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Black Cat

Spider-Man Retro Collection
by yo go re

Just what the internet needs: more cat pictures.

Black Cat is the most confident, cunning burglar the world has ever seen! Donning a black costume and mask, Felicia Hardy changes into her superhero persona and prowls the streets with Spider-Man at her side.

Black Cat was originally created as a foe for Spider-Woman, not Spider-Man - Marv Wolfman was writing Jessica Drew's book when he came up with the character, but was moved to Peter Parker's before he had a chance to bring her into the story. And while it's not like characters introduced in little-known books can't go on to be major players (Mystique and Deathbird were both created for Ms. Marvel to fight, for instance, and Banshee's daughter Siryn was herself introduced in Spider-Woman #37), who's to say if Black Cat would be popular today if not for that change? She'd probably still be a burglar, and maybe even have some bad luck powers, but there probably would have been a lot less flirting. A lot less. And obviously she'd have to be shuffled to another hero eventually if she was going to catch on.

The majority of this figure is the same as the one seven years ago in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Ultimate Green Goblin series: that is to say, the busty body, with unique forearms and shins to handle the long fur trim of her boots and gloves. Since this is part of the Retro Collection, and thus ultimately meant to be (loosely) based on the '90s animated series, she doesn't have any fur around her collar, so that's just painted on. At least it's not like her 1996 figure, which was painted so the edge of the costume came down below her shoulders for some reason. She does get a spiked choker, though - that's a new piece.

The face is a new mold. At the very least it's not the same used on the old figure: that one's mask was sculpted on, while this one's is painted (because the cartoon-style design was a different shape than what was seen in the comics). Also compared to the older Black Cat, her lipstick is a more natural shade and her haircut is much more flattering, so she's really looking better!

The face isn't the only part where the paint has gotten a glow up. The black used for the body isn't as shiny, which does mean it looks les like leather, but also means she'd be stealthier. Plus, instead of blue highlights on the fur and her hair, this time they used a more natural gray wash to bring out the details.

Her accessories get new paint, too. She's got the same claw-whip as before, and while it still has a black handgrip and silver claws, the body of the piece is now white instead of black. Is there any particular reason for that? Couldn't say. Maybe just so you can see it when she's holding it in front of her body. She also gets a pet cat, a solid black repaint of Goose with green eyes. That's a clever inclusion!

While Retro Black Cat does get the same clawed hands as ASM2 Black Cat, she's not wearing the same shoes. Apparently someone realized high heels aren't the best choice for someone who'd be running around on rooftops and breaking into buildings, so her feet are now flats. She moves at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, chest, neck, and head, just like other uses of this mold. The hair limits the head, but it's flexible enough that you can at least move it a little.

Since this is a Spider-Man Retro Collection release, it doesn't have any Build-A-Figure pieces, and it does come on that wasteful purple blister card. Still, this Felicia is better than the last one in several regards.

-- 05/03/21

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