Comics : Black Cat #4

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This story is part of an Arc: "Chimera Lost"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Totalistic Team-Ups

This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, is desperately attempting to balance that fine line she walks, between her old (burglar) self and following in the footsteps of her one-time partner and former lover, (the amazing Spider-Man). Try as she might of doing the right thing (and actually helping people) she can't quite seem to escape her nefarious past. Right now she finds herself caught up in a feud between two pharmaceutical companies over something called The Chimera, not to mention being stalked by her former partner, Brian Lash, who is now out of prison, has outfitted himself with some hi-tech gear, and is now calling himself Scar the Stalker.

In Detail...

"Against the Night"
Black Cat #4
Oct 1994 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 4 of "Chimera Lost"
Editor:  Eric Fein
Plot:  Terry Kavanagh
Writer:  Joey Cavalieri
Pencils:  Andrew Wildman
Inker:  Don Hudson, Fred Fredericks, Rodney Ramos, Stephen Baskerville
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Review
Articles: Black Cat

When we last saw Black Cat (last issue), she had just been hit with a drug-tipped arrow at from Scar's crossbow. That dart knocked her out this issue opens up with Cat unconscious and hung from the top of a building's spire. Just as she wakes up, her spandex costume rips plunging her down the side of the skyscraper.

The sudden movement and the rush of cold air revive her enough so that she recovers nicely and, like her namesake, lands on her feet. She now knows that Lash will never leave her alone, so she has to go after him and stop him before he kills Paul Proust, the kidnapped Morelle Pharmaceutical executive.

Cat heads across town towards the Liberty Armored Cars warehouse, which is where she believes Scar is currently located. She believes that he is there because that is the location of the heist she and Scar had their "disagreement" and she wound up turning on him (because of his ruthlessness and bloodthirsty nature).

Upon her arrival, Cat is "attacked" by several of the robot-controlled armored trucks. It is obvious by their attack patterns that they are being directed by someone close by. Cat manages to evade all of the trucks as they crash into each other, and heads towards the warehouse itself when she spots Scar dangling an unconscious Proust from the roof of the building.

Once inside the warehouse, the machinery itself inside the building begins to attack her. As she moves towards the overhead office where she believes that Scar and Proust are located, she is chased by swinging chains, falling machinery, and fire that ignites the wooden planks of the catwalk she is using. Soon she is in the office, and confronts Scar, who tosses the still unconscious Proust out the window.

Unable to contain herself, she dives at Scar and viciously attacks him even (unobserved by Cat or Scar) as a single strand of webbing snags the falling Proust. The fight between Cat and Scar becomes vicious as Scar tosses one of his spears at Cat, who easily dodges it and uses it back on Scar. Eventually getting the drop on him, and is about to eviscerate him when she is stopped by an all-too-familiar voice.

Spidey manages to convince Cat to not kill Scar by producing the still breathing, and now conscience form of Proust. Her fervor abated, Proust admits the he is the mysterious Chimera. He also indicates that he was attempting to play the two Pharmaceuticals against each other because of the human testing (on the First Strike team) dome by the companies. He then manipulated the two heroes to stop the testing while protecting his own position with Morelle.

At this point Spidey collects his Spider Tracer (that Proust used to attract Spidey's attention) and takes a powder. Cat then locks up the unconscious Scar inside the empty safe (making sure to punch holes in it with her claws).

Two then follow Spidey's lead, allowing the cops to find Scar, but not them. Cat then conveys her thanks to Loop (Scar's father) for his help in apprehending his son. The next night Cat stops a band of uniformed terrorists from crashing up the NY Stock Exchange's central computer. The following morning the NY Stock Exchange opens up to an image of Cat's Eyes Security. As it turns out this is the newly-formed company of Proust and Cat, who has (for now) decided to remain on the side of the angels.

In General...

All-in-all, this is not a bad tale, it gives us some background of The Black Cat, as well as several great action scenes. I liked how Spidey was involved in the story I just wish that he had more of an involvement. As I have stated, I always liked Cat as Spidey's partner, I just wish that she was more stable so that such a on-and-off-again partnership could have been maintained.

Overall Rating...

The story reads well enough, but from a historical perspective it seems that much of it was all a smokescreen so that a four-issue mini-series could be crafted out of it. Not necessarily a bad reason for a story, but not the best either. Let us just say that given what we are reading these days, this story reads just fine.

Footnote...

I am unaware if anything ever came of the security company Cat and Proust started at the end of this series, but on some level, and given her propensity for flitting whichever way the wind blows, it is entirely possible that she just got tired of it rather than that the next writer to use her had no idea of the agency, and simply plugged her into a new story without regard to what she did last.