By Jed MacKay, C.F. Villa and Brian Reber
This may not be a popular opinion, but Felica Hardy is my favorite spider girlfriend. Before you jump down my throat, I love MJ too, but there is just something about Black Cat that draws me to the character. Maybe it’s her sass or the fact that she’s a morally gray character that continually does the right thing, but I’ve been a fan since the Spider-Man arcade game in the 90’s. This week we see a new Black Cat title that has ties to the King in Black event. This makes sense since Knull has been wreaking havoc in Venom, another spiderverse book. You have to wonder how Black Cat will fit into this crossover, Felicia is mostly just a thief, but she has the ability to do great things. That’s exactly what this series aims to do. Highlight how great Felicia Hardy can be.
Jed MacKay starts off by giving us a reason why Black Cat is always stealing. It’s simple, money makes people work for you, it gets people to do what you need. As we’re getting this insightful monolague, Knull arrives on Earth. MacKay shows us what Felicia was doing while the events of King in Black #1 took place. MacKay allows us to see that Black Cat was actually helping the heroes during the crisis. What works for this issue is the reasoning for how things happened with Felicia. MacKay has her thrown into the action by accident. She shows up and helps out a sense of moral obligation. MacKay gives us some nice talk between Felicia and Captain America. He knows who she is and what she’s capable of, which is why she is a perfect person to make a big steal during this event. MacKay gives us an issue that makes sense. Having Black Cat be a part of this big event and actually have a role fits, given that she needs to steal something to help the heroes of Earth. It’s fun to see Black Cat mingle with other heroes, her rapport with Captain America was nice and I’d like to see her do that more. We don’t know how big of a role Felicia will have in the main event, but it’s cool that she’s finally getting to play with some of the A-listers now.
The pencils this issue are handled by C.F. Villa with colors by Brian Reber. C.F. Villa does an amazing job this issue. His pencils look great as he recreates panels from King in Black. Seeing Felicia with a smug smile on her face as she tells us that she stole from Dr. Strange twice is a pretty good looking panel. Villa also gives us a menacing looking Knull, even though he only appears in one panel. The colors by Brian Reber kill it this issue too. Pages are extremely vibrant, especially when you have symbiote ooze meshing with them. Dr. Strange’s energy blast brighten up the page and clash with the black tar like symbiotes. The pencils and colors rock this issue and bring Jed MacKay’s script to life.
My expectations for Black Cat #1 were middle of the road. Having said that, this was a really good book. Jed MacKay has proven that he can write Felicia Hardy in an extremely likable and relatable way. The pencils and colors were lights out too. Black Cat #1 is a great book and an excellent tie-in to King in Black.