Felicia Hardy is a female comic superhero that features in Marvel Comics.
Felicia Hardy was the daughter of world renowned cat burglar Walter Hardy who got married and retired from the life of stealing. From the marriage, he had a daughter named Felicia Hardy who came to idolise her father and though he was largely retired he still on occasion committed the odd burglary. He explained his frequent absences to his daughter as due to his work as a travelling salesman. The family did not live well off despite the thefts he made and though he could have earned in other ways Walter Hardy had become addicted to the thrill from crime. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #195) As a child, her father often took her out to games and played basketball with her. (Spider-Man and the Black Cat v1 #6) One day, she witnessed him paying his due to the New York City chapter of the Thieves Guild. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #9) When Felicia was 13 years old, her father was arrested for a crime he did not commit and was sent to prison. Her mother hid the truth about her father and instead told Felicia that Walter had died in a plane crash. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #195) At Empire State University, she was a freshman when she met Ryan who seemingly protected her when she started from a boy that was drunk. She became smitten with him as he appeared as a charming decent person and Felicia believed him to be the love of her life as she began to spend more time with him. On one such night, he forced himself on her and raped Felicia with her being in a daze afterwards with her not reporting the crime nor going to therapy as she felt ashamed of herself. She then decided to devote herself to not being a victim and began to train for months in martial arts along with other skills whilst refusing all contact with Ryan. Felicia intended to strike back at Ryan but when she was ready he was arrested for a crime and thus she was denied her vengeance. In her dissatisfaction, she sought to steal something and on that night she stole her first diamond leading to her life as a burglar. (Spider-Man and the Black Cat v1 #6) During these early years, she learnt to be a cat burglar alongside Tamara Blake who became Felicia's oldest friend. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual v1 #4) Whilst she had believed her father had died, in time came to learn the truth that he was in prison with her attempting to set him free but the State refused to grant her appeals as the claimed he was still dangerous to society. This led to her honing her skills to become a skilled burglar as she sought to eventually free Walter Hardy from prison as she believed he had suffered greatly for a crime he did not commit. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #195)
At some point, she became a member of the Thieves Guild and developed a good reputation with them. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #9)
She began to work hard in impressing the Five Families that represented the great crime families in the world with her being offered a place at the table. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #793)
When Spider-Man was split into two, one half that adopted the superhero identity completely met with Felicia intending to get back together with her but nothing came of this matter. The Black Cat later returned to New York when the Thieves Guild under the leadership of Odessa Drake embarked on a world wide heist as part of a power move to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with once again. This saw her teaming up with Spider-Man in recovering the stolen goods though Felicia wanted to take half the items to sell on the black market. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #9)
She confessed to Spider-Man that the reason why she had acted differently to him was because she could not remember his secret identity. He then revealed that he had used means to make people forget his true identity. Felicia stated that this hurt her as once they were together and that she deserved to know as she felt close to him. Spider-Man then revealed his true identity as Peter Parker with a happy Felicia hugging him as all her memories were not restored to her. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #10)
Though happy, she tried to come to terms with the memories and her relationship with Spider-Man. It was then that she had a call from her former subordinate Hammerhead. Since she left the criminal underworld, he had formed an alliance with the Owl but Owsley had recently gone missing. Thus, he asked her to raid some of his hide outs for valuable items and to find him which she agreed despite her not wanting to go back into a life of crime. This saw her track Owl to a ship operated by Taskmaster and Black Ant who had recently been kidnapping people who were thematically based on animals. Whilst sneaking on the ship, she found a captive Billy Connors where she intended to abandon the boy to complete her mission. However, her conscience led to her abandoning the mission to save Billy when she was ambushed by Black Ant and Taskmaster who revealed that they had orchestrated for her to come on the ship to capture her as she was one of their targets. They had managed to convince Hammerhead to aid them as he gladly wanted to get revenge on his former boss. Before being knocked out, she used a Spider-Tracer to send a message to Spider-Man asking for his help whereupon she was captured. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #16.HU) She was kept with Billy at the Plaza Hotel where she found her kidnapper being Kraven the Hunter who revealed that he was using them as bait to hunt Spider-Man. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #17)
Personality and attributes
According to her, she had never wanted children and did not even like babysitting when she was a teenager. Felicia felt that she never had the instinct of being a mother and reasoned it was not within her DNA. Despite that, she was noted to help save children even though she claimed she did not like kids. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #17)
Felicia idolised her father to the point that she sought to continue his tradition as a skilled cat burglar. This was despite the fact that Walter Hardy never wanted her to live a life tainted by the evil he had done. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #195)
During her first encounter with Spider-Man, she used her sexuality and was flirtatious with him. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #194) She always loved Spider-Man's ability to still see hope even in the face of unimaginable madness. (Spider-Man and the Black Cat v1 2)
Among her oldest friends was Tamara Blake who was a cat burglar like her with the two both learning the craft when they started out. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual v1 #4)
Powers and abilities
She later put herself through a training regimen to learn martial arts, gymnastics, the tricks of burglary and many more related skills. Felicia had also dedicated to learn every trick and move made by her father which she perfected for her own use. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #195)
A trail of bad luck followed her that played to her advantage with this impacting her enemies. This saw her foes being affected by bad luck thus hampering their activities whilst giving Felicia an advantage. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #194)
She was known to be a member of the Thieves Guild as she had a tattoo denoting membership and had good standing with them. (Amazing Spider-Man v5 #9) For a time, she operated her own private detective firm known as Cat's Eye Investigations. (Web of Spider-Man v1 #293) She had come to have her own loyal crew that consisted of self-declared Dr. Boris Korpse and former army helicopter pilot Bruno Grainger. (Black Cat v1 #1)
- The Black Cat Felicia Hardy was created by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard where she made her first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man v1 #194 (July, 1979).
In other media
- In Spider-Man, Felicia Hardy appeared in the 1990s animated television series where she was voiced by actor Jennifer Hale. She was the daughter of Anastasia Hardy a wealthy businesswoman who ran the Hardy Foundation.
- In The Spectacular Spider-Man, the Black Cat appeared in the animated television series where she was voiced by actor Tricia Helfer.
- In Spider-Man, Black Cat appeared in the 2000s animated television series in the episode "A Day in the Life" where she was voiced by actor Grey DeLisle.
- In Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage, Black Cat appeared as a NPC summoned hero in the console video game that performed a different attack if the player was Spider-Man or Venom. She also appeared in the panel cutscenes taken from the comic storyline.
- In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, the Black Cat appeared as a character in the Facebook video game with his own Dossier.
- In Marvel Heroes, the Black Cat appeared as an NPC and later as a playable character in the MMORPG video game.
- In Spider Man Unlimited, Black Cat appeared as a playable character in the mobile video game where she was voiced by actor Tara Strong.
- In Marvel: Future Fight, the Black Cat appeared as a playable character in the mobile video game.
- Amazing Spider-Man v1:
- Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual v1:
- Spider-Man and the Black Cat v1:
- Superior Spider-Man v1:
- Amazing Spider-Man:
- Amazing Spider-Man v5:
- Black Cat v1: