Black Cat (Marvel)
Real Name: Felicia Hardy
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Though it has been suggested that she had a latent mutant ability to affect probability fields around her ("jinxing"), the Black Cat's original "bad luck" powers were nothing more than meticulously planned stunts, executed with the aid of her exceptional gymnastics and unarmed combat skills. Later seeking power to enable her to be a true partner to her lover, Spider-Man, she made a secret deal with the Kingpin, whose scientists imbued her with a genuine "bad luck" power. This power enabled her subliminally and psionically to affect probability fields, causing improbable, but not impossible, "unlucky" events to occur to enemies within her line of sight.
After Dr. Strange removed the jinx Spider-Man contracted, the Cat's powers mutated, leaving her absent the bad luck ability, but with infrared vision, superhuman balance and agility, and long extensible claws. After exposure to the Chameleon's device from the Tinkerer, used to remove Spider-Man's powers, Felicia lost all her superhuman abilities as well. She has since relied upon the Tinkerer's high-tech inventions to support her feline antics. Black Cat's costume also contains micro-servos, which enhances her strength slightly.
Black Cat is a reformed burglar who continues to walk on the wild side as a detective and adventurer. She's the former girlfriend of Spider-Man, Flash Thompson, and the mercenary known as the Foreigner.
Felicia Hardy grew up as "daddy's little girl," idolizing her father. When Walter Hardy suddenly disappeared, Felicia's mother, Lydia, told her that he had died in a plane crash; in reality, he had been incarcerated for his crimes as a notorious cat burglar. Upon discovering the truth about her father, Felicia became inspired to follow in his footsteps. However, another tragic event more strongly influenced a redirection in her life. As a college freshman at Empire State University, Felicia was date-raped by her boyfriend, Ryan. She turned her grief and shame into rage, channeling her feelings for revenge towards intensifying her training regime in martial arts and acrobatics. However, she was robbed of a chance for vengeance, as Ryan was killed in a drunk driving accident. Learning safe cracking, lock picking, and other techniques of thieves, Felicia set out stealing from others to compensate psychologically for what was stolen from her. The first night she took on the persona of the Black Cat she tried to break her father, Walter Hardy out of prison before he died. In the process, she met Spider-Man. After her father's death, she set out to become New York's premier cat burglar. However, over time, flirtations led to romance with Spider-Man, as Felicia promised to abandon her criminal activities. Spider-Man and the Black Cat often patrolled the city together, with Felicia in love with Spider-Man, the hero. She was reluctant to see Spider-Man unmasked, for fear the excitement of the mysterious romance would be lost. When Spider-Man finally revealed his face and his modest apartment, Felicia was disillusioned. But, she still cared for him and after almost being killed by Doctor Octopus and the Owl, she felt that she was a burden on her boyfriend and a liability when fighting crime. While Spider-Man was away during the Secret Wars, Felicia made a deal with the Kingpin to gain superpowers - an actual bad luck aura. But the deal soon proved to be a bad move, as she had been "jinxing" Spider-Man by being in his close proximity, just as the Kingpin planned. Spider-Man, frustrated with the relationship, angered that Felicia made the deal with the Kingpin, and tired of her loving Spider-Man more than Peter Parker, broke up with her, right before she was about to selflessly break up with him so that she wouldn't be hurting him anymore by her aura.
Spider-Man went to Doctor Strange to remove her "jinx". Strange eliminated the hex at the source, causing Felicia to lose her bad luck powers but and also gave her more cat-like powers and abilities. She eventually settled into a life of her own, while still trying to maintain a friendship with Spider-Man. Soon she found out that Peter Parker had married Mary Jane Watson, which had angered her to the point that she grabbed and threatened Mary Jane. To spite Peter, she dated Flash Thompson intent on breaking Peter's friend's heart. Over time, she developed genuine feelings for him, but the two broke up. The Black Cat came to Spider-Man's aid when the Chameleon tricked Spider-Man into losing his powers to lead a normal life. Attacked by the Femme Fatales, the Scorpion, and the Tarantula, the Black Cat enabled Spider-Man to reverse the machine that suppressed his powers - at the cost of losing her own.
She has now relies on equipment she purchased from the Tinkerer to replace her lost powers. During Carnage's mass slaughter through the streets of Manhattan (called "Maximum Carnage" by the press), the Black Cat teamed with Spider-Man again and other heroes to stop the killers. Recently she helped Spider-Man break Norman Osborn out of jail in order to rescue a kidnapped Aunt May. She remains one of Spider-Man's closest confidants and allies.
Recently, she and Spider-Man took on a drug dealer named Mr. Brownstone (Garrison Klum), a low-level mutant teleporter and persuader who used his talents to discreetly transfer illegal narcotics into the bloodstream of his clients. When the Black Cat attempted to confront Mr. Brownstone, he incapacitated her with a dose of heroin and attempted to rape her. Garrison's subservient brother and partner, Francis Klum, killed Garrison first. Felicia was arrested and imprisoned for a murder she didn't commit. Francis teleported her out from prison where her shared his story of abuse. His trust was shattered when Spider-Man and Daredevil attempted to apprehend Francis, making Francis believe Felicia had tricked him. Francis escaped, though severely injured and seeking revenge against Spider-Man. Later, Felicia aided Spider-Man against the menace of Stegron the Dinosaur Man who attempted to de-evolve the city using the Rock of Life. After that adventure, Felicia and Thomas Fireheart Puma began a somewhat superficial romance.
With the passing of the Superhuman Registration Act, Felicia has opted to register as a federally recognized super-hero. She has joined forces with Misty Knight and Colleen Wing in the group Heroes for Hire working with federal authorities to apprehend unregistered heroes and villains without the need for bloodshed.
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #194
Felicia Hardy (Marvel)
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
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Video Game Appearances:
Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (2007)
Heroes for Hire (Marvel)
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