Iron Cat has been an enjoyable ride that’s given us a chance to see the dynamic between Felicia Hardy and Tony Stark. Along with that Jed MacKay has continued his greater Black Cat run by continuing to expand on Felicia Hardy’s history. That has included bringing in a familiar face to Felicia’s past in Tamara Blake, who has stolen the Iron Cat armor and teamed up with Iron Man villain Madame Menace. This all has led to Black Cat and Iron Man in a situation where they have to stop the rampaging Madame Menace from destroying the planet. Let’s see if they can do that with Iron Cat #5.
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Pere Perez
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
With all the nuclear reactors at all Stark Industry facilities around the world, Tony Stark and Black Cat try to stop Madame Menace but are quickly overwhelmed by her enhanced Iron Man armor she is controlling.
Tamara Blake as Iron Cat returns to help Black Cat out in destroying the Iron Man armor that Madame Menace was controlling.
As Tony gets all the facilities back under control Felicia tells Tamara what why she had to kill their mentor after Black Fox tried to gain immortality at the cost of all the lives of New York. Tamara can tell Felicia isn’t lying to her and they make up.
Madame Menace returns in the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor. Black Cat and Iron Cat work together against Madame Menace while Tony continues to get the nuclear reactors under control.
To defeat the villain Iron Cat is able to upload the Sunset Brain version of Madame Menace into the Hulkbuster. The Madame Menaces take each other out, giving Tony the time needed to shut down the nuclear reactor.
As the dust settles Tamara has disappeared with the Iron Cat armor much to Tony’s displeasure. Felicia calms Tony down and convinces him to get some dinner together.
Elsewhere, Tamara sells the Gavrilov Diamond to Ceres Goldstein to get the funds needed to fix her Iron Cat armor. End of issue.
Iron Cat #5, as with the rest of this mini-series, is the definition of a fun ride that gets the job done. The world isn’t different after this but that wasn’t the point. This was about delivering a fun team-up adventure between Black Cat and Iron Man that concludes in a way that Jed MacKay continues to make his overall Black Cat run enjoyable.
The strength of Iron Cat #5 is the chemistry Felicia Hardy has with both Tony Stark and Tamara Blake. MacKay does a great job showing how easily Felicia is able to change the way she talks with each of them while also being in superhero mode. There are different layers to her character that shine through in all the conversations.
A great example of that is how Felicia goes about treating Tony anytime he is blowing a gasket over how his technology has been used by Tamara and Madame Menace. Felicia goes into her full quippy self with Tony knowing that he is taking things too seriously and stressing himself out more. There is a balance between the pair that you just want to see them do more superhero team-ups because of their dynamic.
Then there is Felicia’s relationship with Tamara which gets a good resolution. We’ve seen throughout Iron Cat how Tamara has been driven by the fact that Felicia killed their mentor, Black Fox. Only having the top-level details was really the biggest disconnect between the two. I’m glad that MacKay had Felicia recognize this with how she went over everything Black Fox tried to do to attain immortality.
Felicia’s honesty made Tamara’s character have the best development she could possibly have. You can see that this is what Tamara wanted to hear the whole time even if she didn’t know that herself. At the same time, this does not mean she will suddenly turn over a new leaf as Felicia has. Tamara will continue being herself as a life-long thief. Even with helping out Black Cat and Iron Man, it was more to fix her mistake than going down the superhero path, which the ending of Iron Cat #5 seems to indicate. I would not mind if MacKay plans to continue doing more Black Cat comics that Tamara is positioned as a rival to Felicia’s crew when they are doing different heists.
The one weak part of Iron Cat #5 is Madame Menace. The character has been the definition of a one-note villain that was nothing more than an annoyance. You never gave it a thought Madame Menace could win in some way. A total defeat was always what was going to happen and that’s what happened. The lack of questioning did give Iron Cat as a whole a lack of concern for how things will turn out.
Pere Perez’s artwork brought a lot of good energy to Iron Cat #5. With more action here Perez did show why they should probably be in line to draw an Iron Man series in the future. It was really fun seeing how the different Iron Man armors were fighting against each other. The action was fast-paced but you never lost track of who was who.
Iron Cat ends in a way that you are left excited and hopeful to see Jed MacKay’s run on Black Cat continue. MacKay added to Felicia Hardy’s character by giving her a rival in Tamara Blake that gave a deeper personal arc for this entire series to tackle. If you are a Black Cat or Iron Man fan I recommend checking out this series when it releases in trade paperback form.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10