12 August 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Black Cat

Another week closer to the premier of Spider-Man 3 brings us another Spider-Man villain profile.

Felicia Hardy AKA Black Cat has been both Spidey's lover and enemy, and no matter how tempting it may be, don't ever call her Catwoman.

From the wikipedia:

The Black Cat's father was a world renowned cat burglar. 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. 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 love 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.

After a clash with Doc Ock leaving her wounded, 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. But 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.

At one point, the Kingpin gave her a 'bad luck' power that began to permanently jinx Spider-Man, which was exactly the Kingpin's intent. Feeling a wall of secrets growing between them, Spider-Man broke up with Felicia. He soon realized something was amiss with his own luck and enlisted the aid of Doctor Strange to remove the "hex" on him. But doing so altered the hex's source and changed the Black Cat's powers in the process. She soon found a heightened strength, agility, balance, vision, and retractable claws.

Years later, the Black Cat returned to America to seek out Peter Parker and was devastated when informed by Venom that Peter had married Mary Jane Watson. Angry and jealous, Felicia began harassing the couple, physically threatening Mary Jane and taunting Peter as she dated his friend Flash Thompson. She began to sincerely care 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. 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. But 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.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 265 days!


j said...

Seems like these superheros spend a lot of time losing and regaining their powers. Seems to be a recurring theme.

Chip Chief said...

i guess its because anyone can be a hero with powers, but only a superhero can still be a hero without powers. :)

j said...

Mmm, so deep. Must ponder.

toast said...

Black Cat has always seemed to be a knock off of Catmowan to me. She has always been in Catwoman's shadow. Including the whole love affair with the hero (Peter/Bruce) and the stuggle with doing the right thing. Both Catwoman and Black Cat are considered 'heroes' now.

Chip Chief said...

yeah, i guess the main difference is that catwoman has never been as good as black cat, and catwoman usually has only been human whereas black cat has powers. at this point, black cat must be seen as "cooler" than catwoman too after that disasterous Catwoman movie.

if black cat is not a copy of catwoman their similarities are quite an amazing coincidence as are the similarities of the lizard and killer croc, sandman and clayface, chameleon and the original clayface, and the idea behing man-bat and doppleganger. so basically spidey foes are often times rip-offs, but i still love them.

toast said...

Yet Catwoman has had her own book since 1993 that has stayed in the top 100 month after month and Black Cat has...a cameo once every other year to remind peoploe that she's still alive.

Catwoman's origin stems from sexual abuse as well. Now she does good a guardian of Gotham's red light district. Protecting the prostitues that can't protect themselves.

Chip Chief said...

wow, i never realized she was so popular. i hope the penguin never gets his own book.

Anonymous said...

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