. What adventures will Felicia get into abroad? Let’s find out in Jed MacKay’s BLACK CAT #9!
The new arc “Sleight of Hand” opens with Felicia, Bruno, and Dr. Korpse arriving in Madripoor of all places, presumably to get away from Odessa Drake. In the following pages however, Jed MacKay sets the scene of how we got to this point, with Black Fox convincing Felicia to leave because there’s actually another piece of the puzzle needed to finish the grand heist. It’s all very cinematic, flashing between the Fox explaining the plan in a theater in New York, and the mundane things the gang are up to in Madripoor. As well as it’s handled, it is kind of a bummer that Felicia is on another fetch quest after the previous arc’s ending promised an Odessa Drake/Black Cat showdown.
The gang’s ultimate target in Madripoor is a sister painting to the one Felicia stole earlier in the series, belonging to a resident know as “Patch.” Many Marvel fans will immediately know who this is referring to, and the cover gives it away, but Felicia is not wise to the alias. In the best page of the book, heroes, villains, locals, and an increasingly pissed-off Dr. Korpse respond to Felicia’s questioning of who and where this “Patch” is.
After finally getting some intel from a local, Felicia suits up and heads to Patch’s pad, breaks into a secret room, and finds… nothing. The place has already been looted, and the thief was audacious enough to leave behind a calling card. At this moment Patch, better known as Wolverine, shows up, and luckily the two know each other and have an amicable enough relationship. Felicia convinces Logan to help her go after the real thief, Kade Kilgore; it doesn’t take much convincing since the kid has been a thorn in Wolverine’s side for some time apparently.
The two head off to Kade’s hotel/casino, where Felicia uses her hex ability (it’s a thing— really) to cause bad luck for the house, earning her and Logan an invite to the owner’s penthouse. Petulant brat Kade immediately throws shade at Wolverine, including a “I thought you were into redheads” jab that Felicia hilariously asides with, “Story of my life…” MacKay kills it with little bits like this, but also falls flat at times, like with an earlier “My Favorite Things” song reference. Pick your spots, Jed.
The book ends with Felicia snatching the kid’s glasses and her and Logan jumping out of the window. Kade throws a fit to his henchmen and lets readers know the glasses contained access to his accounts. It looks like a trade may be in the works, and hopefully sooner rather than later. Kade feels like a big step down from the build up of the war with Odessa Drake.
Art-wise, Kris Anka’s style meshes well with the majority of the art from previous issues, but borders on being a little too cartoony. Some of Logan and Felica’s facial expressions would be better suited to anime or manga. Anka does draw a nice Black Cat though, and isn’t that what it’s all about at the end of the day?
As usual, there is a lot of fun to be had in this issue of BLACK CAT. Jed MacKay gets downright cinematic at times, and continues to make readers fall in love with Felicia. The direction of the new arc may irritate some readers looking for closure, but the team up with a certain popular hero is promising. BLACK CAT #9 doesn’t disappoint, and is another fine issue in this surprisingly great series.