Launching last summer was the delightful series Iron Cat from creators Jed MacKay and artist Pere Perz. The series offered some answers around the Black Cat-created Iron Man tech suit while progressing MacKay’s story for the character. Running 128 pages, this is a mashup of Iron Man action and Black Cat heist thriller that should entice all sorts of audiences.
The biggest audience that’ll love this is those who have enjoyed MacKay’s Black Cat run. This may be a miniseries, but it feels much more like a continuation of her story. That’s because it has Black Cat reflect on the murder of her incredible teacher, which occurred in her last adventure while reminding us Black Cat was learning the ropes for many years. That allows for the narrative to loop in Tamara Blake, a former “classmate” who taught under the same master thief, who also happens to be Black Cat’s ex-girlfriend. That thoroughly ties Black Cat’s personal life into the narrative while dragging Iron Man through hell in the process.
There’s an interesting distinction made about Black Cat and why she’s so good, and it requires Tamara to make the point. MacKay proves here that Black Cat may not be the smartest or best at planning like Tamara, but she treats being a thief more like a dance. You have gotta roll with the punches, as they say, and we get to see both Tamara’s planning and Black Cat’s ability to run with what she’s got in full effect. It’s possible that together, these two would be the greatest thieves in Marvel Comics, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Much of this collection is going to be a treat for action aficionados. Perez proved with every issue of Spider-Woman that he’s one of the best action and fight comic artists out there. That continues here. Paired with Frank D’Armata, the suits and explosions look great. Different armors pop up, and Black Cat even gets her own suit apart from the Iron Cat suit she made in a previous story. A lot of the action takes place flying around in suits, and the art never looks static or boring.
One downside to this issue is it’s largely not about Iron Man. He gets to riff on Black Cat, but he’s mostly dragged through this narrative. He gets to flex once or twice, but the entire narrative is a headache for Iron Man, who surprisingly isn’t furious about the situation, give or take a few moments. He’s trying to keep the world safe and reverse Black Cat’s antics, yet never once threatens to arrest her or do anything to her. It’s a slightly strange dynamic, but certainly not much of a distraction since he’s a supporting character here.
Iron Cat is a great continuation of Black Cat’s story, with flashy art running throughout. It’s also an interesting romance as Black Cat works out some issues with an ex setting up future storylines.
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