Review: Felicia Hardy’s Biggest Heist Yet Begins With ‘Black Cat’ #8
by Scott Redmond
Black Cat remains one of the best books being published currently as it continues to fill its pages with fantastic humor, fun heist moments, and great heartfelt character moments and depth. All of that is perfectly captured by the gorgeous and dynamic art that brings this character and her world to life. Felicia Hardy’s star continues to rise within the Marvel Universe, just like she deserves.
One of the biggest scores of Felicia Hardy’s life came with a heavy emotional fallout where to save the city she had to turn on her mentor. When you’re the Black Cat, the best way to get over things and not dwell on them is to accept an even bigger job. They don’t get much bigger than the Infinity Stones, who are of course now people.
This issue is very reminiscent of some of the issues from the previous volume of the series where Felicia and her team were pulling off a variety of heists along the way to their big one with Black Fox. The way that Jed Mackay perfectly blends the heartfelt and emotional character depth of this book alongside the humor and the step-by-step way that Felica and the team go through the heist just continues to be the all-time best. Both volumes of this series so far have been utterly the best, catapulting Felicia to the heights she deserves to be at, but this might truly be one of the best issues which is like having to pick a favorite child honestly.
A large part of that is because of how long the book has been going now leading to the way these characters are being pretty set and allowing more room to breathe and not having to do too much setup. The aforementioned character depth mentioned before is the other huge part, as we get some stellar scenes of Felicia and Nick Fury bouncing beautifully off one another.
Truly someone needs to get MacKay a full-time book with Nick Fury because he’s been nailing it with that character in Taskmaster and the recent ‘Infinite Destinies’ backup stories.
Another factor in what makes this work is of course the tremendous art team which sees the return of regular artist C.F. Villa to once more work alongside the steady Brian Reber and Ferran Delgado. One constant of this book, no matter who the artist happens to be, is that they are just a gorgeous sight to take in. Villa brings just such an energy to the book that is really great to see back after taking the last two arcs off.
Every page wears its emotional heart on its proverbial sleeve, from the pages of Felicia’s joy at being back on the job for a huge score to the sad panels focused on how she deals with the loss of Black Fox down to the glee that Doctor Korpse shows at doing his part of the job. This is aided wonderfully by Reber who continues to perfectly fluctuate the brightness and darkness and overall palette of colors to match the overall feeling of panels, even flipping back and forth quickly on the same pages.
It might seem a small thing to many, but all together these actions really make you feel what is going on the page so much more. Same with the flares that Delgado has for the changes in dialogue fonts/styles for each character and the varied and dramatic SFX that are bold or smaller/low key depending on the need. These things make the book take on a whole new life.
Oh also, it needs to be mentioned that the choice to make Felicia and Fury be ‘yelling’ in their dialogue as they fight in the storage container being carried by helicopter was brilliant. Often these things don’t always get considered, but it fits the reality of the situation and again is one of those small things that makes this book stand out in the best ways.
It gets brought up all the time, and I’m never sorry to keep hitting home, but the way the book plays with panel spacing and white space and placement is top-notch. No matter which artist is drawing the stories, this is a trend that remains constant just like the amazing color and letter works from Reber and Delgado. It not only matches the fun nature of this book, but it gives it an artistic identity and stretches the bounds of all things much like Felicia does and just is intriguing to look at.
Felicia Hardy breaks the status quo and goes beyond, and everything about a book staring her should do that too. In that regard, this team delivers 100 percent every single time.
Black Cat #8 is now on sale in print and digitally from Marvel Comics.