Felicia Hardy / Black Cat was first introduced in 1979’s The Amazing Spider-Man issue # 194 by Marv Wolfman and Dave Cockrum as a cat thief who would end up being very important to Spider-Man, prompting her to reform and joined him as his partner and superhero lover for a short time, which resulted in a strong but occasionally tested friendship. The Black Cat was able to make a name for herself in various series and team titles that broadened her reach in the Marvel universe, and she has gone from being a world-saving heroine to a crime captain, giving the character a ton of source material to adapt outside of comics.
However, despite the character’s popularity with fans and his close relationship with Spider-Man as a suit companion who do not share most of his other romantic interests, the Black Cat has not appeared much in animation adaptations or live action, especially when compared to other characters in Spidey’s life. Also, Black Cat’s relationship with Spider-Man has hardly been explored in any of her appearances outside of the comics, something that will be further explored when we take a look at Felicia Hardy’s various appearances in film and television.
6 Silver and Black
Fans have yet to see a full live-action adaptation of Felicia Hardy / Black Cat, though it has moved closer to a full debut recently thanks to Sony Pictures’ Marvel Universe of Characters. Sony also released adaptations of Venom and the next Morbius that were developed without Spider-Man’s involvement in the story, due to his current role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Screenwriter and director Gina Prince-Bythewood was hired to bring Black Cat to the big screen alongside mercenary Silver Sable (another creation of the Spider-Man comics) in Silver & Black, which she also planned to feature in a series of villains that were also included in the rights to the Spider-Man characters that are owned by Sony. Unfortunately, Silver & Black was removed from Sony’s upcoming release schedule and new plans were started to split the characters into separate movies or series, but nothing else has been developed for either Black Cat or Silver Sable.
5 the Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Marc Webb directed the second web-launcher film franchise starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, which continued in 2014 with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The sequel featured Dane Dehaan as Harry Osborn on his return to Manhattan to take control of Oscorp following the death of his father. Felicity Jones appeared in the movie as Harry’s employee named Felicia, who quickly established a connection with her new boss that led to a dramatic promotion that seemed to hint at future plans to further develop the character.
Felicia never interacted with Peter in the sequel and there was no appearance of a costume or even a mockery of her cat-thieving past, leaving much of the character unadapted. The critical and financial failure of the film led to the cancellation of the franchise and the possible cinematic future of Felicity Jones as the Black Cat, along with plans to introduce the Sinister Six.
4 Marvel’s Spider-Man (2017 -)
DisneyXD debuted a new take on Peter Parker and his cast of characters in 2017 with the animated series Marvel’s Spider-Man, which reimagined Peter Parker’s research lab work on « Big Time » as an advanced school for geniuses known as Horizon High. , which featured several of Spider-Man’s closest allies and enemies as they were reworked to fit the new youthful premise of the series.
Although a modernized version of Black Cat (voiced by Gray DeLisle) appeared in the series, her age had not been lowered like that of other characters, so a relationship between her and the teenage Spider-Man was never explored. Black Cat’s outfit and hairstyle were updated to fit in with the show’s wardrobe, and her powers were also enhanced, as she was now capable of bringing extreme bad luck to anyone who had eye contact, as opposed to the more widespread of his abilities in the comics.
3 Spider-Man (1981-1982)
Spider-Man starred in two separate animated series during the 1980s that aired almost simultaneously, although Black Cat (voiced by Morgan Lofting) only appeared in the solo titled series that premiered in 1981.
The Black Cat only appeared in one episode titled « Curiosity Killed Spider-Man », in which he snuck into a Daily Bugle party and proceeded to steal jewelry from the assembled guests, prompting his first encounter with Spiderman. She later challenged him, challenging him to stop his theft of a valuable artifact, which he managed to publicly steal from him while he was distracted trying to preserve his secret identity and his relationship with Betty Brant.
2 the Spectacular Spider-Man (2008-2009)
The Black Cat’s origins as the daughter of an infamous cat thief were featured in KidsWB’s The Spectacular Spider-Man series, which premiered in 2008 and ran for two seasons, with Tricia Helfer voicing Felicia Hardy. The first time he came across Spider-Man was when he was attempting to steal the recently discovered alien symbiote that would become Venom (a debut that was mirrored in the 2017 animated series Marvel’s Spider-Man), though he later attempted to take out his father. Walter / The Cat from a high security prison.
Although the Cat appeared in the comics, her story was slightly reworked to fit in with the events of The Spectacular Spider-Man, revealing that she was actually the thief who shot Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, changing the dynamics between the characters. Black Cat’s appearance and costume were quite faithful to the comics and the couple shared a flirtatious relationship on the series, although there was still an age gap that limited their development.
1 Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1998)
Felicia Hardy / Black Cat never had much of a chance to shine in her other appearances outside of the comics, as her secret identity was barely revealed and Peter was very busy with other romantic interests like MJ or Gwen Stacy. Fortunately, in 1994 Spider-Man: The Animated Series was released, initially featuring Felicia Hardy (voiced by Jennifer Hale) as the main love interest, and showing her father’s origins, as well as his deal with the Kingpin to obtain powers like Black Cat, though the exact circumstances and timeline were altered for the series.
His powers were also accompanied by a transforming element that enhanced his physique and slightly altered his appearance, allowing him to alternate between his alter egos. While Peter’s interests turned to Mary Jane, Black Cat found Michael Morbius and began working alongside him and Blade as the vampire slayer on a unique version of the character that remains one of the best adaptations of Black Cat, and fans they hope to see more of her in the future.