One of my favorite recent runs is Jed MacKay’s work on the two Black Cat ongoings we’ve gotten the last few years. MacKay has shown that Felicia Hardy has deserved to have solo comic books constantly being published and it took Marvel far too long to give us solo Black Cat comic books. While the most recent Black Cat series came to an end we didn’t have to wait for new Felicia Hardy adventures. Following up on one of the developments in Black Cat’s comics is MacKay bringing back the Iron Cat armor that Felicia created while “borrowing” Tony Stark’s resources for a heist. Who is the new Iron Cat? Let’s find out with Iron Cat #1.
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Pere Perez
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
In the middle of a job, Black Cat gets contacted by an angry Tony Stark. It doesn’t take long to find out why Tony is angry as Black Cat is attacked by someone wearing the Iron Man armor she created, with the person attacking her going by the name Iron Cat.
Black Cat uses her agility to evade all of Iron Cat’s attacks while running from building to building. Eventually, Black Cat is able to jump on Iron Cat’s back during the chase. Iron Cat uses an electric shock to get Black Cat to lose her grip and slams her onto a rooftop. Iron Cat then reveals themselves to be Tamara Blake.
In a series of flashbacks, we find out that Tamara Blake was also mentored by Black Fox at the same time Felicia was, with the three of them working together on various jobs.
In the present Tamara is pissed off that Felicia killed Black Fox and is looking to get revenge for her mentor. Knowing things won’t end well if they fight Black Cat hits Tamara with a flash-bang so she can escape.
Later, Black Cat makes it to Tony Stark’s place. There she reveals that Tamara is her ex-girlfriend and is the one who stole the Iron Cat armor to kill her. Having dealt with similar problems in the past Tony says he’ll help. End of issue.
Iron Cat #1 is pure fun that acts as both a strong continuation to Jed MacKay’s run on Black Cat and a new adventure to bring in a whole new fanbase to why Felicia Hardy is a great character. Balancing out bringing more of Felicia’s history with a new adventure that brings back the Iron Cat armor worked extremely well.
Having flashbacks to Felicia’s teenage years as a thief while still being mentored by Black Fox was a great way to continue the narrative from MacKay’s original run. Black Fox has been made into such a key part of Felicia’s backstory throughout MacKay’s run that it’s not surprising even after his death that it is still impacting Felicia in the present. The way MacKay presents Felicia’s past adventure with Black Fox and Tamara Blake brings you into understanding what their relationship is throughout Iron Cat #1.
How the flashbacks to Felicia’s job with Black Fox and Tamara Blake were worked into the narrative throughout Iron Cat #1 was impressive. MacKay was careful to make sure that whenever we went into the flashbacks to build up more momentum for the present-day story. Each time we went to the flashbacks it was done to get us more into the story while also feeling standalone enough to expand on this period in Felicia’s life with Black Fox and Tamara.
The flashback was also important to develop why Tamara would seek revenge for Black Fox’s death. Learning that Felicia and Tamara did date for a time made things even more personal as Black Fox’s death possibly made the tension from how things ended in the past made things worst. It also speaks to how important Black Fox was to Tamara that she would go after Felicia over killing her mentor, who meant a lot to her.
Tamara stealing the Iron Cat armor was a nice touch to present Felicia with a whole different challenge to overcome. Felicia isn’t simply fighting someone with equal skills but has to also go up against someone with Iron Man’s technology. That creates a new level of challenge for Black Cat that when you add the personal history Felicia and Tamara have there is a lot to be interested in how things will go.
Pere Perez delivers a lot of great work in Iron Cat #1. I particularly appreciated how Perez and Frank D’Armata made sure to have the present-day and flashback scenes have a different look. Making the decision to have the flashback take place in the daytime while Black Cat vs Iron Cat’s fight in the present took place in the night made a big difference. Perez and D’Armata made great use of lighting for what time the two stories took place. It created unique energy for Felicia’s chase sequence in the past and the Black Cat vs Iron Cat fight in the present.
Iron Cat #1 is just pure fun. Jed MacKay, Pere Perez, and Frank D’Armata did a great job using Felicia Hardy’s past to create a new story that has immediate personal stakes when it reveals who Iron Cat is. If your looking for a fun superhero comic book don’t miss out on reading Iron Cat.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10