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Black Cat Reading Order, Marvel’s Lucky Cat Burglar

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Created in 1979 by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Keith Pollard in The Amazing Spider-Man #194, Black Cat is an antiheroine, sometimes girlfriend, ally or enemy of Spider-Man. She is certainly not just Marvel’s Catwoman.

Felicia Hardy is Black Cat, the daughter of Walter Hardy who was a world-renowned cat burglar. The first time we meet her, she wants to break her father out of prison, but her meeting with Spider-Man complicated everything. Past trauma encouraged her to learn to be a fighter but she needed an edge to survive and prove herself in the world of Spidey. A deal with the Kingpin led her to gain her own super-power: she has the (subconscious) ability to affect probability fields, producing “bad luck” for those who want to hurt her.

Her romantic relationship with Spider-Man was tumultuous – and she didn’t want to hear about Peter Parker. They eventually broke up, but Felicia’s life was now entangled between the heroes and criminals of New York. She had to create her own space, becoming for a time some sort of Robin Hood. She still helps Spider-Man, but occasionally double-crosses him.

As years passed, her relationship with Spider-Man eventually found a stable ground… until she met the Superior Spider-Man who led her to become a master criminal. For a time, then she got back on the good side and finally got her own ongoing series! The story continues.

Black Cat Reading Order

We invite you to read our article to learn more about the origins of Black Cat in the comics. Naturally, discover also the Introduction of Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat in Spider-Man:

Introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #194, Black Cat quickly disappeared, but she came back and became a supporting character, mostly in Spectacular Spider-Man – for now, the only way to collect those issues is with the old Essential Collection, but the Marvel Masterworks should eventually cover that period too. Other collections can help in the meantime, such as The Complete Alien Costume Saga:

For the Amazing Spider-Man of that period, you also see:

  • Spider-Man: Birth of Venom
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man #252–259, 298–300, 315–317, Annual #25; Fantastic Four #274; Secret Wars #8; Web of Spider-Man #1.

Here is a detailed list of the issues in which you can find Black Cat:

  • Spectacular Spider-Man #74-79, 81
  • Amazing Spider-Man #243
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #82
  • Amazing Spider-Man #244
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #83
  • Amazing Spider-Man #246
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #84-89
  • Amazing Spider-Man #252
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #90-95, Annual#4, #96
  • Amazing Spider-Man #256-258
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #97-100, 112, 115-117, 119
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #128-129

Away for a while, Black Cat came back in Spider-Man life after Peter and MJ got married. Like before, those issues are not well collected yet, mostly because most of the books still available now are focusing on Venom & Carnage, but not on the issues published between their appearances, which left out most of Black Cat stories. But here are some books to check out:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man by David Michelinie and Erik Larsen Omnibus
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #287, 324, 327, 329-350; Spider-Man (1990) #15, 18, 21-23; Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #19-21; Material From Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #48-50, Spider-Man (1990) #19-20.

Here is a detailed list of the issues in which you can find Black Cat:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #316, 329-331, 335
  • Marvel Comics Presents #57
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #155-156, 171
  • Amazing Spider-Man #341-343, 346-347, 368-372
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #201-207 Annual #4
  • Amazing Spider-Man #379-380
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #209-210 (back issues)

In 1994, Black Cat got her own miniseries, simply titled Felicia Hardy: The Black Cat. A 4-part storyline from Joey Cavalieri and Terry Kavanagh with art by Andrew Wildman and Stephen Baskerville that is taking place after the event of Spectacular Spider-Man #210.

This didn’t lead to a lot, just some more guest appearances:

Again, Black Cat’s appearances became rare for a while after that (it’s 1999), but she came back to New York in 2002 with the help of Kevin Smith and Terry Dodson in Spider-Man/Black Cat: Evil That Men Do. In this miniseries, the mysterious disappearance of an old friend brings Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, to New York in search of answers – and a certain web-slinging ex-lover of hers is following the same trail. How long will it take before they do some…catching up? It was not easy to follow as the time between issues was quite long (not a surprise with Kevin Smith).

Launched in 2004, Marvel Knights Spider-Man was a new series coming from Mark Millar and Terry Dodson. A mysterious villain has discovered Spider-Man’s secret identity…and is using the information to slowly destroy everything and everyone that Peter Parker cares about. Black Cat was a regular supporting character during the first 12 issues.

Black Cat starred alongside Wolverine in a limited comic book miniseries titled “Claws.” Wolverine and the Black Cat find themselves at the center of a deadly game. A team of filthy-rich hunters has slapped down some serious cash for the opportunity to hunt the Most Dangerous Prey on the Planet. Can the duo make it out alive? A few years later, a sequel was published.

After #22, Marvel Knights: Spider-Man was renamed Sensational Spider-Man and Black Cat appeared in a few more issues

Yes, it’s the famous Civil War! Felicia Hardy didn’t play a notable part in the event, but she joined the spin-off Heroes for Hiresee reading order of the event. Black Cat joined this team for money, working with Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, the new Tarantula, Shang-Chi, Humbug, Orka, and Paladin. They serve as enforcers for the Superhuman Registration Act, tracking rogue heroes.

Black Cat joined Firestar (Angelica Jones), Hellcat (Patsy Walker), and Photon (Monica Rambeau) in the limited series Marvel Divas about four single women who bond over their inabilities to find a solid romance… It was pitched as a Sex and the City homage for the Marvel Universe, from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Tonci Zonjic. Then Felica Hardy appeared in the one-shot Women of Marvel.

  • Marvel Divas
    Collects Marvel Divas #1-4.
  • Mighty Marvel: Women of Marvel
    Collects Collects Firestar (2010) #1, Lady Deadpool (2010) #1, Namora (2010) #1, Valkyrie (2010) #1, Rescue (2010) #1, Sif (2010) #1, Dazzler (2010) #1, Spitfire (2010) #1, X-23 (2010) #1, Galacta: Daughter of Galactus (2010) #1 And Women Of Marvel (2010) #1-2.

The Black Cat’s back in The Amazing Spider-Man! It’s the Gauntlet Storyline followed by The Grim Hunt. 

  • Spider-Man: Return of the Black Cat
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man #606-611. 

    • Spider-Man: New Ways to Live
      Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #602-611, Spider-Man: A Chemical Romance digital comic, Spider-Man: The Root of All Annoyance digital comic, Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Anti-Venom – New Ways To Live #1-3, Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #1-3 and material from Web of Spider-Man (2009) #1, Amazing Spider-Man Family #6.

As Spider-Man is stalked during the Grim Hunt, the world’s slyest, smartest and sneakiest jewel thief’s latest heist puts the Black Cat face-to-face with the family that has been terrorizing Spider-Man’s dreams and threatening those closest to him!

  • Spider-Man: Black Cat
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man #612, Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat #1-4, and material from The Many Loves of the Amazing Spider-Man.

Black Cat also briefly appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #621-622 & 630 during The Gauntlet. This storyline led to the Dan Slott era that began with “Big Time.” A bit later, Felicia Hardy teamed up with The Amazing Spider-Man to guest star in X-Factor.

Welcome to Spider-Island, where a million New Yorkers suddenly possess Spider-Man’s powers – but none of the responsibility! For more information about the event, go to the reading order. Black Cat appeared during this event, especially in Amazing Spider-Man #664, 670, 672, 677, Spider-island: Heroes for Hire #1

  • Spider-Island
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man issues #666–673, Venom #6–9, Spider-Island: Deadly Foes, material from Amazing Spider-Man #659–660, #662–665, Spider-Island Spotlight. This is where Avenging Spider-Man is introduced.
  • Spider-Man: Spider-Island Companion
    Collects The Amazing Spider-Girl #1-3, Spiderisland: Cloak & Dagger #1-3, Spider-Island: Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu #1-3, Herc #7-8, Spider-Island: Avengers #1, Spider-Island: Spider-Woman #1, Spider-Island: I Love New York City, Black Panther #524, Spider-Island: Heroes For Hire #1.

Black Cat teamed up with Spider-Man and Daredevil during a short cross-over and stayed a few issues more with the Man without Fear. After that, Felicia helped her friend Misty Knight in the Fearless Defenders (issue #6), then she joined Spider-Man for an anniversary with the #700 of The Amazing Spider-Man!

During the Superior Spider-Man era, Black Cat only appeared in issue #20, but there are important consequences as her trust in Peter Parker is broken. Naturally, after that, she wants revenge when Peter came back in Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 4). Black Cat is back on the criminal side (and even steals from criminals as we see during her one-page appearance in The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #17) and it’s as the villain that we saw her next in Hawkeye vs. Deadpool and in a new storyline in Amazing Spider-Man.

Introduced at the end of Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #1 (Worldwide), the new Silk series is about Cindy Moon undercover, working for Black Cat. Felicia is at the head of New York’s criminal underworld. You can find more about Silk here.

Black Cat and her criminal empire are also featured in the back-ups of the first three issues of the Howard the Duck (vol. 6) series that helped launch the Gwenpool series, then in another cat-themed series, Patsy Walker – A.K.A. Hellcat! (issues #10-14). She also briefly fought Power Man and Iron Fist but also the other Spider-Man, Mile Morales, in Spider-Man (2016) #3-5, before the Civil War II in which she made a very short appearance in the tie-in Civil War II – Kingpin #1. After that, Black Cat works with the new Venom in town in Venom (2016) #1-4 and had to deal with the new Defenders. And finally, the end of Black Cat’s career as a crime boss happened during the crossover Venom Inc.

After some sort of epilogue for her Queenpin career, Black Cat is back in the Defenders, then she found her way next to Spider-Man (written by Nick Spencer).

Finally, Black Cat got herself an ongoing series! Written by Jed MacKay, the Black Cat series was not supposed to be as successful as it was, so there’s a lot more than expected here. His complete run on the character is available on Omnibus:

  • Black Cat by Jed MacKay Omnibus
    Collects Black Cat (2019) #1-12, Black Cat (2020) #1-10, Black Cat Annual (2019) #1, Black Cat Annual (2021) #1A, Giant-Size Black Cat: Infinity Score #1, Iron Cat (2022) #1-5, Free Comic Book Day 2020 (Spider-Man/Venom) #1 (Spider-Man story)

And of course, in trade paperbacks (with more details about her role in the Spider-verse!):

After her first ongoing series ended, Black Cat appeared in Amazing Spider-Man during the Last Remains storyline (see reading order) and especially in #51.LR & #52.LR. Then, we saw her in the King in Black crossover event that included the first three issues of the second ongoing series, see the reading order for more information.

After the end of the Black Cat series, Felicia reappeared in Amazing Spider-Man during the “Beyond” story (click here to learn more) in #78, #87, Mary Jane & Black Cat – Beyond, #89 & 90 before teaming up with Iron in Iron Cat, then with Mary Jane during Dark Web (see reading order) and after.

More to come…

Last Updated on May 20, 2024.

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