5967 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Black Cat (Spider-Man character) (Marvel Comics) modern look

Black Cat

(Felicia Hardy) (Profile #3 - Depowered)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) is a classic Spider-Man character – an agile and occasionally reformed thief.

This profile is #3 in a chronological series, so we suggest reading them in order. Black Cat profile #1 ; .


Background

  • Real Name: Felicia Hardy.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Walter Hardy (father, deceased), Lydia Hardy (mother, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Former partner of Spider-Man, Founder of Cat’s Eyes Investigation.
  • Base Of Operations: New York City.
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 124lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Platinum blonde (appear white).


Advertisement


The Black Cat identity

Since she kidnapped her father in prison in her first appearance, and to an even greater degree since she spent time in a prison-hospital, Felicia Hardy is known by the authorities as the Black Cat. Her mask has never really hidden her face, and she never hid her hair – which usually quite long and unique coloured.

Her increasingly spectacular figure was also easily recognizable, especially given how she flaunted it. It has always been feasible for people who knew her and closely followed the career of Spider-Man to recognize her as the Black Cat – like Flash Thompson did.

Her identity now seems to be even more of an open secret. She may have made it public with the launch of Cat’s Eyes investigation. She’s not really famous, so she doesn’t have Public ID in DC Heroes terms. But even casual acquaintance have some chance of knowing she’s the Black Cat – P.I., super-something and former cat burglar.


Powers and Abilities

The Black Cat no longer has any power – although she presumably retains strong genetic/sorcerous potential. However, she is now pretty experienced adventurer and a formidable thief, acrobat and thief-acrobat, surpassing even her old exploits.

In particular, she’s a better fighter and hits harder then she used to (in DC Heroes terms, Martial Artist) and has increased her technological knowledge (Gadgetry, Vehicles (air), Scientist (computers)), as an offshoot of her Thief (security systems) Subskill. Her martial skills now include nerve pinches capable of knocking down a fully-grown man (Martial Artist EV sub).

She’s now even better at thinking on her feet and employing various stratagems, disguises, tactics, etc. to stay mobile and be where she’s not expected to be. She also retains her abilities to plan and case sites she wants to infiltrate.

Spider-Man once makes an odd reference to Black Cat having a luck power, and Black Cat answers this is not reliable. As I have no idea where that come from, I simply gave her the relevant DC Heroes Advantage. It’s also unclear whether she learned French in Paris. But she does tend to use an unusual number of French terms during this era.


Advertisement


Gear

She also has a discreet array of neat gadgets. Beyond her basics (line and grapnel, plus concealed tools in her costume (mini-crowbar, lockpicks, small electronics, etc.)) she bought the following from the Tinkerer :

  • Balance compensator earrings looking like square precious stones on her earlobes. These make it easier to retain her balance and/or land on her feet.
  • A new, enhanced costume that slightly enhances her strength, speed, agility and balance. It can also extend claws from the gloves when she flexes her hand a certain way. The claws are very, very sharp and were later upgraded with an energy field making them even more dangerous – she occasionally uses them to claw into surfaces to adhere to them, or to cut cat flaps into normal doors. Presumably, the costume also has some mysterious system preventing her from catching her death despite the mediocre skin coverage.
  • Multi-mode contact lenses with image enhancement, thermal mapping, ultravision, magnification…

Lesser gadgets have includes “talon-knives” (basically shuriken) and a false nail loaded with a dose of fast-acting sedative. The nail can cut through exposed skin to inject the compound right into a vein or artery.

When wearing her Tinkerer-made gear, she’s able to competently and aggressively engage superhuman threats and robots. But her main weak point is that she easily goes down when hit, and can be quite vulnerable. She occasionally neglect this and can be overconfident, but has also learned the value of evasion tactics.

Cat’s Eyes Investigation

This successful detection, intelligence and problem-solving agency was built by Black Cat, Paul Proust and Loop. It has large, ritzy penthouse headquarters in Manhattan and its main client seem to be major corporations – although Felicia seems to also accept “human interest” stuff, such as runaway kids.

Her main associate, Loop, is an old man and a friend of her father. He is serving time in the Parkgreen minimum security prison. He’s apparently been in prison for years. The low security status and equipment smuggled in by the Black Cat allow him full access to TCP/IP networks, though.

He is, despite his age, a superlative hacker (in DC Heroes terms, Scientist (computers): 07) with Low Connections to the Underworld. He communicates with the others via webcam conferencing.

The last associate, Paul Proust, has an unclear background. He’s a former employee of Morelle Pharma codenamed Chimera. Cardiac described Chimera as a “strategic analyst and a genius”, but his exact skills are unrevealed (possibly INT 04 WIL 09 plus specific Skills and Scholars). He’s a slick, suave connoisseur and ladies’ man, always doing things in style and luxury.


History

This section starts where the History section of the Black Cat (powered) writeup ends.

Felicia apparently retired for several months to date Flash Thompson – although at one point, she wore her Black Cat costume at a costume party for giggles. She slowly started swinging back in action.

When Spider-Man ran into a lot of trouble with Silvermane, Mary-Jane Watson-Parker gave her a gadget built by Peter so she could track him down and rescue him, and she saved his life against the nefarious cyborg.

Boredom started to set in, though. She was once hired by a millionaire friend of her father to aggressively test his security system. But she found that kind of job almost too tempting when eyeing various valuables (she did capture Hydro-Man during her “break-in”, though).

Still, it was obvious she had to be the Black Cat again. She used a stash of funds to commission some unique gadgets from the Tinkerer, in order to partially compensate her lack of powers. As she was getting the first gadget of her order, she successfully fought the Scorpion in her civvies along with Spider-Man.

I’ve got cat class…

She occasionally worked as Spider-Man’s partner – although she did tell MJ (who was somewhat jealous), she didn’t tell Flash. She fought a number of Spiderslayer robots along with him, performing very well. Eventually, though, she decided to really retire and marry Flash Thompson.

However, to her shock, Flash told her he knew about her being Black Cat all along. Her mask was too light for a Spider-Man fanboy like Flash not to recognize her.

He admitted he had first accepted to become her lover because he thought he was be cool to be with Spider-Man’s former partner. But he had come to the conclusion a normal guy like himself couldn’t marry the Black Cat. Either she’d suffocate in a normal life with him, or she’d leave him behind at some point to be the Black Cat.

Although Felicia denied it, she knew that deep down he was right, and she left him in tears.

Emotionally adrift and unable to connect with Peter and MJ who had their own problems, she accepted a shady contract for Morelle Pharmaceuticals. During that adventure she briefly teamed up with Cardiac, fought some cyborgs and defeated Scar the Stalker, a psychotic criminal who had a 10-year-old axe to grind with her.

At the conclusion of that case, she founded her own P.I. agency, Cat’s Eyes Investigation. She was quite successful from the onset – as she used information acquired from confidential Morelle documents to foil terrorists at the Stock Exchange, and broadcast an add for her agency on the Stock Exchange’s highly secure telecoms.

Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) by Terry Dodson

Despite her new schedule, she stayed close to both MJ and Peter. When Ben Reilly was arrested as Peter Parker for murder and Peter disappeared while tracking down the real killer, Kaine, MJ Watson-Parker entrusted Felicia with finding Peter. Some time later, Felicia fought off D’spayre along with Parker and Reily.

Although the influence of the demon made her savagely attack Peter, she soon realized that those weren’t her real feelings and joined the Spider-Man in repulsing it.

… and I’ve got cat style

She later joined forces with Ben Reilly to clear her name, as she had been impersonated by a Russian assassin. She was flirtatious but wary around him, while Reilly was struggling to put coherent sentences together without ogling too much. He eventually gained her confidence and she gave him a brief kiss – he was, after all, a clone of Spider-Man. But he wasn’t Peter.

During her activities as the head of Cat’s Eyes Investigation, Felicia teamed up several times with the real Spidey. They even survived Murderworld together while she was investigating a runaway case. She also helped with saving Mattie Franklin, the third Spider-Woman. It also seemed she was still occasionally stealing stuff that caught her fancy.

More recently, she apparently took a break from Cat’s Eye investigation and went to live to Los Angeles for a while. When a friend asked her to locate a missing person, she came back to New York – and of course teamed up with Spider-Man to solve a particularly nasty drug running case.


Description

The new Black Cat costume is a more provocative version of the classic one – with cleavage to the navel and half-exposed breasts. To complement this, she had an extremely expensive breast augmentation done when she was 26 or so – and now sports an improbable and physics-defying chest. She obviously thinks they are particularly neat.

She seems to have two different costumes – one split to the navel and the other more classic. Maybe it’s a winter/summer costume thing.

Even without the augmentation, her spectacular body and her overall beauty is enough to make most men go somewhat gaga and have trouble concentrating. Even Ben Reilly was considerably distracted.


Personality

At the start of the period covered by this profile, Felicia is roughly 25. She is continuing her entry into adulthood with her relationship with Flash. She even had gotten serious enough about it to mostly drop her Black Cat ID for months. She repeatedly chose to spend time with Flash over being the Black Cat or helping Peter because she was afraid he’d be hurt.

However, the lack of excitement in a normal life soon started to gnaw at her, and she started to care about Peter a little too much again. For a time it looked like she was going to slip back with her old demons, and she actually thought about becoming Peter’s partner again. Fighting alongside with him was a complete rush for her.

She eventually chose to give up the Black Cat up and marry Flash instead. She was crushed when that didn’t work, and that made her angrier for a time.

But even though she was angry and reverting to somewhat shady activities, Felicia proved she was firmly on the side on the angels. She found it natural to risk death to save the lives of opponents who were trying to kill her minutes before.

However, while she’s no longer amoral, she still doesn’t care in the least for the law. Unlike Spider-Man, she’s all for vigorous vigilante action when needed and definitely prefers justice to law.

Although she hasn’t really gotten over Parker and still outrageously flirt with him (partly for giggles, partly out of a genuine but impossible attraction), she has gotten over her resentment for him. As their fight with D’spayre made clear, she genuinely consider him a friend and harbours no real rancor toward him for their complicated past.

Although she’s mature enough to not let her feelings get in her way or hurt her, she’s no longer in love with just Spider-Man. She loves both the hero and Parker.

As the failure with Flash Thompson receded in the background, she became more light-hearted and playful. Although smart and professional, she still manages to come across as a particularly beautiful, fun-loving, uninhibited connoisseur and partier. During the period she worked as a P.I., she also enjoyed using noir street lingo in a coquettish way.

Her hedonistic lifestyle during her LA break was apparently sufficient enough in terms of excitement to let her drop the Black Cat gig for a while. Her sex life has broadened to girls – though it seems minor since she’s still romantically looking for Mister Right and kicking herself for being so young and stupid when she met Peter Parker. She’s taken the habit of taking several showers a day (cats like to stay clean), and she’s even more funny, vital and fun-loving than before.

As Parker commented – “It’s easy to get lost in Felicia Hardy. Most fun I’ve ever had, in or out of costume.”


Quotes

“Parkgreen is a minimum security prison. And to me, minimum security is *no* security.”

“Oh, mister guard, don’t think of me as an intruder. Consider me instead a pleasant diversion, like a walk in the park.” (disarm guard, knock him out).

(To Ben Reilly) “After everything Peter and I had been through, we’d developed a bond — a friendship — a trust. He’d be there for me whenever I needed him. Like now. Can I say the same thing about you ?”

(Four thugs charge in as she interrogates a man) “Sorry boys ! Private party. Invitation only. And there’s a dress code none of you boys could ever get past.”

“Man said : ’Crime doesn’t pay‘. Of course, the man who said that never saw my apartment. My stock portfolio. My wardrobe. And all the rest of the stuff crime *did* pay for. But now, I haven’t did so much as jaywalking in ages.”

“I feel like I’m 21 again. I’m *so* crushing on Spider-Man *and* Peter Parker. This time. Why’d I ever let this guy go ? Was I a moron, or what ? He’s just – the best man I’ve ever known. Especially in the biblical sense.”

(Black Cat grasp and hug Spidey in a daring mid-air acrobatic)
Spider-Man : “Spider-sense… tingling…”
Black Cat, belly pressed against Spidey’s crotch : “Is that what you’re calling it, now ?”

(Riding Scorpia’s tail, rodeo-style) ’Yeeee-hawww !! Let’s show the guys in this room some girl-on-girl action !”
Sccorpia : “I’m gonna tear your fucking heart out !”
Black Cat : “Spoken like my last 5 boyfriends.”

(In an horrible singing voice) “MEEEEEM-RIES ! ALL ALONE ON THE PAVE-MENT !! RE-MEM-BER A TIME I KNEW WHAT HAP-PI-NESS WAS…”

“You see a badge wedged anywhere in this cleavage ? ! You remember me reading Scorpia her Miranda rights ? We don’t dress up like this so we can get judges to sign search warrants for us, Peter ! We work *outside* the law !”

(On a rooftop under heavy rain) “I’m a woman with father issues who’s pushing 30, crammed into wet leather, and nursing a bad case of PMS. Who the hell’s more dangerous than that ?”


DC Universe History

(With David Johnston, Roy Cowan, William Chamberlin, Jay Myers, John Colagioia – our Torrid Soap Opera Drama Writers Room)

Note : In this timeline the Black Cat replaces both Flamebird and Pantha. I’ve also taken some liberties with the order the events happened in the DCU (Batman and Catwoman start their current (early 2004) relationship much earlier than they actually did), but Felicia’s presence would have changed things.

How many beautiful cat-themed female top-notch cat burglars who are the mischievous lover of a A-list super-hero can you have in a given universe ? The Catwoman connection is just too obvious.

A possible first step is to make Felicia Selina’s youngest sister. She would have been put in the same institution than Selina and Maggie, but lost contact with them at that point as she was the only one young enough to be successfully adopted. Her adoptive father, Walt Hardy, was a cat burglar of no small repute, but knew that the best of the best was Gotham’s feline fatale.

Felicia’s obsession with her father in the MU becomes an obsession with her big sister in the DCU. She’s trying hard to outdo her, and sometimes their sole contact is through Maggie – though at some points they have been on more friendly terms.

At one point, as Catwoman’s barely manageable romantic entanglement with the Batman grew hotter, Felicia spitefully put the moves on Nightwing, who had just broken up with Starfire. She even designed a new identity, “Flamebird”, so she could adventure with Nightwing without tarnishing his image.

Dick fell head over heel over the meowing manipulative minx. Much shouting ensued as Bruce warned Dick of Felicia’s real intentions, Dick shouted at Bruce that at least *he* wasn’t afraid of his feeling and acting like a frigid jerk like Bruce was acting toward Selina.

Troia, certain her best friend was being manipulated by Felicia, tried to have a showdown with her. Instead she clashed violently with Catwoman, who wasn’t about to let some teenage girl manhandle her seductive kid sister.

Wanting the drag Dick away from the Titans and feeling weak because she couldn’t slug it out with Troia, Black Cat then sought powers. She was secretly enhanced by the Wildebeest society, sworn enemies of the Titans.

She agreed to betray the Titans to the Wildebeests in exchange for her powers (the slowly emerging proportional strength, speed, prowess, senses and claws of a cat). But she found out that she was genuinely in love with Dick and turned against the Wildebeest.

For a time she adopted the moniker “Pantha”, but eventually lost her powers. It then became clear that her powers had mutated into bad luck powers, and she called herself the Black Cat again.

Felicia and Dick eventually broke up after a particularly venomous verbal cat fight between Selina and Felicia. Dick and Bruce were attempting to mend their father/son relationship, but Bruce had started a quasi-regular relationship with Catwoman and it soon became obvious that one of the four had to leave.

Felicia, now genuinely in love with Dick, chose to leave so he could patch up things with Bruce. He even admitted she didn’t mind Selina being happy with Bruce.

She moved to Los Angeles. Under her Flamebird identity she occasionally headed an irregular group called Titans West until she grew bored with it. She had a fling with Arsenal for a while, but they stopped seeing each other when Dick broke up with Barbara Gordon, as Felicia was afraid he’d think she was manipulating him by sleeping with one of his friends.


Sharing



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Black Cat (in her late 20s)

Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Thrill
Int: 07 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Freelance detective
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 018 HP: 050

Skills:
Acrobatics: 08, Artist (actor, photography): 04, Detective (legwork): 04, Gadgetry (identify gadget): 06, Gadgetry (build gadget): 04, Martial artist: 06, Military science (demolition): 06, Scientist (computers, research): 04, Thief: 08, Vehicles (air, land): 05

Advantages:
Attractive, Connoisseur, Language (French), Lightning reflexes, Luck, Scholar (researching and casing areas to steal from).

Connections:
Spider-Man (High), Underworld (Low), Street (Low), MJ Watson-Parker (Low). For a while, Flash Thompson (High).

Drawbacks:
MIA toward Spider-Man, SIH of prison or being restrained.

Equipment:

  • Line and grapnel [BODY 04, EV 02, Snare: 04, Stretching: 02, Limitation : Snare has No Range – but can be used via Stretching, Stretching has No Fine Manipulation (-2). Note : length of the line is 4 APs].
  • Black Cat carries Concealed Tools in her costume (mini-crowbar, lockpicks, small electronics, etc.). During her fight with Sabretooth she paid 15 HPs (environment modification optional rule) to have her BODY 09 mini-crowbar be just where Sabretooth tried to bite, and could presumably pull that stunt again.
  • At one point she had a series of unique gadgets built by the Tinkerer. She doesn’t always use them, though. Those gadgets are :
    • Balance compensator earrings [BODY 02, Acrobatics (Athletics): 12, Limitation : Acrobatics (Athletics) only to break falls – although it can Team Attack with an existing Acrobatics (athletics) Subskill if landing on one’s feet is important in the projected athletic feat. Such a Team Attack adds +1 AP to the user’s Skill. Note : Looks like square precious stones on her earlobes].
    • SPECIAL BLACK CAT COSTUME [/DEX/ 07 /STR/ 04, Claws: 07, Cling: 02, Sharpness (claws): 03, Limitation: italicized Attributes can only increase the relevant Attribute by a max of one AP (-1)].
    • CONTACT LENSES [BODY 01, Thermal vision: 02, Telescopic vision: 02, Ultravision: 04, Sharp eye, Limitation : Sharp eye bonus only when scanning for visual clues].
  • She occasionally carries some “talon-knives” – basically shuriken (x4) [BODY 04, EV 03, Dart Bonus, Grenade drawback].
  • Another occasional gadget is a false nail loaded with a dose of fast-acting sedative [BODY 01, Poison touch (Bashing): 05, Ammo: 01, Limitation : only work through normal human skin and close to a vein or artery].

Design Notes

A piece of equipment in this writeup assumes the use of version 2+ of the Acrobatics Skill.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Spider-Man comics (Marvel Universe) .

Helper(s): One illustration by Artgerm .

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .