Comics : Black Cat #3

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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: Year of the Woman

This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, is precariously balancing the fine line between being her old ways of being a cat burglar and following in the footsteps of her one-time partner (the amazing Spider-Man and doing the right thing (and actually helping people). Right now she finds herself caught up in a feud between two pharmaceutical companies over something called The Chimera.

In Detail...

"Claws & Effect"
Black Cat #3
Sep 1994 : SM Spin-Off
Arc: Part 3 of "Chimera Lost"
Editor:  Eric Fein
Plot:  Terry Kavanagh
Writer:  Joey Cavalieri
Pencils:  Andrew Wildman
Inker:  Stephen Baskerville
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Articles: Black Cat

As we open up this third issue we find Felicia trapped in a cybernetic vault with a group of cyborgs called First Strike that just came out of the deep freeze. Cornered and trapped, she knows that she is in danger; only much to her surprise, Cardiac comes to her aid. As the two join forces to form an uneasy alliance against the crazed cyborgs they spend the next couple of pages comparing notes and whipping the floor with them.

Once the trio of cyborgs is taken care of, the Cat and Cardiac turn their attention to the computer, only to discover that it has gone into a self-destruct mode, downloading all of the criminal data for Dr. Morelle. Cardiac puts a stop to that by blasting the computer with his energy staff and then hightails it out of the room, completely ignoring the cyborgs, something that The Cat refuses to do.

While the computer is counting down, she drags their unconscious bodies out of the lab, and then slashes away at the computer in an attempt to disable it before it explodes. At the last possible second, Cat is snatched up by Cardiac's mechanical flying eagle, and flown out of the room. It seems that for all his bluster, Cardiac wasn't willing to let them die either. His work at Morelle Pharmaceuticals complete, Cardiac bolts from the building, leaving behind Cat to ponder her next move.

Meanwhile, across town, Cat's former criminal partner, Brian Lash, who has made good his own escape from prison, is making his way to one of his own former labs to acquire his old equipment so that he can get back at Cat. Once he acquires his old equipment, Lash heads off to get even with Cat for allowing him to get caught and spending time in the slam.

Back at Cat's apartment, she comes home to find it , well vandalized, and a taunt spray painted on the wall. There is also a message left on her answering machine, which she recognizes as Brian's. The single word clue "Liberty" let's her know that he is awaiting her at the location of their last heist which went awry and resulted in the capture of Lash. So Cat heads there, knowing that it is a trap.

Cat makes one more call to Loop (Lash's father), to discover what information was on the disk recovered from Morelle Pharmaceuticals. Unbeknownst to Cat she is being observed, as she makes her way over to Paul Proust's house. When she arrives, she finds him sleeping in his own bed. When she awakes him, the two of them are surprised by the appearance of Lash, who is now in some sort of get-up and calling himself, Scar the Stalker.

Scar then fires a drug-tipped arrow at Cat which knocks her out setting us up for the cliff-hanger ending and the series' final issue.

In General...

Once again this is not a bad issue, full of '90s-style action and intrigue. Cat is in all of her full spandex glory actually fighting ion the side of good and against her darker side.

Overall Rating...

As much as I like Cat, I like her best when she is teamed with Spidey, and, unfortunately, he doesn't appear in this issue, costing the story a full point.

Footnote...

Knowing that The Cat's unstable history made her not quite the proper partner for either Peter or Spider-Man is truly unfortunate, as I always enjoyed her character, and (at one point in time) had thought that she would have made the perfect partner for both.

Still, who knows? With the future outcome of Spider's life in flux due to Brand New Day, I suppose that anything is currently possible.