$59.00

Black Cat ("Special Edition") 12 inch Marvel Super Hero (1997)
[12 inch]

Black Cat (\"Special Edition\") 12 inch Marvel Super Hero (1997)

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Date Added: Friday 11 April, 2008

by Paul Cunningham

**BLACK CAT**
("Skin Tight")

"The Black Cat is an expert thief"!!!

"Fictional character biography"

The Black Cat's first appearance, on Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #194. Cover art by Keith Pollard.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 chose to adopt a costume 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. 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. 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.

*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.

*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 traps. After her near-death experience, Felicia feared her lack of superpowers made her a liability for Spider-Man. She was terrified that his overwhelming need to protect her would eventually kill him. 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.

*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. Felicia then began a "Robin Hood crusade," stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

*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, balance, 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. She then battled and defeated Sabretooth. Her apartment was fire-bombed by the Foreigner's hit man Blaze, and she began living with Peter Parker. During her ruse against Peter and despite her anger, Felicia began to fall back onto her desire to love Peter. 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, 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.
She returned to her original costume, went to seek out Peter Parker, and fought Venom. She was devastated when Venom informed her that Peter had married Mary Jane Watson. Angry and jealous, Felicia began harassing the couple, taunting Peter as she dated his friend Flash Thompson. She began physically threatening Mary Jane, confronting her and swearing to ruin their marriage.

*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, but he eventually 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 along side 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 teams 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 One More Day in the Spider-Man comic books, it is stated that no one knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, but whether or not this applies to Felicia is unclear at this point.


Civil War/The Initiative...
*The Black Cat is 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.
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.

*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 provocative (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, or as a weapon in combat. Or she can use it as a swing-line.

**"The Black Cat is an expert thief."**

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]

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