Alter Ego: Felicia Hardy
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (July 1979)
Felicia is the daughter of Walter Hardy, the world-renowned cat burglar who, before his arrest, encouraged her to never settle for second best.
Although she was a villain in her first appearances (or rather, an Anti-Villain), she became the third most prominent love interest in the series after Mary Jane and Gwen (some would argue she's more prominent than Gwen at this point, at least plot-wise). Although she has the particularity that, unlike those two, she was way more in love with the Spider-Man persona than with the Peter Parker persona, which was the main source of conflict in their relationship.
In her backstory in Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do, it is revealed that she was raped by her boyfriend Ryan when she was a freshman at Empire State University. Hating the idea of being a victim, she trained herself in various fighting styles and acrobatics, intent on killing her rapist. 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 for revenge, she decided to utilize her new skills to follow in her father's footsteps. After amassing a fortune in stolen items, Felicia adopted her costumed 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. Unfortunately for Felicia, her father died, and she then faked her own death. 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 believe herself in love with 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.
Aside from her appearance in many Spider-Man comics, Black Cat has also appeared in Heroes for Hire which took place during the Civil War and Marvel Divas (a parody of Sex and the City). In Maximum Carnage, she is one of Spidey's friends whom he seeks for help. Later after Spider-Island event, she was blamed for the theft of a Holographic Projector from Horizon Labs. Since Spider-Man was with her at the time of the robbery, he knew that she was innocent and recruited Matt Murdock to help prove her innocence. She also appeared in the mini-series Claws where she has a team-up with Wolverine.
In a part of the Marvel NOW! event, she was contacted by her friend from Heroes for Hire, Misty Knight, in order to help the Fearless Defenders fight the so-called Doom Maidens along with other female heroines such as Storm, Tigra, Hellcat, and Valkyrie.
In Superior Spider-Man, she was in the middle of a robbery when Spider-Man (who was actually Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker's body) attacked her without warning, leaving her beaten and wrapped in his webbing for the police to arrest. This left Felicia totally shocked and furious at not only her lover's perceived betrayal, but at the loss of all of her personal belongings and criminal contacts. Following the conclusion of the Superior Spider-Man storyline, which Peter Parker returned as the true Spider-Man, Black Cat swore revenge and later escaped when Electro staged a breakout at the prison where she was being held. She then became a genuine criminal, and is one of villains in the 2014-2015 ongoing mini-series Hawkeye vs. Deadpool.
In the Silk solo series, Black Cat appears as a secondary antagonist whom Silk unknowingly thwarted by stopping her men. The two fight, but then one of Cat's men double-crosses her blowing up several of her men and almost killing Cat herself, all to kidnap Silk, so he could chop her up and sell the parts on the black market. Cat tracks her man and ends up saving Silk. Cat kills the man, which angers Silk because he was the closest lead she had to finding her parents; the two fight again, but it ends in a draw. In Volume 2, Silk is working for Black Cat, though in reality, she is The Mole placed by S.H.I.E.L.D. While undercover, Cat and Silk infiltrate and destroy the Goblin Nation, freeing people from the Goblin King's control. During this, Silk begins to bond with Cat and vice-versa; Silk seems to think there might still be good in Cat, though Cat claims she is Above Good and Evil.
During the Venom Inc. storyline, Lee Price, the fifth Venom and the current holder of the Mania symbiote, took over Black Cat's criminal empire after she was affected by the symbiote. Freed by Spider-Man, Eddie Brock (now possessing the Venom symbiote again), Flash Thompson (who was transformed into "Agent" Anti-Venom) and later joined by the former holder of the Mania symbiote Andi Benson, Black Cat fought to stop Price's attempt to take over the Five Families, but lost her empire entirely. She ended her feud with Spider-Man due to his help, but was confronted by Eddie, who told her that being a criminal mastermind didn't suit her at all and she should go back to who she really is, the thief who has the heart of a hero.
After hemming and hawwing over this sort of thing, Felicia finally decided to abandon her evil ways during the attempt at filling the vacuum that Wilson Fisk left after he became mayor of New York City, exchanging information on the identities of who else was trying to play Kingpin in exchange for avoiding jail time. When the New York branch of the Thieves Guild made their move establishing their street cred in stealing heroes' gear, she teamed up with Spider-Man again, where she ultimately reveals the main reason for her turn to villainy — that Peter's mindwipe via One More Day affected Felicia terribly, making her feelings for him very hazy. Realizing the damage he caused, Peter revealed his identity to her again and the two finally became friends again.
Her Marvel Noir counterpart also has a supporting role in the Spider-Verse storyline.
- Felicia Hardy: The Black Cat #1-4 (1994)
- Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat #1-5 (2010)
- Black Cat
- Black Cat vol 1 #1-12 (2019-2020)
- Black Cat vol 2 (2020-present)
Notable Comic Book Appearances
- Wolverine & Black Cat: Claws
- Wolverine & Black Cat: Claws 2
- Fearless Defenders
- The Defenders (2017)
- Daredevil (2015)
- Felicia Hardy: The Black Cat
- Hawkeye vs. Deadpool
- Heroes for Hire
- House of M
- Marvel Divas
- Maximum Carnage
- Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat!
- Power Man and Iron Fist (2016)
- Spider-Man (2016)
- Spider-Man Beyond
- Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond
- Superior Spider-Man
- Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do
- Star-Lord (2016)
- The Superior Foes of Spider-Man
- The Unbelievable Gwenpool
- Venom vs. Carnage
- The Amazing Spider-Man (Nick Spencer)
- Spider-Man (1981-1982): Voiced by Morgan Lofting.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1998): Voiced by Jennifer Hale.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008-2009): Voiced by Tricia Helfer.
- Marvel's Spider-Man (2017): Voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014): Only appeared as Felicia Hardy. Portrayed by Felicity Jones.
- Spider-Man: The Video Game (1991): Appears as playable character.
- Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994): Appears as Assist Character.
- Spider-Man (2000): Appears as NPC and Exposition Fairy. Voiced by Jennifer Hale.
- Spider-Man 2 (2004): Appears as NPC. Voiced by Holly Fields.
- Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (2007): Appears as playable character. Voiced by Audrey Wasilewski.
- Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (2008): Voiced by Tricia Helfer.
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010): She doesn't appear but her Noir version is referenced by Spider-Man Noir and one of the background billboards in the 2099 era depicts Black Cat seemingly being used to advertise a shampoo brand.
- Spider-Man: Edge of Time (2011): An exclusive 2099 incarnation of Black Cat appears in this game, voiced by Katee Sackhoff.
- Super Hero Squad Online (2011-2017): Appears as playable character. Voiced by Tara Strong.
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012-2016): Appears as recruitable playable character.
- The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): Appears as villainess as Felicia Hardy. Voiced by Ali Hillis.
- LittleBigPlanet: Appears as downloadable content as part of "Marvel Costume Kit 6".
- Marvel Heroes (2013-present): Voiced by Jennifer Hale (as a playable character) and Ali Hillis (as a boss).
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2013): Voiced by Laura Bailey.
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014): Appears as Black Cat. Voiced by Ali Hillis.
- Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2014): Appears as sidekick character.
- Marvel Future Fight (2015): Appears as a playable character.
- Spider-Man (PS4): Does not physically appear in the core game, but talks with Spider-Man over the phone during a quest. Appears as the Arc Villain in The Heist DLC. Voiced by Erica Lindbeck.
Not to be confused with the Harvey Comics character of the same name.
Black Cat provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Even without her superpowers, Felicia is an accomplished gymnast and martial artist. She also counts as a Dark Action Girl: Depending on where she is on the morality scale.
- Adaptational Heroism:
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance drops most, if not all, of her cat burglar traits and she's more straight-up heroine here.
- In her first appearance on Spider-Man: The Animated Series Felicia is a normal college student and friend of Peter. She is forced to act as a thief, to save her father, and after that is resolved, spends the rest of the series firmly in the hero camp.
- Adaptational Superpower Change:
- In Spider-Man: TAS, Felicia could change from a normal blonde-haired woman to a more muscular white-haired form with superhuman strength, speed and agility rivalling that of Spider-Man.
- In the non-continuity limited series, The Supernaturals, Felicia could cause things to happen by speaking certain words or phrases aloud.
- Adaptation Dye-Job:
- In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, her natural hair color is blonde instead of white. She gains the ability to turn her white as a form of disguise after being granted superpowers by the Kingpin.
- Her Ultimate Marvel counterpart has short black hair and only wears a white wig.
- She has black hair in the non-continuity limited series The Supernaturals.
- Affirmative-Action Legacy: In most stories she succeeded her father as the Black Cat.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: A sexy cat-themed Classy Cat-Burglar who has a turbulent relationship with a fellow animal-themed hero. Not a hard guess who her DC counterpart is.
- Alternate Continuity: In the 90s cartoon, she was the Alpha Bitch at Parker’s school before becoming the Black Cat via the Super-Soldier Formula (the one used by a certain Captain America), and ultimately gets paired up with Morbius the Living Vampire. She's also very different in the Ultimate Marvel Universe as well. Her Marvel Mangaverse counterpart is a cyborg with a striking resemblance to Rei Ayanami.
- Amazonian Beauty: In the 90s cartoon, Black Cat has a very muscular body in addition to being very beautiful. (Specifically, it was only the Black Cat identity that had this appearance, with her costume switch including a minor Hulk Out.) The comics sometimes draw her like this in the 90s as well, Depending on the Artist.
- Amicable Exes: She and Peter reach this in more recent comics.
- Animalistic Abilities: The Black Cat initially didn't have superpowers. She later gained the ability to alter probability based on the superstition of her animal namesake's ability to cause bad luck. After Dr. Strange removed these powers due to them affecting Spider-Man, she was left with cat-like strength, speed, agility and Innate Night Vision. She lost these powers as well and has since regained her bad luck powers.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Felicia started out as a Type II; she was a Badass Normal who used a Black Cat motif and engineered accidents to make it look like anyone who crossed her path suffered bad luck. Later she acquired the ability to affect probability but then lost these powers. However, she gained cat-like abilities such as retractable claws, night vision and enhanced speed, agility, balance and strength making her a type I. She lost these powers too and has since regained her bad luck powers making her a type II again.
- Anti-Magic: In the 2019 series, it's established that her "bad luck" aura tampers with magic, making her largely immune to magical attacks and something of a Man of Kryptonite for spellcasters (low-level ones like Xander the Merciless, at least).
- Atrocious Alias: Black Cat #2 reveals that Felicia once used the alias "Francesca Featherbottom" when she was a teenager and amateur thief. The Black Fox who mentored both Felicia and her father pointed out how embarrassing the name was after he bailed her out of jail.
- Arch-Enemy: Became this to Silk during her time as The Queenpin, with Silk foiling several of Felicia's schemes and Felicia having defeated Silk on multiple occasions and hindering Silk's efforts to find her parents.
- Ax-Crazy: After the events of Superior Spider-Man, she became a psycho who wants to destroy everything about Spider-Man and doesn't care that he was under someone else's control, attempting to harm anyone and everything else in the process and even joining forces with several past Spider-Man villains to do so, even several that she used to be enemies with. She almost kills Aunt May and her husband when she set fire to their house.
- Bathing Beauty: Felicia seems to love to bathe and even calls herself a "shower junkie", having had many Shower and Bathtub Scenes over the years. She has even shown having a milk bath once.
- Battle Couple: With Peter, during their ultimately short-lived relationship.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Her nose has been broken three times and while she has frequently been beaten up with her costume reduced to shreds and noticeably wounded a few times, she rarely has any lasting damage, with no scars at all (Given her taste in costume, they'd likely show).
- Becoming the Mask: She starts dating Flash Thompson to get Peter jealous, but ends up actually starting to care for him (only to be dumped by him when he finds out and asks Was It All a Lie?).
- Betty and Veronica: She is the Veronica to Mary Jane's Betty, being the most overtly seductive of the two.
- Blatant Burglar: Most of her costumes make it pretty obvious she's a Classy Cat-Burglar, with the dark Spy Catsuit, Domino Mask and classic thief gear.
- Blessed with Suck: Her "bad luck" power, which caused misfortune on anyone near her, but also couldn't be controlled at all.
- Boob-Based Gag: She has a very well-endowed figure, which has been pointed out for laughs:Black Cat: What's [Scorpia] saying now?
Spider-Man: She says no woman with a chest like yours should be able to move as fast as you do! [Scorpia actually does not say this and actually said that she'd kill Black Cat if she ever got out of her cell]
Black Cat: Tell her they act as ballast!
- Boobs of Steel: She's the bustiest of Spidey's love interests and perhaps the most skilled in combat.
- Buxom Beauty Standard: She's very well endowed and often emphasizes her chest with the cleavage of her outfits. It has gotten admirers from both sexes due to them.
- Break the Cutie: Good one, Otto. Now Peter's got a scorned cat after his head. There's also her Rape as Backstory.
- Breakout Character: Felicia has been the star of two different miniseries and in 2019 received her own solo series, the first of Spider-Man's love interests to receive her own solo in main continuity note .
- Building Swing: She uses a Grappling-Hook Pistol to swing from buildings, much like Spider-Man.
- Card-Carrying Villain: During her "Queenpin" phase, Felicia demanded to be respected as the new leader of crime in New York and would stop at nothing to gain power.
- Cat Girl: Zigzagged. Normally, Felicia's "Black Cat" moniker is just that. However, she also gained a number of feline super-powers — notably retractile claws, infrared vision, and superhuman reflexes, agility and strength — after Doctor Strange removed her original bad-luck powers. But these powers were subsequently erased by the Chameleon using a device he had intended to use to De-power Spider-Man.
- Cats Are Snarkers: Part of her cat motif is being a Deadpan Snarker to rival Peter, with their banter being one of the most iconic elements of their relationship.
- Cerebus Retcon: Black Cat was initially just a laidback adventuress. Felicia Hardy was both following in her father's footsteps as a master thief and breaking him out of prison so he could be with his family before he died. Aside from her distrust of man, which to not stop her from falling in love with Spider-Man, Felicia Hardy was the Black Cat for the thrill and adventure. Then in Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do, it is revealed that she was raped by her boyfriend, Ryan, in college. She spent traumatized and ashamed but did not report the rape. Then she becomes angry and does not want to be a victim; wanting revenge and not caring about the consequences, she trains herself in various fighting styles and acrobatics to kill him. But before she could make her move, Ryan died in a drunk driving accident. Furious she was denied her revenge, Felicia became the Black Cat and justified it to herself because something was stolen from her, so she was stealing back.
- Character Development: As of Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do, it's clear that she has grown to care deeply for Peter, as she calls herself a fool for only being interested in his Spider-Man persona in the past. She also shows concern and empathy for Francis Klum, something she rarely does for anyone outside of Peter or her mother.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: In the world of superpowers like Super Strength and Shock and Awe, she just has really good martial arts and thieving skills. Before she got actual superpowers, that is.
- Classy Cat-Burglar: She is an attractive thief, with acrobatic skills, a charming personality and a cat Animal Motifs.
- Collared by Fashion: Felicia often wears a cat collar to go with her Animal Motif.
- Color Animal Codename: A black cat, of course.
- Combat Parkour: Similar to Spidey, her moveset mostly comprises leaps and vaults, though Felicia's are more graceful.
- Combat Stilettos: She has them in her costume Depending on the Artist.
- Cyborg: Felicia's counterpart in Marvel Mangaverse is cybernetically enhanced.
- Dating Catwoman:
- For a time she became Spider-Man's lover, and even tried to persuade him to give up his civilian identity.
- She ends on the other side of this when she goes for Odessa Drake, though they both acknowledge it will never work out, right before making out.
- Deadly Dodging: Due to her bad luck powers, her opponents frequently end up tripping or hunting themselves after she dodges their attacks. But she's also skilled enough to have this happen on purpose.
- Deadpan Snarker: She and Spider-Man are a perfect pair when it comes to cracking sarcastic jokes.
- Deity of Human Origin: In her King In Black crossover, Felicia takes up Doctor Strange's Yggdrasil Staff and imbues herself with its divine power to fight a horde of symbiote-dragons. When its avatar suggests making her apotheosis permanent, she almost says yes when it promises her all the treasures of the universe, the power to kill everyone who's ever hurt her, and to bring back the loved ones she's lost. She rejects it when it offers her the ability to force all her old lovers to become her personal harem, disgusted and outraged at the thought of forcing anyone to love her.
- Depending on the Writer: Felicia's morality, her relationship with MJ and how much she truly loves Peter (and how much she cares about his alter ego compared to him) fluctuate from writer to writer.
- Derailing Love Interests:
- In the past, for publicity reasons it was decided to have Spider-Man marry at the same time in the newspaper strip and the comic book; unfortunately at the time Peter was dating Felicia Hardy/Black Cat. The solution? Make Felicia go from morally ambiguous cat-burglar to the ally of an assassin for hire. Though the storyline was badly written and not helped by various production delays, this was no derailment. Peter and Felicia had broken up in 1984, about two years before the decision to have him and Mary Jane marry was taken. When the Black Cat started dating Spider-Man again — in Spectacular Spider-Man #123 (published a mere five months before Peter proposed to Mary Jane in Amazing Spider-Man #290), she was in cahoots with the Foreigner, the assassin responsible for the murder of Ned Leeds (a.k.a. "The Hobgoblin"). It also was clear from the start that she was motivated by a desire for revenge against Peter for getting Doctor Strange to remove the bad-luck power she had bought from The Kingpin. And this period of dating began with the Black Cat faking a bomb attack on her own apartment to get a pretext to invite herself in as Peter's new flatmate.
- In the aftermath of the Superior Spider-Man she pull a Woman Scorned Face–Heel Turn and wants to destroy Spider-Man (and become the next Kingpin) because Otto Octavius destroyed her life and now she is not going to take Peter's apology unless she pries it from his dead body (and considering one of the first things she does is send Electro to kill Spider-Man, she is either teetering close to the Moral Event Horizon or had passed it, but it's imperceptible). All to promote Silk as Spider-Man's new love interest.
- Discard and Draw: Originally, Felicia had no superpowers and relied on her martial arts, athleticism and brains. When she felt she was a liability to Peter because of her lack of powers, she underwent a procedure that granted her the ability to affect probability and cause bad luck to her enemies. Unfortunately, this power also affected Spider-Man and he had Dr. Strange remove it, which granted her cat-like abilities. She lost these powers also due to devices the Chameleon used on her and was stuck as a human for a while. Following Brand New Day, her bad luck powers are back.
- Does Not Like Men: While she has no problem with casually dating men for ulterior motives, she's made it clear that there are only three men she's ever truly respected; her father, Black Fox, and Spider-Man. This was explained in The Evil That Men Do as being caused by her college boyfriend raping her.
- Domino Mask: The only thing she wears to cover her face is a black, angular domino mask with large eye windows. In Spider-Man Beyond, she comments that it works mainly because people aren't anywhere near as analytical as they think they are and the mind tends to focus on a limited set of obvious traits when recognizing things — in her case, her striking white hair, domino mask and black suit — while ignoring the rest.
- Doom Magnet: When she has no control over her bad luck powers, she ends as this to whoever she's close to, both friends and enemies.
- Dude Magnet: A bisexual case. Her lovers and suitors ranges from Spider-Man, Wolverine, Daredevil, to Odessa Drake, Tamara Blake(Iron Cat), etc.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Whilst originally Felicia was simply a Charles Atlas Superpower thief who relied on her skills in stealth, theft, gymnastics and martial arts, she sought out superpowers of her own during the time that she and Spider-Man were dating after he got hurt trying to keep her safe from two supervillains. This brought her to the Kingpin, who gave her Winds of Destiny, Change! abilities... but, when it turned out these suffered from Power Incontinence that made her The Jinx to everyone, Spider-Man asked Doctor Strange to remove them from her. She gained feline powers as a side-effect of this, but was subsequently Depowered by the Chameleon. After a long period of time as a Charles Atlas Superpower, Felicia sought out power again in 2010, having Dr. Tramma, Mad Scientist underling of Mr. Negative, restore her bad-luck powers and her claws via cybernetics.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In her first appearance she broke her dying father out of prison so he could live his final months in dignity.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- In The Defenders (2017), she actually is horrified when seeing how Diamondback beats up Luke Cage and personally drops him off at a hospital.
- In her 90s miniseries, it is revealed that Felicia once had a partner and occasional lover named Brian Lash. During a heist, Brian went rogue and tried to steal more than they had agreed to and kill a security guard. Felicia had a policy against hurting people in her heists and tried to stop Brian, scarring him in the process.
- Even the Girls Want Her:
- In X-Factor (2006), the villainess Rococo observes that Felicia has the "sweetest little rump".
- In the 2020 series it's reaveled that despite the animosity and death threats, Odessa Drake is actually in love with Felicia. It's also revealed later the attraction at least is mutual.
- Evil Costume Switch: At the beginning of the All-New Marvel NOW! Amazing Spider-Man, she switches out the white in her costume for black and added some metal belts (or something), and is acting as the Woman Scorned to Spidey for what Doc Ock did to her as the Superior Spider-Man.
- Evil Mentor: Had become this for Silk in the second volume of Silk's solo series.
- Evolutionary Levels: In some storylines/continuities, she’s a low-level Mutant.
- Exposition Fairy: In Spider-Man (2000) and Spider-Man 2 game.
- Expy: During her original creation a Spider-Woman foil, she was deliberately based on a character on the Tex Avery cartoon Bad Luck Blackie, in which a black cat brought misfortune to anyone in close proximity.
- Fallen Hero: Granted, she didn't always act like a hero, but after her capture and arrest (courtesy of Superior Spider-Man), she tosses aside any notions of righteousness in her quest for vengeance, even going so far as attempting to prevent Spidey from saving people from a burning building and teaming up with Electro. However, the following writers would restore her more heroic traits and status as an aloof ally of Spider-Man.
- Femme Fatale: She started out as an attractive female supervillain, and number one temptress for Spider-Man.
- Flexibility Equals Sex Ability: She's prone to using her acrobatic skills and flexibility to flirt and tease Spider-Man, sometimes even when they're in the middle of a Building Swing.
- Flirting Under Fire: Constantly with Spidey, to the point that he jokingly wonders if hitting on him is just a very specific form of Tourettes syndrome for her.
- Friends with Benefits: From time to time with Spidey, when he's not in a serious relationship with her or anyone else.
- Friendly Enemy: At least when she isn't trying to be the queen pin, but Felicia has a habit of being pretty chummy with people who would happily see her dead or behind bars. She's even slept with a few.
- The Gadfly: She uses her bad luck powers for amusement, at one point referring to them as her "Hilarity Ensues powers" while trolling Spider-Man.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: Felicia's suit has a miniature grappling hook device hidden in the "fur" of each glove which enables her to swing from buildings in a manner similar to Spider-Man. She can also use the cable from this device as a tightrope, wall scaling device, or as a weapon in combat.
- G-Rated Sex: A Shower Scene toward the beginning of The Evil That Men Do has Felicia reach for the detachable shower head to rinse off some Censor Suds while ruminating on how long it's been since she's had a partner. The view shifts to outside the bathroom with a partially obscured Sexy Silhouette.
- Has a Type: Apart from Peter, Felicia has hooked up with Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and Johnny Storm (The Human Torch). She was also in exclusive relationships with Flash Thompson and Thomas Fireheart. Given all four of these men are heroes, it is safe to assume Felicia is genuinely attracted to good and kind men even if she wouldn't openly admit it. The relationship with Flash is especially notable as she originally dated him to make Peter jealous only to genuinely fall for Flash when she saw how much he cared for her and she even proposed to him.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: She started out as a criminal before falling in love with Spider-Man. She wavered back and forth between being a thief and superheroine, but Superior Spider-Man's actions have caused her to return to villainy with a vengeance. The events of Venom Inc. has Eddie Brock telling her to abandon her way of villainy and go back to being a hero. During the events of Defenders , she assists the Defenders in taking down Diamondback. She then turns her back on being a crime lord and offers to help the Defenders take out the up-and-coming Hood in exchange for getting released from prison. The following writers would either downplay her villainy or downright ignored it and reestablish her as Spider-Man's aloof ally.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Her costume is a figure-hugging black leather Spy Catsuit.
- Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": In Roger Stern's one-shot "The Daydreamers" (Amazing Spider-Man #246), Felicia recovering from a battle injury lapses into a dream where Spidey is a jet-setting spy who steals documents for the governments and at the end of it unmasks himself to reveal that he's Cary Grant, specifically the Grant of To Catch a Thief.
- Hollywood Cyborg: Post 2010, she has had a quantum probability pulsator and retractile claws surgically implanted into her body, with no obvious signs of their presence.
- Hypocrite: Shortly before their break up, Felicia would repeatedly lay it on Peter for keeping any sort of secret from her, even though she was hiding the fact that she'd gone to one of his enemies for help in giving her powers from him.
- Iconic Sequel Character: She's the third most prominent Love Interest of Spider-Man despite their turbulent relationship, but Felicia didn't appear until 1979 — a whopping seventeen years into the story.
- Impossible Hourglass Figure: Like Mary Jane Watson she has curved hips a very volumptuous figure as well as her signature buxom breasts.
- It's Personal: Felicia easily holds grudges and loathe to give them up. She became a crimelord to get revenge on Spider-Man after Otto Octavius — who had pulled a Grand Theft Me on Peter Parker — beat her up, rejecting Peter's apology once he got his body back. She also really hates Eddie Brock for having beaten her to a pulp in their first encounter and would love nothing more than the chance to kill him, sneering at his efforts to redeem himself; Lee Price for having humiliated her by hijacking control of her criminal organization and enslaving her using his symbiote; and symbiotes in general ever since she first got the suspicion that something was off about Spider-Man's black suit.
- The Jinx: Weaponized with her "bad luck" powerset, but the original version also affected her allies as well due to Power Incontinence.
- Karma Houdini: This is a zigzagged trope. Felicia is one of the single best professional thieves in the Marvel Universe, but she can walk right up to Captain America and say hello without a problem. This is the result of receiving a pardon in the mid-'80s after helping save the city from Doctor Octopus and becoming Spidey's partner and a fully accepted member of the superhero community in her own right. Her swift defeat at the Superior Spider-Man's hands, and the subsequent fallout afterwards, leads her back to villainy.
- Legacy Character: Depending on the Writer, the Black Cat is a mantle passed from generation to generation.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: In a What If? dual-issue where Spider-Man marries her instead of Mary Jane Watson, Felicia herself suffers from this on their wedding night, the implication being that she doesn't find Peter Parker sexually attractive at all, being only attracted to Spider-Man. It isn't until they return to New York City and start fighting crime again that her libido returns, leaving Peter torn about his decision to wed her in the first place.
- Love Interest: To Spider-Man. Or more specifically his alter ego, see below. She's the only other girlfriend outside of Mary Jane Watson that's also recurring.
- Loves My Alter Ego: The biggest black spot in her relationship with Spider-Man. She finds him fun and exciting, and proves herself a compatible partner to his heroics, but becomes extremely weirded out when she meets his civilian identity of Peter Parker, finding him plain and boring. In Ultimate Spider-Man, she goes so far as to vomit on him after lifting the mask due to him being a lot younger than she expected. It's referenced in Marvel: Avengers Alliance, where their team-up bonus is called as "cosplayers", as they are closer when they're in costume. This is something she really starts mentally kicking herself for after she realizes that she really does love Peter... a little too late, since he's Happily Married to MJ by that point.
- Love Triangle: Is this between herself, Mary Jane Watson and Spider-Man.
- Lust Object: A bisexual example. See Dude Magnet.
- Male Gaze: It is not uncommon for artists to take advantage of Felicia's very attractive figure to get some tantalizing shots.
- Male Might, Female Finesse: During her time as Spidey's partner, her gracefulness and finesse were often contrasted with his Lightning Bruiser fighting style.
- Malicious Misnaming: She had a habit of misnaming Mary Jane calling her Molly Jo or Myra Jeanne. MJ responded by calling her Felicity.
- Man of Kryptonite: An interesting variation. As revealed in Black Cat #3, Felicia's "bad luck" powers have the effect of unraveling malicious spells upon her person as her Luck abilities are Quantum-based, meaning they trump all but the most powerful of magicians and sorcerers. In a nutshell, Felicia is walking, talking Anti-Magic in a catsuit.
- The Mistress: She would occasionally joke about being this for Peter when he was married to Mary Jane but Peter always turned her down.
- Moral Myopia: Felicia's hatred of Spider-Man is built on her feeling betrayed when he sent her to prison during Superior Spider-Man. Ignoring that this wasn't actually Spider-Man, Felicia has a long history of breaking Peter's trust herself; one example being when she sold a vial of his blood to some vampire fanboys.
- Most Common Superpower: While Felicia started out with a fairly average bust, she is currently one of Spider-Man's most buxom female co-stars. They act as ballast.
- Ms. Fanservice: She is hands-down the bustiest of Peter's love interests and isn't afraid to show it. She is consistently shown in sexy costumes and regarded as attractive in-universe.
- Navel-Deep Neckline: She's had several outfits that all tend to draw on the same basic design scheme, but the unifying factor is that they almost all tend to have an impossibly low neckline. Totally averted after she breaks out of prison following her defeat and arrest at the hands of the Superior Spider-Man.
- Never Heard That One Before: Yes, she is well aware of bye, Felicia, thank for asking.
- Never My Fault:
- Her vendetta against Spider-Man in the 80s and 90s was due to her refusal to acknowledge that her refusal to change her ways was the reason their relationship ended. She also treated M.J. like she had stolen Peter from her when Peter's reason for dumping Felicia had nothing to do with M.J.
- During her Queenpin phase, Felicia blamed Spider-Man for her going to prison and losing everything. Putting aside that it was actually Dr. Octopus, Felicia never would have wound up in that position if she wasn't a thief.
- Felicia has also been on the receiving end of this trope. In her 90s miniseries, it is revealed that Felicia once had a partner and occasional lover named Brian Lash. During a heist, Brian went rogue and tried to steal more than they had agreed to and kill a security guard. Felicia had a policy against hurting people in her heists and tried to stop Brian, scarring him in the process and putting him in a coma. When Brian awoke, he sought out Felicia to exact his revenge and she told him bluntly she would not take responsibility for his own mistakes.
- Oh, Crap!: When she makes her Face–Heel Turn apparent to Peter, he scares her off by pretending to be SpOck.
- One Last Job: In Silk #9 Felicia reveals all the crimes were leading into a possible retirement. All that money and goods were taken away once she went to jail, hence her desire to go "beyond bad" against the world.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: While tailing the members of S.C.A.R.s, Felicia simply wears a coat and a pair of sunglasses. This is lampshaded by the villains who instantly recognize her and mock her poor attempt at a disguise.
- Pet the Dog: She at one point saved Luke Cage's life after her turn to full-on villainy. This also gets her shot up by Diamondback.
- In her solo series, her theft of a painting costs a security guard named Sonny Campo his job resulting in him working for Odessa Drake, the leader of New York branch of the Thieves' Guild. Feeling bad for him, Felicia gives him ten grand and warns him to stay away from Odessa for his own safety.
- Power Creep, Power Seep: Her solo series by Jed MacKay gives her bad luck powers Anti-Magic properties. This allows her to defeat Xander the Merciless, a villain specifically empowered to kill Doctor Strange.
- The Power of Hate: Felicia's luck manipulation abilities grow stronger the more ruthless she is, and she has a reputation for holding vehement grudges.
- Pressure Point: Felicia displays the ability to use this skill in her 90s miniseries.
- Pretty in Mink: The majority of her outfits have fur in the neckline and limbs.
- Private Detective: This was her job from the 90s to 2000s.
- Psychoactive Powers: Following her Face–Heel Turn, Felicia discovers that the more ruthless she is, the more her bad luck powers work in her favor (which further drives her to embrace her new way of life).
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: After being trashed by Otto in Spider Man's body, she embraces this with a vengeance.
- Punch-Clock Hero: she ran a detective agency and was also a member of the Heroes for Hire. Crossed over with Punch-Clock Villain, as For a time, she also occasionally did jobs for the Owl, who was a mob boss but he never offered her any job that was against her moral standards.
- Rape as Backstory: She had rape retconned into her backstory, making her similar to the Young Hawkeye version, and removing her freewheeling adventuress origin in favor of a rape victim who turned burglar as a displaced reaction to her attack.
- Really Gets Around: Openly admits to Peter during the Shed arc that she isn't adverse to getting some from people who aren't him, and advises he do the same. Granted, she tends to exaggerate to make him jealous. Her 2019 and 2020 solo series dive into this a bit more, showing that she does indeed have a wide range of lovers; male, female, heroes and villains.
- Reformed Criminal: From the 90s to the early 2000s, Felicia had largely left her life as a thief in the past. Sadly, this was undone after One More Day and she has since gone back to her criminal ways.
- As mentioned above, she was originally more laidback and freewheeling before Kevin Smith was allowed to retcon her early behavior as a misplaced reaction to being a rape victim.
- Her last Face–Heel Turn is based on the fact that her arrest after being beaten by Superior Spider-Man revealed her identity and cost her just about everything. However, Black Cat's civilian identity as Felica Hardy was known to NYPD Captain Jean DeWolff and she's been arrested before.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When the Superior Spider-Man beat the snot out of her, knocked out a tooth, and webbed her up for the cops without so much as a backwards glance during a chance encounter, Felicia swore revenge and after Peter gets his body back refuses to let such a petty excuse as having his body hijacked dissuade her from it. To be fair, she lost everything as a result of being arrested and having her identity revealed to the public.
- Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Felicia was originally created by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard to be a female foil for Spider-Woman; however, Wolfman was transferred to Spider-Man before he could introduce her, and he brought her with him.
- Roof Hopping: By means of a grappling hook, which she also uses to mimic Spider-Man's web-swinging.
- Satellite Love Interest: Played with; Peter dumps her because she only has interest in his Spider-Man persona.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: How does Peter get the now-evil Felicia to back off? By pretending that he's still Doc Ock. He later lampshades how he spoke with "Did I really sound like that when he was me?"
- Secret-Identity Identity: Back in the day she identified more with herself as Black Cat than as Felicia Hardy, and preferred to think of Spider-Man as the same way, not really liking the idea that there's a person with his own life under the mask. The video-game adaptation of Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows has her try to convince Peter to give up his civilian identity and become a hero full-time.
- Secret-Keeper: Until One More Day she new who Spider-man was, but like almost everyone else she was made to forget. In issue 10 of the 2018 relaunch of Amazing Spider-man, after seeing that Felicia truly was good again and how much it hurt her that she was made to forget the real him, Pete again reveals his true identity to her.
- Series Continuity Error: One of the reasons Felicia is so angry at Spider-Man is that the police now know who she is, confiscated all her stuff, and released her identity to the public, meaning that none of her underworld contacts want to associate with her anymore. However, in an early storyline it was revealed that NYPD Captain Jean DeWolff was well aware of who the Black Cat was under her domino mask.
- Sex Goddess: While reminiscing about their sex life, Peter once claimed she had been "the most fun he ever had".
- Sexy Cat Person: Cat-themed and heavily sexualised.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: During her first theft as the Black Cat, she meets Spider-Man. She falls in love with him, given how he's a genuinely trustworthy person who wants to help her redeem herself. Unfortunately, her constant going back on forth on being a crook or a hero makes their romance difficult.
- Sliding Scale of Beauty: Between Level II (Divine) and Level III (World-Class).
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: She and Spider-Man always indulge in a very flirty version of this.
- Spanner in the Works: Plays this role in the 2017 Defenders series when Diamondback poisons Luke Cage in front of her as a show that he is the new underworld power in town. He then leaves before Luke actually dies, it apparently never occurred to him that instead of allowing one of her enemies to die Felicia would instead take him to the Night Nurse to be saved.
- Stalker with a Crush: She started out being one of these towards Spider-Man. She even had a room sized shrine dedicated to him, which he found a bit unnerving (but not enough to stop him from dating her for a while).
- Start of Darkness: Her descent into new Spidey villainhood is because the Superior Spider-Man knocked her out and left her for the cops, humiliating her horribly.
- Statuesque Stunner: She's a 5' 10" tall Head-Turning Beauty, which has her being taller than Peter.
- Stealth Expert: In Heroes for Hire, she was their infiltration expert.
- Sticky Fingers: Even when she was a hero, she was prone to stealing stuff.
- Stripperiffic: Her costume was designed to give enemies a distracting view. Her post-Face–Heel Turn outfit dispenses with that aspect.
- The Tease: She always loves to get Peter flustered, whether or not they're actually dating at the moment. She notes that he gets so cute that she can't help herself.
- Thanks for the Mammary: Wolverine needs to stop Black Cat from walking into a minefield in the Claws mini-series. She's behind him, so he puts out his hand to stop her. Of course his hand lands right on her... chest. She gets angry, but Wolverine's in a cannot-be-embarrassed mode.
- Tough Spikes and Studs: Felicia's collar is occasionally drawn with spike studs and she is very skilled fighter. A memorable example is her Spider-Man: The Animated Series incarnation who was an Amazonian Beauty empowered by the Super Serum that created Captain America.
- Thrill Seeker: Part of the reason Felicia is a thief is because she really enjoys it.
- Urban Legend Love Life: The actual number of lovers she's had is quite low compared to what her reputation says. She sometimes exaggerates it herself to see how Peter would react.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: While she and Spider-Man are breaking into the Latverian Embassy in Spider-Man Unlimited #14, Felicia states that she keeps her tools in her cleavage since most of her costumes don't have pockets.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Sometimes has this relationship with Mary Jane. Also will have this with other hero types, especially Peter due to their history.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Felicia berates him for failing to pay her, the Ringer calls her out on her new cold attitude, stating that the Black Cat he'd worked with before, the one everyone used to know and love, had a heart and asks her to show him mercy. Unfortunately, this was just a ploy to get her to let her guard down, and only serves to harden her even further.
- White Hair, Black Heart: She has platinum blonde hair, and plays the "black heart" part after Face–Heel Turn.
- Will Not Be a Victim: This was the reason for her becoming the Black Cat as per the retcon in The Evil That Men Do. When she was raped by her college boyfriend Ryan, Felicia didn't want to be "just another statistic" and so decided to hone her body into a powerful fighting machine with the intention of killing Ryan. Unfortunately, Ryan died in a drunk driving accident preventing Felicia from taking her revenge and making this something of a subversion of this trope. Felicia tells Francis Klum, a fellow rape survivor, that she if she could go back in time she'd have reported the rape and gotten therapy.
- Winds of Destiny, Change!: When initially introduced, part of her schtick during a robbery was setting things up beforehand so that it would seem that those who chased her were falling prey to completely random acts of God. Then she did actually get "bad luck" powers that allowed her to affect probabilities in her favor. She had this power for a time, but Spidey had Doctor Strange get rid of it after he learned that she couldn't stop it from jinxing him too. It cut off right in the middle of a life-or-death fight, and when she barely managed to get out of there and find out what happened, she was understandably pissed. Mr. Negative later had her luck-altering powers restored with a cybernetically implanted quantum probability pulsator, giving her increased conscious control over them.
- Wolverine Claws: The gloves of Felicia's costume contain retractable claws that can be used for scaling walls like Spider-Man or as weapons in a fight. When she had her feline powers her fingers had naturally retractable claws. Sources conflict on whether or not Dr. Tramma surgically implanted cybernetic claws into Felicia's fingers when she installed the quantum probability pulsator.
- Words Can Break My Bones: The limited series, The Supernaturals, had a version of the Black Cat who could cause things to happen by speaking certain phrases aloud (for example, she could make a noose snap by saying "break"). This ability was shown to be useless once Jack O'Lantern taped Felicia's mouth shut.
- Working with the Ex: Has often partner-up with Spider-Man even after their break-up. They usually act as Amicable Exes, but there's usually some form of Belligerent Sexual Tension in their interactions.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: By far she's this in all of Marvel. Only Mary Jane Watson equals her in this category.
- You Have Failed Me: When the Ringer fails to give her a cut of his haul - having had to pay off a number of debts beforehand — Felicia has him hauled off to the backroom for some Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of Killer Shrike and Melter.
Dr. Boris Korpse
Alter Ego: Boris Korpse
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (July 1979)
Dr. Borse Korpse is a master scientist and demolitions expert. He met Felicia Hardy when they both broke into a top-secret military base on the south shore of Long Island and she quickly recruited him in order to break out her father, Walter Hardy, from prison.
Later on, he and strongman Bruno Grainger began working for the Black Cat on a more permanent basis, helping her steal a painting from the Frick Collection and working with the Black Fox.
- Brains and Brawn: The brains to Bruno Grainger's brawn.
- The Bus Came Back: First appearance: ASM #194 in 1979. Next appearance: Black Cat #1, 2019. A forty year gap.
- Demolitions Expert: Boris is very good with explosives.
- Interspecies Friendship: He actually has befriended Bats, Dr. Strange's talking ghost hound.
- Mad Scientist: Oh yes, very much so.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: He has pointed out his specialty is explosives, not medical science.
Alter Ego: Bruno Grainger
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (July 1979)
Bruno Grainger was a helicopter pilot for the US Army and a Bagram heavyweight champion. He quit the army (or was discharged) after an incident involving a brawl with military personnel, since he has a real problem with authority.
Felicia Hardy recruited him for her first big job of breaking her father, Walter Hardy, out of prison. It was there that he met Dr. Boris Korpse and, later on, both of them became full-time employees of the Black Cat, helping her steal a painting from the Frick Collection and then working with the Black Fox.
- Boxing Battler: He was a champion heavyweight boxer, so he often uses boxing when fighting people.
- Brains and Brawn: The brawn to Dr. Boris Korpse's brain.
- The Bus Came Back: First appearance: ASM #194 in 1979. Next appearance: Black Cat #1, 2019. A forty year gap.
Alter Ego: Sonny Ocampo
First Appearance: Black Cat #1 (June, 2019)
A security guard at the Frick Collection, Sonny recognized Felicia Hardy as the Black Cat and escorted her off the premises, but found out that he had been tricked and a painting still had been stolen. Even after chasing after her, he failed to get the painting back and was fired from his job.
He was then hired by Odessa Drake to hunt down Felicia, since Felicia had stolen from the Thieves' Guild. He became embroiled in one of her schemes in the Baxter Building and, afterwards, was given money to leave town.
- Nice Guy: Despite his grudge against the Black Cat, he's just a pretty nice guy. Which is why Felicia tells him to stay away from her.
Alter Ego: Unknown
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #255 (May, 1984)
The Black Fox (real name unknown) was a master jewel thief who had a long career in the United States and Europe. During his long career, he trained both Walter and Felicia Hardy and even took care of Felicia while her father was in prison, serving as a mentor and father figure. However, his criminal career made him come into conflict with Spider-Man several times.
At one point, he moved to Los Angeles to avoid Spider-Man, but, by coincidence, Peter Parker was at an event in Los Angeles and managed to stop the Black Fox's plans, although he let him escape. Later, however, Peter realized he had let him go due to unresolved feelings towards his own Uncle Ben and captured the Black Fox, putting him in prison.
When he got out of prison, the Black Fox immediately went back to work, anonymously hiring Felicia Hardy to steal a painting from the Frick Collection and then asking her to go on numerous heists in a master plan he had been planning for years.
- Animal Motifs: The Black Fox.
- Color Character: The Black Fox.
- Gentleman Thief: An older version.
- Immortality Seeker: The Black Fox has been seeking immortality for years ever since he incurred Dracula's wrath. He couldn't resort to vampirism as Dracula made sure to let any vampire who turned him would be on his hit list as well. He stole the deed to Manhattan and offered it to the Gilded Saint in exchange for immortality for himself and the Black Cat. However, Felicia did not approve of this action and tricked the Saint into reversing the deal.
- The Mentor: For Walter and Felicia Hardy, with a dose of Parental Substitute in Felicia's case.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: He is only ever known by "the Black Fox". His real name has never been revealed.
- Silver Fox: Completely white hair and very distinguished.
Alter Ego: Odessa Drake
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 5) #8 (October, 2018)
Odessa Drake is the leader of the New York branch of the Thieves Guild. Her father, Castillo Drake, was obsessed with immortality and was killed following an argument between him, his daughter, and the Black Fox. Ever since, Odessa has blamed the Black Fox for his death.
Odessa continued her father's research into immortality and finally gained it by making a deal with a demon. After gaining the leadership of the New York Thieves Guild, she ruled over the group with an iron fist. She also orchestrated the theif of equipment and gear from members of the superhero community, including Nova's helmet. Felicia Hardy, thinking that this was a bad idea, helped stop her and bring the items back to the superheroes who had lost them.
Drake considers Felicia Hardy to be her nemesis, with the Black Cat having successfully stolen from the Thieves Guild and slipped out of their grasp. How far will she go to capture Felicia? Maybe a bit too far. And what exactly is the true reason for her obsession with the Black Cat?
- Ambiguously Brown: It's not really known what ethnicity she is, but her father's name (Castillo) was Spanish, while Drake is old English.
- Big Damn Kiss: At the end of Black Cat vol 2 #7, she and Felicia kiss.
- Foe Romance Subtext: Between Odessa and Felicia, until it no longer becomes subtext.
- I Love You Because I Can't Control You: After sending a few not so subtle threats Felicia's way, Felicia decides that while she is in the middle of robbing Tony Stark she will also use this opportunity to use powered armor to send Odessa a message right back. Instead of being angry or upset about it though, Odessa is absolutely thrilled by it and ends up blurting out that this is why she loves Felicia so much, her wild and unpredictable nature being such a contrast from the normal total control Odessa has in her everyday life.
- Immortality: Became immortal due to a deal with a god. The same demon that the Black Fox wishes to bargain with for his own immortality.
Alter Ego: Tamara Blake
First Appearance: Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #4 (July, 1984)
Once Felicia Hardy’s closest friend and former lover, now Tamara is Iron Cat and seeks revenge on Felicia.
- Antagonist Title: She's the titular wielder of the Iron Cat mini-series, serving as foe of Black Cat and Iron Man.
- Ascended Extra: From having just one appearance during the 1980s, to a former lover of Felicia and her newest enemy.
- Boyish Short Hair: She has her hair short, which contrasts Felicia's long platinum blonde hair.
- The Bus Came Back: She reappeared during issue 10 of Black Cat (2019) after being absent since her first appearance.
- Legacy Character: She took the Iron Cat armor after Tony Stark rebuild it in order to use it against Felicia.
- We Used to Be Friends: From Felicia's friend and ex-girlfriend to her enemy since she blames her for the death of Black Fox.