When it comes to all of the characters in Spider-Man's rogues gallery, Black Cat's really one of a kind. Sometimes she's a villain on the prowl, other times she's a cat burglar with good intentions, but she bewilders Spider-Man pretty much all the time. Since her debut, Felicia Hardy has used her smarts, intensely honed acrobatic skills, and her mysterious "bad luck" abilities alongside heroes like Spider-Man and Daredevil and as a member of the Defenders. Despite becoming more nuanced over the decades, Black Cat could be described as fairly black and white back in her first appearance.
Black Cat first appeared 35 years ago this month in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194 by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard. Felicia made quite an entrance into the Marvel Universe when she kicked off her criminal career by breaking into the NYPD's headquarters!
But Black Cat's crime spree didn't stop there. After stealing a few files from the police station, she began recruiting criminals to her mysterious cause. She caught Spider-Man's eye – no surprise considering her fur-trimmed getup and parkour skills – while making her way to a weapons dealer.
Spidey's insta-crush pretty much disappeared as soon as he saw Black Cat mixing it up with a known criminal. The two then began to tango, metaphorically, with Black Cat impressing Spider-Man with her fancy footwork.
Even though the wall-crawler sought to turn her over to the proper authorities, Felicia couldn't help herself – she just had to give into her longstanding crush on Spidey, just for a second.
Of course, the Cat also knew that planting a kiss on the hero would confuse him just long enough to facilitate her escape. Later, a news report gave Parker some insight into Black Cat's master plan. After learning that one of the files stolen from the police HQ contained information on a prisoner named Walter Hardy, Spidey paid a visit to the incarcerated burglar's prison cell. Sure enough, he found Black Cat and her lackeys there, prepping a jailbreak.
Despite getting off to a rocky start, Black Cat and Spider-Man would team-up to fight crime and lock lips on a number of occasions. Her costumed career started merely as a means to bust her dad out of jail, but she quickly took on much more heroic responsibilities. Doctor Octopus remained unaware of her nuanced morality, even after he took over Spider-Man's body, and he left her webbed up for the cops to arrest after first crossing paths with her. Now that Peter's back in control of his body again, he's got one angry Black Cat – and a lot of bad luck – coming his way.
Check out Black Cat's quest for revenge in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!