Felicia Flirts Circles Around The Wall-Crawler In Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes #1

by James Ferguson

The Marvel Gamerverse continues to expand with Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes, adapting the DLC from the PlayStation 4 game and adding more to it along the way. Spidey manages to stop the Maggia from stealing a precious painting from the Manhattan Museum of Contemporary Art but can’t stop the Black Cat from doing the same. This leads him on an awkward chase across the rooftops and down memory lane as he hurries to catch his ex-girlfriend.

As a huge fan of the PlayStation 4 game, I’m glad to see how The Black Cat Strikes isn’t just a straight adaptation of the DLC. Writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum provides some nice flashbacks showing how Peter and Felicia first encountered one another and it’s just as fun as you’d imagine. The scene is filled with great quips and snappy dialogue as Felicia’s advances make Peter more than a little uncomfortable. The guy has a Spider Sense to warn him of danger but he’s powerless against her feminine wiles.

The only downside to this story is that I saw the cliffhanger ending coming a mile away. That’s only because I played the game so I’m familiar with the storyline. This didn’t take the enjoyment out of the comic though. Instead, I’m more intrigued as to what Hallum will do with this next as he’s greatly fleshed out this world. We’re on our third mini-series set in this universe now and Hallum has really made them his own.

I’m a huge fan of the designs from the game and artist Luca Maresca captures these perfectly. The costumes for Spider-Man and Black Cat are sleek and modern, yet maintain the core attributes of their signature styles. Maresca also excels at the action sequences, filling the pages with a variety of panel sizes and angles. My favorite comes in a sequence after Spidey has nabbed the Black Cat but isn’t really watching where he’s going. Again, his Spider Sense is useless in this situation.

There are a number of subtle details in Maresca’s work too, like how Felicia bites her lip when she moves in on Peter or Mary Jane’s grimace when she hears about who’s involved in this caper. These add some more depth to the story and the characters. Letterer Travis Lanham accentuates this with some solid work, pulling us closer for quieter moments and using big, bold font for the more intense scenes.

Colorist Rachelle Rosenberg rounds out the creative team with a moody atmosphere. This issue takes place entirely at night, but it’s still set in New York City so the cool darkness is illuminated with streetlights, billboards, and buildings. This captures the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and amplifies it with the super hero heist.

Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes has something for new and old Spidey fans alike. If you played and loved the PlayStation 4 game, you’ll get more from this familiar story and if you haven’t played the game at all, you are in for a treat. There’s a great tale unfolding here and it’s full of the signature action, humor, and fun that we’ve come to expect from this character and this game.

Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes #1 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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