As a young girl, Felicia Hardy saw her cat burglar father sent to prison, where he eventually died. Blaming crime lord Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, Felicia vowed to destroy him. Fifteen years later, the adult Felicia became an accountant for Fisk Enterprises, but spent her nights robbing Manhattan’s more prominent office buildings as the costumed Black Cat. When Mr. Moore offered to buy his way into the Kingpin’s organization with an inscribed stone tablet desired by Fisk, Felicia broke into Moore’s building, easily circumventing the security through a combination of skill and incredible luck, and stole the tablet from his office safe. On her way out, she encountered and battled Spider-Man; but despite his slightly greater agility, Spider-Man seemed plagued by bad luck, and she escaped. When video footage of their encounter made the news, police suspected they were partners in crime.
Intrigued, the Cat placed an ad in the Bugle, arranging a meeting with Spider-Man on a rooftop near the site of their battle. She brought Spider-Man wine and cheese and flirted with him, but their romantic reunion was interrupted by Elektra, who had been hired to retrieve the tablet. The Cat and Elektra battled, with the assassin gradually gaining the upper hand. Trying to calm the situation, Spider-Man webbed the Cat while he tried to talk to Elektra, who knocked him off the building; while the others were distracted, the Cat freed herself and made her escape.
Remembering comments the Cat had made to Elektra to tell the Kingpin she was not her father, Spider-Man searched Daily Bugle records and figured out her identity. Realizing that if he could work this out, so could the Kingpin, he raced to Felicia’s apartment, finding her literally in the crime lord’s grasp. The hero’s arrival allowed Felicia to break free, and she fled to the roof of her apartment building; as the Kingpin and Elektra arrived in pursuit, she threw the tablet into the harbor. Elektra immediately threw a Sai into Felicia’s chest, and she fell from the roof into the sea, apparently dead; however, several months later, she returned to aid Spider-Man during the inter-gang war between the forces of Kingpin and Hammerhead.