Writer: Jed MacKay
Art: Carlos Villa, J. Scott Campbell, Brian Reber, and Ferran Delgado
Release Date: June 10, 2020
Felicia Hardy and company continue their quest of robbing some of the highest-profile of all heroes in New York in their quest to assemble the so-called Randall Gate. Let’s see where this month’s tale leads us!
Black Cat is way up on my list of current favorite Marvel books. It knows what it is, and doesn’t try to be something it isn’t, and fail miserably at it. It’s a heist book that is fun, witty, extremely well thought out and executed.
It also features a character in Felicia Hardy that I’m fascinated with. I’m currently doing a chronological read-through of all the Spider books and am currently in mid/late 1984. Felicia is featured prominently in both Amazing Spider-Man, and Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man during this time. Jed MacKay gets high marks from me right off the bat for making Felicia as the recognizable, and like-able character to me now as she is in books written 36 years ago.
As far as our storytelling in this run of Black Cat goes, I love that each book is a self-contained chapter so to speak in an overall bigger book. Unlike some other books like Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers that have seeming unending plot threads that never pay off, Jed MacKay does a great job of telling his story, finishing it up each month, and moving on to the next issue. I think buyers of monthly comics would appreciate this as that they feel they’re getting their monies worth.
In this particular issue, Felicia and her crew need to break into Stark Industries so Felicia can use Tony’s technology to fashion a key for use in the Randall Gate. The way Jed MacKay does this isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but he skips forwards and backward in the story to show how Felicia and her crew come up with the plan to gain access to Stark Industries, how to best deal with Tony, how to create a distraction, and finally how to beat the security measures and get the key made. It reminds me of Pulp Fiction in the way they story skips forwards and backward. By the end, the goal of the issue has been met, and we’re left with a really nice, surprising cliff hanger.
The art and cover of Black Cat are above average and are very tastefully done in a way that isn’t overly sexual or degrading to women. The cover in particular by J. Scott Campbell is a fine example of this. Marvel could really have a fine line up of female-led solo books that feature powered as well as non powered characters, that are strong women that DON’T rely on gimmicks and frankly disappointing covers of scantily clad women to sell. They’ve hit a home run with Black Cat but sadly missed their mark with others…
While Black Cat isn’t the most well-known character or biggest selling book by any means, it remains one of the best monthly books that Marvel puts out. It’s a quick, fun read that has me waiting for issue number 12 very impatiently!!