We were all very sad when Black Cat was canceled, and for good reason: Jed MacKay has delivered a fun heist comic that ties well into a variety of hero narratives while building on Felicia Hardy’s backstory. But wait, the series is back with a new #1 that directly ties into King in Black. We’re saved! But what could Felicia steal during an invasion of Earth? You might be surprised (if you don’t like surprises check out the preview for the issue).
Knowing fans want heist surprises, MacKay and artist C.F. Villa open the book with a mini-heist and a surprise twist not to be missed. It’s an exciting and action-packed way to introduce readers to Black Cat and her henchmen. Then he drops a Knull hammer on her exploits and things get crazy from there. For a low-level hero like Black Cat, the creative team has done well to integrate her into the King in Black event in a logical and believable way. That’s a huge achievement.
This issue also does well to show how Black Cat is a hero in her own right. Sure, she mostly looks after herself and steals from heroes, but she’s also a good person deep down. You see that with the choices she makes and how she reacts to Captain America in the moment. It’s a genuine moment that works quite well.
Given Black Cat is a street-level hero without super-strength, the creative team does well to capture her ability to fight under duress. She slashes, she leaps, and she dodges very well. For a character who sometimes is played up as a simple cat burglar, she comes off as a bonafide superhero here.
Villa works wonders on pencils in this issue, backed up by color artist Brian Reber. Even in smaller panels, Felicia’s expressions shine through. There’s a lot of shock, awe, and surprise and all of these emotions are important in understanding how bad the heroes have it with Knull only on Earth for a few minutes. Villa draws a great Symbiote as if it’s sticky and strong, which is much less goopy than we’ve seen in other comics. It makes it scarier and much more threatening.
The King in Black event is still quite early in its release, but Black Cat #1 is the strongest tie-in yet. Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa make a case for Black Cat to be your favorite hero in the event and beyond.
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