Everything You Need to Know About Black Cat's Schemes
Felicia Hardy is a master manipulator – here are some of her biggest plots!
Gwen and MJ may get most of the attention when it comes to important women in Peter Parker’s life, but we would be remiss to underestimate the impact Felicia Hardy has had on our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #16.HU, we’ll get a fairly in-depth glimpse into the life of the cat burglar and her relationship with Peter. With that in mind, we thought we’d look back at some of the Black Cat’s most impressive heists and sneakiest schemes.
Rescuing Her Dad
Felicia made her first appearance in 1979’s THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194, when she tried to break her dad—also a burglar—out of prison. And she succeeded! This is significant because part of the reason she became a criminal in the first place was to prove that she could outdo dear old dad. She wanted to demonstrate that she could be an even better outlaw than he was, so springing him out was a benchmark moment for her. In a way, the student became the master. Unfortunately, her dad died shortly after.
Stealing a Super Important Detonator
Not all of Felicia’s heists are about doing something illegal. She sometimes uses her talents for good, which is what makes her such a compelling character. In 1983’s SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #74-76, Kingpin was in possession of an incredibly powerful detonator that basically everyone wanted to get their hands on. The Owl had plans to use it to hold New York City hostage, and Doctor Octopus just wanted to watch the city burn.
But Felicia managed to steal it and protect it from everyone, though she was later shot and attacked by Doc Ock’s goons. This was an important heist in Felicia’s history because it showed us that she’s not simply a villain—she has morals. It was also a crucial moment for Peter, who began to understand his feelings for her.
Playing Robin Hood
Break-ups can be tough. After Peter ended their relationship, Felicia needed something to take her mind off things. In 1986’s SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #112, she went out on the prowl and encountered a bunch of dudes stealing fur coats. Of course, she easily overpowered them and took the coats for herself. But then she noticed a group of homeless women trying to keep warm by a barrel fire and gave the coats to them. On Christmas Eve, no less! This sent her down the path of using her skills and talents to steal from the rich and give to the poor. It was a new day for the Black Cat!
Snagging Priceless Artwork
What self-respecting burglar hasn’t stolen a super expensive work of art or two in their day? Well, Felicia is no exception. In THE SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #17, Felicia was disguising herself in order to make Boomerang think she was romantically interested in him. Her mission was to manipulate him and the Sinister Six into helping her get her hands on a portrait of Doctor Doom without a mask. This heist was awesome for multiple reasons—she’s playing the long game, she got the upper hand on Doom, and she showed us yet again that she’s not just great at breaking and entering, she’s also excellent at playing mind games.
House of M Shenanigans
During the crazy reality warp of HOUSE OF M, Felicia was one of Kingpin’s top assassins, pulling off heists and schemes at his behest. But she was also a double agent for Luke Cage’s Avengers and fed them info whenever possible. Although these events technically took place in an alternate reality of sorts, this characterization of Felicia was really true to her essence. She’s basically good at heart (probably?), but you’re never completely sure where she stands. She and Loki should totally do a buddy heist together!
Felicia Hardy is definitely a multi-layered character, and her nuances and shifting loyalties make her story a pretty interesting one to follow. We’re looking forward to seeing what heists and crazy escapades she pulls off in the future!
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