Felicia Hardy – the Black Cat – has stolen plenty of loot from around the Marvel Universe, but now she’s about to steal something else – the spotlight.
Under the guidance of writer Jed MacKay and artist Travel Foreman, Felicia is about to embark on her first ever Black Cat ongoing series that will put her on the trail of some very big – and dangerous – scores.
On the verge of Black Cat #1’s June 5 release, Newsarama spoke with MacKay about how Felicia handles being in the lead, what’s she’s aiming to steal, and whether there’s a score big enough to get her out of the game altogether.
Newsarama: Jed, you’re launching Black Cat’s first ongoing series. What’s driving Felicia as she strikes out on her own here?
Jed MacKay: Felicia is driven by the same thing that’s always driven her - want. Like any other thief, she wants things that the world says she can’t have- so she takes them. Excitement, loot, adventure, freedom, respect - she’s after it all!
Nrama: Black Cat has been on both sides of the law in her time – what’s she up against as this series kicks off?
MacKay: Felicia finds herself in a situation that, for a regular person, would be a rock and a hard place: she’s back to her thieving ways, but she’s also in the bad books of the New York Thieves Guild, who are putting pressure on her to fall in line. But “falling in line” was never really in her wheelhouse, and she’s never been a regular person, so she’s pushing the limits on what she can get away with.
As well, a figure from her past (not Spider-Man, chill out) appears with an offer - a place for her and her crew in an outrageously audacious scheme that will play out in the months to come.
Nrama: Felicia’s been known to hang around Spider-Man’s friendly neighborhood. Who rounds out this supporting cast?
MacKay: Felicia doesn’t work in a vacuum. This time around, she has her crew with her, her very first crew from her very first big heist from way, way back in her very first appearance - the doggedly loyal Bruno Grainger and dangerously unstable Dr. Boris Korpse. Another classic Marvel character will re-enter her life to kick off the adventure that will drive the first big arc, and Felicia being Felicia, you know she’s going to get tangled up with other fixtures of the Marvel universe.
That will, of course, include a certain wall-crawler - but I think it’s important to note that that this series be more about Felicia and her shenanigans than just her relationship with Spider-Man. It's a whole new series, it’s her time in the spotlight, and honestly doesn’t Spider-Man have enough books of his own?
Nrama: We know Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum will be one of Felicia’s targets in this series. Where else (and who else) from the Marvel Universe will Black Cat visit?
MacKay: The Sanctum is Felicia’s next stop in issue #2, and that particular job will continue into #3. Issue #4 will see Felicia and her merry band of crooks hit up another iconic Marvel location in search of a particular piece of loot - but you'll have to wait to see where their next stop is!
Nrama: The Marvel Universe is home to objects of unspeakable power – and value. What’s Felicia’s ultimate “big score"?
MacKay: If I thought I could get away with having Felicia steal the Infinity Gems, you better believe the next big Marvel event would be wild.
But seriously, I don’t think Felicia would ever be satisfied with any one ultimate score. That’s what drives her - she’s always looking for the next job, always wants more, always pushing. It’s not about the money, not really - though the money is always nice - but the thrill. She’s not one to retire. Like any cat, she’s on the wrong side of every door.
Nrama: You’re working with Travel Foreman on Black Cat. His art is so stylized and unique – how closely do you consider his style when constructing your scripts?
MacKay: I’ve been a big fan of Travel’s work for a long time, so I’ll generally write things that I’m excited to see him draw. He does amazing, bombastic action, but also great, delicate character work, facial expressions and body language that make it a delight to see the characters interact.
Nrama: What’s your favorite thing he’s drawn for Black Cat so far?
MacKay: That’s choosing from an embarrassment of wealth, but my favorite bits are the character interactions between Felicia and her crew. Travel’s action work is so in-your-face and high-energy that it demands your attention, but the lighter, simpler character stuff is what I love the most, showing so much about how these characters feel about each other.
Nrama: Bottom line, what can readers expect from Black Cat as she strikes out in her own ongoing for the first time?
MacKay: High-energy adventures, filled with sass and snap and fun. Looks into Felicia’s past, how she got to become the thief she is today. And, most importantly, stealing everything that’s not nailed down.