Wednesday, December 3, 2014

As Luck Would Have It--The Black Cat!

In mid-1979, a new foe--and what would turn out to be a new love interest--was introduced in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man:

Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, had a knack for rigging accidents which, combined with a talent for good timing, made it appear as if her black cat motif was actually causing bad luck to befall her opponents. Fearing that her lack of a genuine super-power would make her a liability for her boyfriend, Spider-Man, she fell into the clutches of the Kingpin, who was able to find a way to make her bad luck "power" a reality, in exchange for services to be determined at a future date.

Only thing is, I happened to like the Black Cat just as she was, before the Kingpin gave her a bona fide super-power that made her blend in with almost all the other characters Spider-Man faces. The Cat didn't just have her tricks--part of the fun of her encounters with Spidey was that she was able to confound him in a fight, as well as play with his head. Why fix what isn't really broken?

So, in the spirit of the Black Cat as originally created, here's a brief look at her talent for causing bad luck to those who crossed her path.


From the letters page of that issue of ASM featuring her first appearance, here's an interesting bit of trivia on the Black Cat and her creator, Marv Wolfman, involving two different books in which the Cat was set to premiere:

"...we thought you'd be interested in seeing two previous covers that were rejected by the front office both featuring the Black Cat. The first was designed by Marv [Wolfman] and drawn by Captivatin' Carmine Infantino for Spider-Woman #9. B.C. would have been a very different character had she appeared in Spider-Woman, but when Smilin' Stan saw the cover, he felt something was missing. And, just before Marv had Carmine redesign the cover, the Marvelous One moved on to other projects, and took the Black Cat along with him.

"The second cover was the first one Marv designed with Klobberin' Keith Pollard. Once more, Stan felt there was a better way to handle our villainess' first appearance, and had Amiable Al Milgrom draw the cover you see sporting this very mag."