Felicia Displays the Strength of a Woman
I love how Jed Mackay puts the strength of Black Cat on full display in this issue. Felicia Hardy a.k.a. Black Cat is arguably one of Marvel’s strongest female characters. Not just for what she has endured but how she has responded to it. If you’ve never read a comic with Black Cat in it this is the perfect one to read. Mackay wraps a clear and concise rundown of her past in an easy to consume monologue by the Fox impersonator. Yet, Mackay doesn’t trot out her painful past gratuitously. Who Felicia has become and how she’s grown through the trauma and abandonment that has dogged her life is core to a critical decision she makes in Black Cat #3: Queen in Black part three. Watch closely because, in Queen in Black, the lady thief demonstrates very human emotions without once being a damsel in distress. While she is definitely the survivor, Cap pegged her as—she’s also kept her soul intact. Keep up the good work, Jed!
If you haven’t picked up Black Cat issues #1–#3 yet, you should. Don’t wait for the trade. This tale is too good to miss. Marvel’s proving yet again why these cross-over events score big. Now, if we can just convince them to do a Black Cat movie.
For Black Cat #2 or Black Cat #3, or King In Black #3,
There May Be Spoilers Below
The Temptation of Black Cat
Black Cat vs. Wild Magic
In Black Cat: Queen In Black part three, Felicia struggles to understand her new powers and what’s happening. Awaking on a separate plane and facing an unknown entity parading around in the face of her beloved mentor, one of her first concerns is for her crew. It speaks volumes.
The Black Fox imposter describes itself as an ancient entity, a kind of “wild magic” that was housed in the fragment of Yggdrasil, which she unwrapped. Our glamorous lady thief knows nothing is free. Not one to dance around the issue. She wants to know what this magic wants from her. He explains he needs her as a “conduit” to carve his “mark across creation,” but this requires her consent.
Show Me the Money
Without answering, Black Cat wants to know what’s in it for her, but before she even hears him out, she pushes him to ensure the safety of her crew. In doing so, she gets a taste of the power she could be wielding.
Leveraging her enjoyment, The Fox imposter reminds her of what it’s like to feel powerless and begins wearing her down by parading her through every trauma and heartbreak of her life. Fights with various villains, her father’s arrest, her mother’s lie, and every rejection loom large in excruciating color.
Felicia Hardy is nobody’s fool. Catching on to his game, she spells it out for him. There’s no wearing her down with a past that she’s already survived. Reminding her of her abuse doesn’t weaken her. In fact, you can see the steel in her eyes. She counters his maneuver by making it clear it is she who is negotiating from a place of strength. Our ever enterprising lady thief comes just shy of saying, “show me the money.” He does exactly that. Escorting her through images of all she could have. Wealth, power, respect… it’s all there. The world at her feet and she’d certainly intrigued.
Until he crosses a line that he had no idea existed. The overzealous entity in a desperate bid for her to consent to be his conduit offers her the love she’s lost and, in doing so, evokes his own doom.
What Doesn’t Kill You…
Returning to her crew and a revived, thoughtful-looking Dr. Strange. She learns she’s just survived going head to head with one of the most potent magics in the universe and was able to break free. Dr. Strange tells her he’s impressed. We learn it would have been a struggle for even a skilled magic user to ward off such temptations.
The entity seriously miscalculated. Black Cat is who she is, precisely because of everything she has gone through. As she pieced herself back together after each trauma, she healed. In healing, she built a tremendous inner strength which she channeled to tame the magic. Now we have to hope her strength combined with the Sorcerer Supreme’s power can face down the forces of Knull closing in on them. Just in case, though, she has Strange use his magic to send her crew out of danger. Because that’s the kind of woman that she is.