Black Cat (comics)


Black Cat (comics)

Superherobox|

caption=Black Cat
Art by Terry Dodson.
character_name=Black Cat
real_name=Felicia Hardy
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="The Amazing Spider-Man" #194 (July 1979)
creators=Marv Wolfman
Keith Pollard
alliances= Heroes For Hire
aliases= Felicia Harmon, Felicity Harmon, Leesh, Party Hardy
powers= (formerly) Probability manipulation
Superhuman strength and agility
Night vision
(currently) Gloves equipped with polarized mesh claws
Grapnel line launchers hidden in sleeves
Expert martial artist with excellent gymnastic abilities
Superhuman sense of smell|

Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics anti-hero that has been both a one-time foe and an ex-girlfriend of Spider-Man. Created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Keith Pollard, she first appeared in "The Amazing Spider-Man" #194 (July 1979). The Black Cat is a skilled (somewhat reformed) cat burglar who is currently an occasional crime fighter and adventurer. Initially, her "cat-like" facade was merely a part of a powerless persona. While she later did gain powers through a combination of science and magic, her current abilities are artificial and mechanically based.

Publication history

In 1979, creator Marv Wolfman was looking for a female foil for Spider-Woman. He decided to base a character on a Tex Avery cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie" in which a black cat brought misfortune to anyone in close proximity. The Black Cat's costume and appearance were designed by Dave Cockrum. [cite web|url=http://www.wizarduniverse.com/magazine/wizard/002527565.cfm|title=Saying Goodbye to Dave Cockrum|accessdate=2007-06-21|author=Matt Powell|date=2006-11-27|publisher=Wizard.com]

When Wolfman changed writing assignments within Marvel Comics to "Amazing Spider-Man", he brought his character with him. On the bottom of the letters page of her first appearance in "The Amazing Spider-Man" #194, a thumbnail of the intended cover for "Spider-Woman" #9 (as well as a rejected cover for "Amazing Spider-Man" #194) appears.

The Black Cat is often mistaken as an homage to DC's Catwoman, however, Felicia Hardy's signature low cut black costume, cat burglar profession, and her steady relationship to Spider-Man predate Selina Kyle's similar depiction in comics by almost a decade. Catwoman originally appeared in comics as "the Cat", a maskless villain in a purple dress who used big cats for elaborate crimes; her modern incarnation as a black suited cat burglar with mutual romantic interest with Batman didn't occur until 1987 with Frank Miller's classic "".

CBR: "When you created the Black Cat to be Spider-Man’s new girl friend, was it linked to a desire to write stuff about Catwoman or was it only an homage?"

Marv: "I didn't plan Black Cat to be in Spidey. I created her for Spider-Woman (look at the letter column of the first B.C. story and you’ll see). I then decided to leave Spider-Woman and moved her over. So, I never even thought of Catwoman when I did her. I got the idea for her from a Tex Avery cartoon, Bad Luck Blackie." The Black Cat has been the star and co-star of numerous miniseries and appears as a supporting character in various Spider-Man titles.

Writer/director Kevin Smith began writing the "" miniseries in 2002. After the third issue the series went on a hiatus until 2005, when Smith revealed he had finally finished writing the scripts. [cite web|url=http://viewaskew.com/theboard/viewtopic.php?t=36769|title=The impossible has happened...|accessdate=2007-06-21|author=Kevin (Presumably Kevin Smith)|date=2005-07-28|publisher=View Askew Message Board] Smith has stated "While I have zero defense for my lateness (particularly when folks like Bendis turn out great stories in multiple books on a monthly basis), I will say this: it's a much better story now than it would've been had I completed it back in '02."

In the mid-2000s, she starred alongside Wolverine in a limited comic book mini-series entitled "Claws". Black Cat was a lead character in the 2006-2007 "Heroes for Hire" series.


=Notable stories=
*"The Amazing Spider-Man" - #194 & 195: The Black Cat's first appearance
*"The Amazing Spider-Man" - #204 & 205: The Black Cat's second appearance
*"The Amazing Spider-Man" - #226 & 227: The Black Cat's third appearance
*"The Spectacular Spider-Man" - #74-79, 81-100, "The Amazing Spider-Man" - #239, 243-244, 252, 256-258, 263: The Black Cat reforms from villainess to hero and begins dating Spider-Man. When Felicia learns her powers are a danger to Spider-Man and Peter feels lied to, the two break-up.
*"The Spectacular Spider-Man" - #112-113, 115-117, 119, 123, 128-130: Black Cat's powers are mutated and soon finds out Peter is responsible. She confronts Dr.Strange and then joins the Foreigner. After Spiderman and the Foreigner fight soon after, she leaves New York.
*"The Amazing Spider-Man" - #306, 308, 316, 329, 331, 335, 337 ",The Spectacular Spider-Man" - #155-156: Decides she and Spider-Man should be together. When she comes back to New York she finds out from Venom that Peter is married. She then begins to date Flash Thompson to make Peter jealous.
*"The Amazing Spider-Man" - #341-343, 346-347, 359 ",Web of Spider-Man" - #77-78, 80, Annual 8, "Spider-Man" - #23: Black Cat loses her powers and tries to live a normal life
*"The Amazing Spider-Man" - #368-372, "The Spectacular Spiderman" - #209-210: Black Cat gets her powers back but when she proposes to Flash, they break up.
*"Felicia Hardy: The Black Cat" - the Black Cat's first limited series, consisting of 4 parts. Felicia is confronted with a former partner in crime while undertaking an assignment from a new employer. She founds her own private investigation/security firm.
*"" - Retconned the Black Cat's origins from a freewheeling adventuress who was inspired to become a thief because of her father's exploits to a rape victim who turned burglar as a displaced reaction to her attack.
*"Heroes For Hire" - The Black Cat joins the pro-Registration group during the Marvel Civil War event.

Fictional character biography

Felicia Hardy was born in Queens, New York. Her father Walter was a world-renowned cat burglar who, before his arrest, encouraged her to never settle for second best. If she loved basketball, she should work to become a basketball player and not just a cheerleader.

During her freshman year in college, Felicia was date raped by her boyfriend Ryan. Hating the idea of being a victim, she decided that despite the consequences she would murder her rapist. She put aside her studies and began training in various fighting styles and acrobatics. Finally, after months of preparing, she set out for revenge, but before she could find him, Ryan was killed in a drunk-driving accident.

Furious that she was denied the chance to steal the life of the man who had stolen hers, and feeling reckless, Hardy decided to utilize her new skills to follow in the footsteps of her father. After amassing a fortune in stolen items, Felicia adopted her costumed identity.

She first donned the Black Cat costume in order to break her father out of prison. On the same night, she met Spider-Man. Unfortunately for Felicia, her father died, and she then faked her own death. ["Amazing Spider-Man" #194-195] Despite her antipathy towards men, Felicia felt a kinship with this lone hero; Spider-Man was the first man she felt she could trust and she grew to believe herself in love with him. ["Amazing Spider-Man" #204-205] Felicia looked for a way to earn his trust and continued with the Black Cat persona as a misguided attempt to attract his affection. Seeing the good in Felicia, Spider-Man made every attempt to have her criminal record expunged.

Felicia had been placed in a mental institution, but escaped. She joined forces with Spider-Man against the Maggia. She was granted conditional amnesty, and again convinced Spider-Man that she had died. ["Amazing Spider-Man" #226-227]

The Black Cat finally found the opportunity to prove herself after learning the Kingpin controlled an incredibly powerful detonator. The Owl planned to use the weapon to hold New York City hostage. Meanwhile, Doctor Octopus planned to use the weapon to destroy the city altogether. However, the Black Cat was able to use her abilities to steal the item first and protect it from all parties. She gave the detonator to Spider-Man and became the target of Doctor Octopus's revenge. Although Spider-Man was able to tear off his mechanical appendages, Octopus was still able to mentally control them and hold the Black Cat still while his men opened fire. Spider-Man barely got her to the hospital in time and as they operated on the dozens of bullet and knife wounds, Peter realized just how much he cared for Felicia. ["Spectacular Spider-Man" #74-76]

After she recovered, they began a relationship and soon Peter revealed his identity to her. Felicia had great difficulty accepting the fact that Peter was just a man beneath the mask and couldn't understand his need for a civilian life. Peter was hurt, but continued the relationship since it was the first time he didn't need to hide his life as Spider-Man from someone.

Initially, the "accidents" which seemed to befall those who crossed the Black Cat's path were merely well-planned stunts and s. After her near-death experience ["The Spectacular Spider-Man" #75] , Felicia feared her lack of superpowers made her a liability to Spider-Man. She was terrified that his overwhelming need to protect her would eventually get him killed. So, Felicia sought a way to make herself Spider-Man's equal. After learning Tony Stark was missing, Henry Pym wouldn't return her calls, and being rejected by the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, Felicia was offered an opportunity to undergo the same process that was used to create the Scorpion and the Fly. ["Spectacular Spider-Man" #87-89] The Kingpin chose to use it on the Black Cat as payback for a theft she committed. Scared and ashamed of being empowered by the Kingpin of crime, she decided to keep her new abilities a secret from Peter. While Spider-Man was gone during the "Secret Wars", Felicia searched for him at Avengers Mansion; Vision offered her the chance to join the Avengers, which she declined, being interested solely in Spider-Man. Upon his return, her 'bad luck' power turned out to be infectious, and began to jinx Spider-Man, which was exactly the Kingpin's intent. Feeling a wall of secrets growing between them, Spider-Man broke up with Felicia. ["Spectacular Spider-Man" #100] Felicia then began a "Robin Hood crusade," stealing from the rich to give to the poor. ["Spectacular Spider-Man" #112]

Peter soon realized something was amiss with his own luck and enlisted the aid of Doctor Strange to remove the "hex" on him. By doing so, he altered the hex's source and changed the Black Cat's powers in the process. She soon found she had heightened strength, agility, , vision, and retractable claws. While burglarizing the mercenary known as the Foreigner, Black Cat was attacked by Sabretooth, the Foreigner's hit man; Spider-Man saved her life.

The Black Cat updated her look and her attitude and rekindled her relationship with Spider-Man. She made peace with his need for a normal life as Peter Parker and stood by him while he was being accused of murder as Spider-Man. Together, they tracked down the source of the elaborate scheme to frame him and fought the Foreigner. Eventually, just as his life seemed to be falling apart, Spider-Man came home to discover Black Cat discussing her plans to ruin his life. He followed her to find she had never forgiven him for breaking up with her and in revenge became the Foreigner's lover. ["Spectacular Spider-Man" #115-117] She then battled and defeated Sabretooth. ["Spectacular Spider-Man" #119] Her apartment was fire-bombed by the Foreigner's hit man Blaze, and she began living with Peter Parker. ["Spectacular Spider-Man" #123-124] During her ruse against Peter and despite her anger, Felicia began to fall back onto her desire to love him. She soon donned another new costume. Spider-Man then discovered her association with the Foreigner. She cleared Spider-Man of a murder charge. In the end, the Black Cat double crossed the Foreigner and left for Paris to find a new life, ["Spectacular Spider-Man" #128-129] which unexpectedly pushed Peter to find support and a new relationship with Mary Jane Watson.

Years later, the Black Cat returned to America, and went "shopping" with Dagger. ["Strange Tales" Vol. 2 #10] She returned to her original costume, went to seek out Peter Parker, and fought Venom who smashed her face against a wall. Adding insult to injury, Venom informed her that Peter had married Mary Jane Watson. ["Amazing Spider-Man" #316] Angry and jealous, Felicia began harassing the couple, taunting Peter as she dated his friend Flash Thompson. ["Amazing Spider-Man" #329] She began physically threatening Mary Jane, confronting her and swearing to ruin their marriage. ["Amazing Spider-Man" #331] She saved a powerless Spider-Man from the Scorpion, but then all her powers were rendered inert by one of the Chameleon's devices. She began to believe that she sincerely cared for Thompson, ["Amazing Spider-Man" #342-343] but he broke up with her when he found out her secret. The Black Cat eventually moved past her feelings of anger and jealousy, and became friends with both Spider-Man and Mary Jane. She was one of the few to stand with Spider-Man and Venom against Carnage and his "brood" in the Maximum Carnage arc. Originally she sided with Venom's belief that the only way to defeat Carnage was to kill him, but at the end, she fought alongside Spider-Man in his effort to battle the chaos with compassion. After Spider-Man used a device to remove his superhuman abilities, the Black Cat aided him in finding the device again in order to restore them. In the process, the Black Cat's cat-like abilities were completely erased. She subsequently purchased equipment from the Tinkerer to incorporate into her costume in order to compensate for her lost abilities, and occasionally teamed up with Spider-Man.

After Spider-Man unmasked himself, the Black Cat was disappointed, because she had felt that they shared a bond over knowing his identity, which she described as "sexy". Though she is currently dating Thomas Fireheart (a.k.a. Puma), her new sexual interest notes that Felicia may still have some romantic inclinations toward Peter. After the events of in the Spider-Man comic books, she (as with the rest of the Marvel Universe) is no longer aware of Spider-Man's secret identity.

Civil War/The Initiative

The Black Cat became a member of the new Heroes For Hire during the on-going Civil War although Misty Knight implied that Felicia was just there for the money.

Personality

Originally portrayed as an unstable young woman obsessed with Spider-Man, Felicia Hardy evolved into a strong-willed and clever foil to the Webslinger. When the two began dating, her personality was very superficial (when Peter Parker revealed his identity to Felicia, she begged him to put his mask back on -- she couldn't deal with the thought of Spider-Man as an average guy.) Felicia is a loyal friend, resourceful fighter, and, appropriately enough, catty.

Associates and enemies

*Spider-Man (Peter Parker) - Originally on opposite sides of the law, Peter and Felicia fell into an intense (and primarily physical) romance when she reformed. However, since her initial attraction was towards Spider-Man rather than Peter Parker, their relationship failed. After a short period of animosity, they became close friends who help each other out on a regular basis. Felicia realizes now that breaking up with Peter was a mistake and that she is in fact "crushing on" Spider-Man and Peter Parker now, whom she considers "the best guy I've ever known." She is also the only person in the Marvel Universe who calls Spider-Man by the nickname "Spider", as opposed to the common "Spidey".

*Mary Jane Watson-Parker - Peter's wife and erstwhile rival for his affections. Initially mutually hostile, as Felicia believed Mary Jane "stole" Peter away from her, the two women have grown quite close and friendly, similar to Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper in the Archie Comics. Nevertheless, Felicia is not above referring to Peter's wife as "Mary Plain" when arguing with Peter about their previous relationship. In Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours, a novel by Jim Butcher, Felicia already knows Spider-Man's identity and the pair of them team up, making MJ jealous. Later on in the book MJ and Felicia finally become good friends.

*Flash Thompson - A friend of the Parkers, Felicia began a relationship with him in order to dump him to get back at Peter for marrying Mary Jane. Ironically, she actually came to love Flash and was dumped by him instead. This relationship took a different path in the MC2 Universe (see below).

*Puma - After teaming up together during the storyline "Feral", they begin a romantic relationship.

*Tinkerer - A business acquaintance of Felicia who crafted much of her current equipment.

*Wolverine - The Black Cat and Wolverine teamed up in the Marvel Knights miniseries "Claws." They go on a date afterward.

* She also teamed up with Captain America, Cloak and Dagger, Deathlok, Firestar, Iron Fist, Morbius, Nightwatch, and Venom during Maximum Carnage.

* Her teammates among the New Heroes For Hire are Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Tarantula, Shang-Chi, Paladin, American Samurai, Orka, and the Humbug.

Powers and abilities

Initially, the Black Cat had no superhuman abilities. It was later revealed that she had a latent mutant psionic ability to affect probability fields. This ability was activated through genetic alteration by scientists employed by the Kingpin. The "bad luck" power entails that under stress she is subconsciously able to cause anyone in her immediate vicinity that she perceives as a threat to be susceptible to freak accidents, like guns jamming and exploding, or tripping on objects, etc. This ability also had the side effect of eventually causing problems for anyone spending long periods of time around her. Doctor Strange eventually tampered with her powers removing that unwanted side-effect. However, this magical tampering temporarily endowed her with cat-like abilities, giving her retractable talons in her fingertips, superhuman speed and strength, agility, and endurance, proportionate to a cat, and infrared vision and the sensory acuity of a cat. She lost these abilities as the magic faded. In the third issue of the "Claws" mini-series, she states that she can smell pheromones, meaning that she may still retain some animal-like sense of smell.

The Black Cat has reflexes, agility, and stamina of an Olympic level acrobat. She is physically very strong and athletic and has great physical endurance. She is an excellent street fighter capable of taking on several armed assailants and incapacitating them without being injured herself. Her strength and, when pushed too far, ferocity in battle has proven to be overwhelming enough to defeat the mutant assassin known as Sabretooth. She is trained in several martial arts styles.

The Black Cat has also acquired several devices from the Tinkerer that increase her agility and heighten her strength. She wears earrings that interact with the balance centers of her brain to grant her enhanced agility. She has contact lenses that let her see in various ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as infra-red and ultraviolet. Her costume contains micro-servos that enhance her strength above normal human levels. The gloves of her costume contain steel micro-filaments, which form retractable claws at the fingertips when she flexes her fingers (triggering a magnetic surge which condenses the filaments into polarized talons) which enable her to tear through most surfaces and easily scale walls. In addition, the costume is extremely distracting and (due to its skin-tight shape and plunging v-neck that exposes her cleavage), which can make it difficult for a male assailant to concentrate on what he is doing. Using this equipment, the Black Cat has been able to successfully best enemies who have superhuman abilities.

The Black Cat has a miniature grappling hook device hidden in the "fur" of each glove, designed by her father Walter Hardy, which enables her to swing from buildings in a manner similar to Spider-Man, though not quite as fast. She can also use the cable from this device as a tightrope, wall scaling device, swing line, or as a weapon in combat.

Other versions

House Of M

In the House of M reality warp, Felicia Hardy appears as the Black Cat, having gained her powers through the Kingpin ["House of M: Avengers" #4] . She, alongside Elektra, Bullseye, Gladiator and Typhoid Mary, are among the Kingpin's top assassins ["House of M: Avengers" #3] , however she is a double agent for Luke Cage's "Avengers" and feeds them information whenever she can. The Kingpin knows this and has Bullseye and Elektra beat her, while he throws her out a window. She survives and tells Luke that they have been set up, along with the Wolfpack and the Dragons.She stays with the group and is a more vocal member of Luke Cage's resistance. She takes part in the final battle at Genosha.

Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man

In issue #14 of this all-ages series, Spider-Man battles the Black Cat.

Marvel Mangaverse

In the Marvel Mangaverse continuity, Black Cat is cybernetically enhanced. She was originally a simple thief, who stole a cursed magical amulet for its monetary value, but this act attracted the attention of Matt Murdock, the Devil Hunter, and she was cut in half. The Kingpin of Crime reconstructed her body with cybernetics, including a shut-down mechanism he planned to activate if she failed to serve him. After completing her mission for the Kingpin, he claimed to have permanently deactivated the mechanism, but whether he kept his word or not remains to be seen. She is still Spider-Man's old flame, but in the New Mangaverse storyline (with Spider-Man having chosen Mary Jane Watson over her) she is trying to move on, and is now showing a romantic interest in Wolverine though by the end of the story arc it is clear that she has a hidden agenda as she is later seen with Nick Fury.

Marvel Zombies

A zombified Black Cat is briefly seen battling Iron Fist. He punches a hole straight through her.

However somehow (in "Marvel Zombies: Dead Days") during events set after her appearance above (which happened in "Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness"), she appears alive and well on one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Carriers.

When asked about this during his Joe Friday 100, Joe Q explained that "the MZ world is not exactly like the regular Marvel Universe. Our Captain America is their “Colonel America”. Their Reed Richards is evil. A lot of the costumes are from different eras in our world. We assumed it was obvious from the context that in the MZ world, Felicia Hardy has a twin sister, Felicity Hardy, who is the costumed adventurer known as Night Cat." [ [http://www.newsarama.com/NewJoeFridays/JoeFridays100_2.html NEWSARAMA.COM: JOE FRIDAYS - WEEK 100, A WEEKLY Q&A WITH JOE QUESADA, Part 2 ] ]

MC2

In the alternate future comics known as MC2, Felicia Hardy married Flash Thompson and had two children, Felicity and Gene, before they divorced. In this continuity, she has apparently retired the identity of the Black Cat and runs a private detective agency. She has begun a romantic relationship with a woman she works with, a fact that has produced much tension between herself and her daughter; there has been no implication that Felicity has a problem with the bisexual aspect, but instead it appears that she blames her mother for the divorce. The exact chronology of these events has not been established.) Felicity temporarily adopted the identity of the new Scarlet Spider. Gene dated May Parker for a time.

pider-Man: Fairy Tales

Issue #1 of ' follows the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Mary Jane plays the part of Little Red Riding Hood, and Peter is one of the woodsmen. Mary Jane owns a black cat named Felicia"'. #3, a Japanese ghost story, features a demoness resembling a humanoid black cat, with long white hair.

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane

Felicia Hardy makes an appearance in issue #17 of the series. She is a teenager who transfers to the same high school attended by Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Felicia is considered "bad luck" due to her violent past and confrontational personality. She flirts with Flash and challenges his girlfriend, Liz Allan, to a fight, which was merely a ruse to establish her reputation as a girl not to be messed with. Currently there are no signs of Felicia having super powers or a masked identity as "Black Cat."

upernaturals

A different version of Felicia Hardy is part of a team led by Brother Voodoo.

Ultimate Black Cat

In "Ultimate Spider-Man", set in the Ultimate Marvel universe, the Black Cat is Felicia Hardy, a young woman who blames her father’s death on Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Seeking revenge, she stole a priceless tablet that he was going to use on his comatose wife. Kingpin hired the assassin Elektra to retrieve it. When Black Cat threw it into the harbor, Elektra threw one of her sais into the Black Cat's chest, sending the thief over the edge. She was presumed dead, though no body was found.

She later returned during a gang war, stopping Hammerhead from shooting Spider-Man in the right temple. She later expressed interest in working for Hammerhead if it would mean getting rid of the Kingpin, which didn't sit that well with the other heroes.

Later, after the crisis was resolved, she passionately kissed Spider-Man through his mask, her previous interest in him having gotten stronger. She had apparently no idea of the age disparity between her and Peter, and mistakenly assumed, after he left in a rush, that he was a married man. When she managed to unmask him and realized how young he truly was, she was repulsed. The shock and embarrassment of such a discovery caused her to vomit on his uniform.

In the Ultimate reality, Black Cat has been described as a low-level mutant, her strength and agility are on par with that of Spider-Man. In this version, the Black Cat actually has short brunette hair, and wears a white-haired wig in her secret identity.

What If?

In the "What If?" storyline "What if the Alien Costume had Possessed Spider-Man?", after the symbiote forms a permanent bond with Spider-Man due to Mister Fantastic being unable to examine the web-slinger until it is too late to break them apart, Felicia goes on a brief crime spree until she learns that the symbiote- which here lives on adrenaline from superhumans- has abandoned the now-deceased Spider-Man in favour of the Hulk, she favours killing the Hulk over the objections of the other heroes. After Spider-Man's funeral, she is contacted by the Kingpin, who helps her develop a weapon that will kill the symbiote in exchange for a lifetime of service from her; despite the heroes having already defeated the symbiote thanks to the actions of Thor and Black Bolt, with Doctor Strange being about to banish it, Felicia kills the symbiote anyway, subsequently berating the heroes for not knowing the price she had to pay to ensure that justice was done.

In another storyline, Spider-Man marries the Black Cat rather than Mary Jane- Alistair Smythe's attack having left Mary Jane injured in this reality, leaving Peter doubting his ability to look after her, with he and Felicia rekindling their romance while fighting super-villains together-, but their relationship is complicated by such factors as Peter and Felicia being unable to live together in order to preserve his secret identity. After Felicia' carelessness results in Spider-Man's identity being discovered by an unidentified informant- combined with her own jealousy over Peter's continued friendship with Mary Jane-, she is killed by Paladin after he mistakenly assumes she attempted to kill Mary Jane, resulting in Peter forming a romantic relationship with Silver Sable as the two bond over their shared grief at the loss of their loved ones.

In other media

Animation

pider-Man (1981)

Black Cat appeared in the 1981 "Spider-Man" episode "Curiosity Killed the Spider-Man".


="Spider-Man" (1994-1998)=

In the 1990s animated television series "", Felicia Hardy was originally depicted as the first potential love interest for Peter Parker, but was soon replaced by Mary Jane Watson. Felicia was the well bred, well-to-do daughter of business woman Anastasia Hardy, and had only vague memories of her father, a career jewel thief known as the Cat, who had been imprisoned for years because he had memorized the World War II super soldier formula.

As her civilian identity, Felicia was a slightly petite (unlike her alter ego) but nonetheless very attractive blond with a crisp brogue and a sharp mind. She briefly dated Michael Morbius, who later became Morbius the vampire, and then dated Jason Macendale, who was revealed to be the Hobgoblin; both revelations left her devastated.

She also became attracted to Spider-Man, unaware that he was Peter Parker, after the superhero rescued her mother from the Green Goblin. She then invited him to her apartment at nighttime and kissed him on the lips after raising his mask half-way up his face (which would later become her signature way of kissing him as the Black Cat). However, Spider-Man told her that having a girlfriend would be too dangerous and Felicia understood, though she still retained her feelings for him.

It was later revealed that her father John Hardesky (known as a thief called "The Cat") was there when he memorized the formula that created Captain America when he was a child and managed to evade the real Nazis. He was in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody until Kingpin and Doctor Octopus sent Chameleon to infiltrate the Helicarrier he was in and switch places with him. After being captured by Doctor Octopus, Felicia was experimented on by the Kingpin with an upgraded type of that same super-soldier project, gifting her with great physical strength, agility, and dexterity, and the ability to alter her physical appearance i.e. hair color to white and costume change as well as drastically increasing her height and muscle mass (thus transforming her into the more recognizable "comic" form: the Black Cat). Her equipment gave her the ability to emit some sort of knockout gas from her wrists and an expendable cable and grappling hooks, that allowed her to swing in the air like Spider-Man. She appears to have claws but they may only be part of her costume, allowing her to tear/cut through steel and concrete. Through the series, regularly, when Spider-Man and Black Cat engage in one-on-one combat battles, she beats him. Eventually, Spider-Man helped Black Cat free her father from the Kingpin and the two formed a partnership and soon after a relationship after Spider-Man realized that he had feelings for Black Cat, who had already been attracted to him for a long time. However, their relationship was short-lived after she chose to travel the world with her old love, Morbius. Spider-Man, Black Cat, Whistler and Blade battled the Vampire Queen and shortly after the Black Cat decided to leave Spider-man to fight alongside Blade and Morbius. She returned in the first few episodes of season five as the Black Cat when Peter was married to MJ and helped Spider-man fight Hydro Man who had kidnapped his wife. She was briefly attached to Spider-man and even wanted to get back together with him but Spider-man, already being married to MJ said that it was too late for them now. The Black Cat then returned to help Morbius. Spider-Man later recruited her during the animated Secret Wars because they worked well together, and she and Captain America were briefly attracted to one another, though in the end she returned her feelings toward Spider-Man. She was voiced by Jennifer Hale.

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series

In "", Talon is a villain based on the Black Cat. She was originally going to be Black Cat, but was changed to this character based on her due to the fact that she was voiced by Eve. Fact|date=May 2007

The Spectacular Spider-Man

Black Cat first appears in "The Spectacular Spider-Man" episode "The Uncertainty Principle" during the Halloween festival, the Black Cat was seen carrying a large sack of money (possibly the same person). In this series she's so far been depicted as a simply being a thief, and her real identity has yet to seen. She possess a wit like Spider-Man does, and has even implied to have romantic feelings for him.

Black Cat is introduced in the final arc of the first season, which features the black suit. She is voiced by Canadian actress Tricia Helfer.

She meets Spider-Man in an attempt to steal the Symbiote, but was stopped by Spider-Man. When the Chameleon frames Spider-Man, she agrees to help clear his name, and steal the mayor's necklace as well. She constantly flirts with Spider-Man throughout the episode. At the end of the episode, she gives Spider-Man an upside-down kiss with his mask raised half-way reminiscent to her signature way of kissing him as the Black Cat in and disappears afterwords. However, it is revealed that she actually kissed him to distract him from noticing her stolen prize

She also has cameos in the episodes "Intervention" (via flashbacks from the season's previous episodes), and "Nature vs. Nurture" and will be appearing in season two.

Video games

* Black Cat is a playable character in the Spider-Man arcade game "", a side-scrolling fighting game. Black Cat can scratch enemies, pounce on them with leaping kicks, or use her grappling hook like a whip to strike from a distance.

* Black Cat is a summon in the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis game "", where her attacks vary depending on whether the player is Spider-Man or Venom. She also appears in many of the pages from the "Maximum Carnage" comic book that were shown between levels.

* In the Sony PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast, PC, and Nintendo 64 "Spider-Man" video game, Black Cat appears in the first stage giving gaming tips every time the player walks into a question mark. Later in the game, she gets knocked out by the Rhino and is captured by fake paramedics working for Doctor Octopus and Carnage. Later on, Spider-Man finds her imprisoned inside Doctor Octopus's hidden lair and releases her. At the end of the game Captain America, Black Cat, and Venom come in Captain America's hovercar and rescue Spider-Man from Monster Ock (a combination of Doctor Octopus and the Carnage symbiote) and it's exploding base. During the level where you find her, if "What If?" mode is activated she can be seen dancing in her cell. Jennifer Hale reprised her role of Black Cat, in the game.

* The Black Cat also makes an appearance in the "Spider-Man 2" video game, based on the 2004 film, as an unusual seductive ally of the web slinger who also has an apparent taste for occasional burglary. Following their initial meetings as she flees a museum where Spider-Man has just defeated a gang and an exploding jewelry store- it is never expressly stated whether or not she stole something from these locations-, she directs Spider-Man to the site of a gang trade where she steals a statue- although she later claims to have returned it to the police-, subsequently helping Spider-Man battle the recently-escaped Shocker. After the two have thwarted an arms deal, Spider-Man is left thinking about Black Cat's suggestion that he abandon his civilian lifestyle, as her lack of a non-costumed identity grants her the freedom to be a good or bad guy without concern about dealing with long-term consequences herself, but Spider-Man eventually concludes that he needs to be both Peter Parker and Spider-Man and the two part ways, although Black Cat flirtatiously informs him that "Once I've crossed your path, I'm not that easy to get rid of", hinting at her return in a sequel. Her appearance is the same as the mainstream Black Cat aside from short hair, but her real name is never revealed. She is not a playable character.

* Black Cat is a playable character in the game voiced by Audrey Wasilewski.

* Black Cat also appears in . Although her purpose is not yet known, she has been seen kissing Spider-Man in some premotional material Fact|date=September 2008 and fighting him in a video on IGN.com.Fact|date=October 2008

Novels

Black Cat is one of the main characters in the novel "".

She has also appeared in the novel "Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk: Rampage" by Danny Fingeroth and Eric Fein, the first book of the "Doom's Day" trilogy.

ee also

*List of fictional characters who can alter probability

Notes and references

External links

* [http://theblackcat01.tripod.com/ Cat's House (Felicia Hardy)]
* [http://marvel.com/universe/Black_Cat Black Cat on the Marvel Universe Character Bio Wiki]
* [http://marvel.com/universe/Black_Cat_%28Ultimate%29 Ultimate Black Cat on the Marvel Universe Character Bio Wiki]
* [http://felicia.genrou.com/ Cat Scratch Fever]
* [http://feliciahardy0.tripod.com/ Black Cat fansite]
* [http://www.napanet.net/~mwilcox/Black%20Cat%20Profile.html A Black Cat Profile]
* [http://www.spiderfan.org/characters/black_cat.html Black Cat's Profile at Spiderfan.org]
* [http://www.samruby.com/Heroes/BlackCat/black_cat.htm Black Cat's Profile at SamRuby.com]
* [http://www.gayleague.com/gay/characters/display.php?id=159 Black Cat's Profile at gayleague.com]


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