Jed MacKay has revitalized the Black Cat character — it’s part of the reason why I named him the best comics writer of 2021. His run on the character ended recently, and the finish is collected in Black Cat Vol. 6: Infinity Score. It has all been building to this with Star, Infinity Stones, and family bonds combining into a finish well worth checking out.
Following volume 5, this volume collects Black Cat #8-10 and Giant-Size Black Cat: Infinity Score wrapping it all up. If you’re a fan of getting into the head of a character, this is a great final volume. New readers can jump right in as Jed MacKay catches us up to speed on Black Cat’s antics while getting us into where Black Cat is emotionally in the story. Much of the start of this collection sets up the big heist. This series has continued to impress with high-stakes heists and lots of twists. Not to be outdone, this collection starts with plenty of twists and turns as well as some good old-fashioned thief tips.
As the story continues, Black Cat is embroiled with Quantum permeated by sharply-written captions, putting us inside Black Cat’s head. Soon though, she senses someone is watching and the chase is on. As she dives off the building, swings inches from the ground, and wall-runs away from an unknown enemy, MacKay has got Black Cat thinking, commenting, and generally reflecting on all sorts of things via the captions. Hell, there’s so much thinking going on captions are layered over each other!
What’s cool about this collection is how it integrates different elements. Infinite Destinies is present, but also Heroes Reborn. The presence of Nighthawk not only validates the event a bit more, but it’s neat to see MacKay play around with the multiverse. The Infinity Stones are dangerous enough as it is, and MacKay offers up yet another danger if they get into the wrong hands. It’s also fun to see this alternate dimension character play off Black Cat as he’s basically a Batman surrogate.
One reason why MacKay is so good is that he earns the reveals and the twists in the story. He has always been great at heists because he drops key tidbits to lead the reader on only to switch things up, or drop a new twist on top of an old one to make things more interesting. This conclusion has that, plus key Infinity Stone characters pop up, like one who was featured in Iron Man Annual. Ultimately, there are multiple satisfying endings that help give Black Cat a happy ending and some promise for more to come.
The art by C.F. Villa and color artist Brian Reber help establish the slick moves and sultry nature of Black Cat. The acrobatics of Black Cat are incredibly well rendered with good body position and choreography. She may not be super strong or capable of flying, but Villa makes you believe Black Cat’s agility is second to none.
The collection explodes with fun action in its conclusion thanks to some impressive art using cross-sectional shots of buildings. Villa slices the edge of the hospital, revealing three heroes on different floors powering up, which sets up an incredible double-page layout of nearly the entire building with tons of action going on in various rooms. The off-kilter angled action spilling across the hospital here is a lot of fun to take in. Your eye is drawn across floors and rooms as energy blasts fly through walls and teleporters pop off.
Black Cat Vol. 6 wraps up the series in a satisfying way because it earns everything it reveals while showing how well-written captions can draw you into a character narrative. Black Cat mixes high-octane action with a story that pays off for dedicated readers.
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