Felicia Hardy is in the middle of her biggest heist to date as she is after the people who have become living Infinity Stones for her new, mysterious client. This mystery client has hired Felicia to steal the Infinity Stone powered individuals in order to help A.I.M. scientist Monica Rappaccini. Felicia has already gotten Star, the Reality Stone-powered super villain, and Overtime, the Time Stone-powered felon. How successful will she be with gaining the other Infinity Stone powered individuals? Let’s find out with Black Cat #10.
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: C.F. Villa
Colorist: Brian Reber
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: While she doesn’t like him Black Cat gets the silent Quantum (who received powers from the Space Stone) to work with her. As they complete their deal Black Cat and Quantum sense someone is watching them so they split up.
The person ends up tailing Black Cat and is able to keep up with her as she jumps and swings through the city. The person cuts Black Cat’s line and causes her to fall into a construction site.
The person turns out to be Nighthawk. Nighthawk reveals he knows all about Black Cat (as he still has his memories from the Heroes Reborn timeline where he and Felicia Hardy were in a relationship for a time). Nighthawk says he wants to get the power of the Infinity Stones so that he can bring back the Heroes Reborn timeline and they can be together again. Black Cat is not interested in whatever “better world” Nighthawk is talking about.
Before they can continue their discussion Nick Fury, Jr. and Phil Coulson show up with the intention of arresting Black Cat for stealing Star. Black Cat and Nighthawk split up with Nick Fury Jr. chasing Black Cat through the city.
As Black Cat invades all of Fury Jr.’s efforts he suddenly gets a message from the Thieves Guild to stand down. Seeing that there is a sniper watching him he orders Coulson to abort their mission.
Black Cat lands on the building where Odessa Drake is at. Odessa calls out Felicia for making her break more of the Thieves Guild rules to save her. Felicia and Odessa then get into a heated argument about how life hasn’t been fair to either of them.
Meanwhile, over at Felicia’s apartment Star listens into Felicia and Odessa’s argument. Star says that Felicia’s current heist job is just beginning. End of issue.
The Good: With how big of a job Felicia Hardy took on with getting the human Infinity Stones Jed MacKay found a way to escalate things by using the recent Heroes Reborn short-term direction to deliver some surprises. All of goes to further challenge how Felicia as Black Cat continues to find herself tethering between being a hero and villain with every heist she commits.
The opening page with Black Cat getting Quantum to agree to help her out set the stage for what Felicia’s current mentality is. When she first accepted this job it was something Felicia felt would help her move past Black Fox’s death back in Black Cat #7. But as her latest heist job involving the Infinity Stones has progressed the reality of what she is in the middle of is hitting her. MacKay is actually showing how Felicia is realizing that she is still hurt by everything that went on with Black Fox.
Which is why we saw at the end of Black Cat #10 Felicia and Odessa Drake blow up into a full argument as soon as they met up. Felicia just explode with all her emotions and Odessa just happened to be the person to be there to have it directed towards. Which once again brought up all the recent history they have with one another that further places into question where exactly Felicia and Odessa stand with each other personally and professionally.
Along the way we got a lot of other great character work for Felicia Hardy’s character. The previously mentioned opening page showed how he heroic side of Felicia made her alliance with Quantum, who has done so many evil acts even before gaining his Infinity Stone powers, uneasy. She knows teaming up with Quantum is not the best but has pride enough in her work as a professional thief that she will temporarily set aside her unease. Which once again highlights how we are seeing Felicia battling internally her anti-hero status.
MacKay also did the best he could to integrate the events of Heroes Reborn into this storyline without the continuity getting in the way. Even as someone who did not read any of the Heroes Reborn comics MacKay provided enough insight into why Nighthawk would suddenly appear without losing me as a reader. More importantly all the information about why Nighthawk’s appearance was laid out so the reader didn’t have to go find the Heroes Reborn comics to understand what is going on.
Through the explanation MacKay was able to give depth to how Nighthawk’s desire to bring back the Heroes Reborn Universe makes him a villain right now. He has so much tunnel vision in getting the dream life he had in the Heroes Reborn Universe that he doesn’t realize he is taking all choice away from others. The way he spoke to Black Cat came across as a cult leader rather than someone who actually had caring connection with Felicia.
For her part we see how Black Cat did not let Nighthawk’s speech about the Heroes Reborn Universe sway her convictions. No matter how ideal the world Nighthawk spoke of that is not the world Felicia has any knowledge of. So she was in the right to turn down Nighthawk’s offer. In doing so MacKay created another antagonist for this story as Nighthawk becomes a major wild card figure in this Infinity Score story.
With all of these developments MacKay is able to quickly bring Star back into the fold of the story and position her as the main antagonist for the finale of Infinity Score. The final page did all it needed to do so that Star can have momentum as the ultimate villain of the story. Which continues her build as a new super villain in the Marvel Universe that heroes have to increasingly take seriously with each appearance she makes.
C.F. Villa artwork continues to improve with each issue of this series he draws. Black Cat #10 had some of his best work. The way Villa draws Black Cat in motion showcases how smooth all her actions are. It made how Nighthawk was able to keep up with her even more impressive. Villa’s art also made the tension between various characters at different points in this issue jump off the screen with how he drew each character reaction.
The Bad: As much as Marvel tries to establish the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Nick Fury into the main Marvel Universe for the comics they continue to fail. Nick Fury Jr. and Phil Coulson’s appearance in Black Cat #10 is yet another example of how bad this interpretation of the characters are. They are nothing more than jokes who appear as cash grabs to align with the MCU. The big thing that is holding these characters back is that they are not running or working for SHIELD but instead just government agents. Marvel really needs to bring SHIELD back as a thing in the Marvel Universe so that secret agent characters like Nick Fury Jr. and Phil Coulson can be taken seriously when they appear.
Overall: Black Cat #10 does a very good job in setting the stage for the finale of The Infinity Score storyline. There are some surprises from recent storylines, including Heroes Reborn, that added tension into the latest heist job Felicia Hardy has taken on. The questions we are left with by the end of this issue creates greater interest in how this storyline will end.
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