Felicia Plays Spider-Man Like A Fiddle In Black Cat Annual #1

by James Ferguson

The Black Cat can get Spider-Man to do almost anything. The poor guy is wrapped around her little finger. In this case, that entails getting married (sort of) to save two lovebirds and pull a fast one on the Maggia. All of that is easier said than done. Felicia’s whole crew gets into the mix at different spots while her and Spidey head into a secret, possibly haunted crypt.

I absolutely love the interactions between Black Cat and Spider-Man. She has this effect on him that makes him the most awkward he’s ever been. It’s like he’s reduced to this geeky teenager when the pretty girl looks at him. Felicia is so completely comfortable with herself and what she does to him, so she revels in it. Writer Jed MacKay does a brilliant job with the quippy dialogue.

The best parts of the Black Cat Annual come when Peter forgets himself for a moment and goes all in on this wild escapade with Felicia. He gets caught up in the fun and can’t help but enjoy the insanity. This is unlike any other relationship he has in life.

The artwork in this issue is split between Joey Vazquez, Natacha Bustos, and Juan Gedeon, with each one handling a different character. I’m not usually a fan of using multiple artists in a single comic, but this is an exception as the different artwork serves a purpose as they’re completely separate scenes. All three are pretty solid and work to the aspects of each character involved.

Vazquez handles the scenes with Felicia & Peter. His style is a little more angular, highlighting the intense fight scenes, not to mention the sharp grin on the Black Cat’s face. The layouts are more dynamic here, particularly when the action heats up. The two characters complement each other well, even if Peter doesn’t want to admit it at times.

Bustos showcases the simple aspects of Bruno with clear, concise linework. He’s a hulking man, towering over others around him, but he doesn’t look all that bright. That’s not the case as he knows exactly what he’s doing.

Colorist Brian Reber accentuates the differences between each scene. The Black Cat’s pages are brighter, as if they’re lit by Felicia’s wonderful smile. Bruno’s are a little more quaint and calm, even when he’s under fire. Lastly, Dr. Korpse’s scenes begin with a normal, everyday look and shift into a high-octane energy when he’s forced to disable a bomb.

Rounding out the creative team is letterer Ferran Delgado, who uses a stylized font for the Black Cat Annual. Each scene is differentiated with unique caption boxes so you know when we shift between each character.

With all the antics Felicia has gotten into in her ongoing series, I am all for more crazy heists. This annual is no different, showing how she can manipulate Spider-Man to get what she wants. Sure, she may commit a few crimes along the way, but she’s robbing from the bad guys, so doesn’t that even out?

Black Cat Annual #1 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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