Everything about this series just continues to click and get better with every single issue that is released. Gorgeous dynamic engaging panels surrounded by a heartfelt and emotional and humorous story that never misses hammering home the true character moments alongside the superhero comics type spectacle. Truly a masterclass of the levels all superhero adjacent comic books should be aiming for.
Every single character in superhero and superhero adjacent comics, and in tons of other types of story mediums, have their gimmick. Their thing that people associate most with them and for Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, her big thing is that she is a thief and gets embroiled in a lot of heists. A great heist is always fun and is never a tiring story direction, but know what is even better? Character depth and development to go with that gimmick or thing or story genre that the character inhabits.
Every month these reviews keep pointing to the fact that Black Cat is not only one of the best Marvel-published comics on the shelves but just overall one of the best comic books period on the shelves. It is repeated each month because it’s constantly true and needs to be repeated so that people will hopefully continue to pick this book up and ensure many more years of adventures for Felicia.
Jed MacKay has taken a character that has had a roller coaster go at things over the years, from often being second fiddle in stories to Spider-Man to a divisive turn to evil as the Queenpin of New York, and given her the space she’s always deserved. Every piece of the puzzle was always there as Felicia has been a tremendous character for a long time but MacKay made sure to assemble them into the fully complete puzzle that many have been waiting for.
This issue builds off the last as Black Fox’s betrayal is deeply felt, and the emotions that Felicia is doing through in this issue when faced with those she cares about are powerful. There is heart and humor and quips and action and dire stakes. It’s everything a Black Cat or just comic book fan, in general, could ask for. It’s comics done right.
Just like the heist that is going down in the story, this work is not a one-person show. Michael Dowling and Brian Reber continue to do a truly amazing job at delivering a beyond gorgeous issue. There is so much life and emotion and feeling in every single panel. Everything is brought to stunning life and you almost don’t want to move to the next panel as there is just so much to feel and take in.
Right off the bat there two pages that allow Dowling, Reber, and letterer Ferran Delgado to create the magic that they do. Essentially there is a machine that is not doing what it was said to do and is being loud and shaking things. That could have been conveyed just in the shouting nature of the dialogue from the two characters in the panels, but they take it even further.
Delgado’s SFX lettering is loud and bold as it should be to fit the moment and Dowling and Reber make sure to add a fuzzy shaky nature to the art, really giving that feeling that everything is shaking and shifting. Touches like that really sell what is happening through the issue and show an attention to detail that is almost uncanny, truly allowing the work to leap beyond the two-dimensional confines of the page.
Truly this review could go on for pages gushing about just how amazing this series is, but it’s an amazingness that folks need to experience first hand. This is one of a handful of books that should be held up as what Marvel as a whole could and should be doing to elevate their entire line.
Black Cat #6 is now on sale from Marvel Comics in print and digitally.