‘The Cat’/’The Black Cat’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘THE CAT’ (Part 1)

This is the only two-part story to be featured in Season 4 of the 1990s animated ‘Spider-Man’ TV series. I saw this two-parter on the ‘Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock’ DVD. Doc Ock does appear in this two-parter, but he doesn’t have the central villain focus. It’s more about the introduction of the Black Cat.

Speaking of which, this two-parter allows Felicia Hardy more into the limelight as she becomes a super cat burglar called the Black Cat. For a while, Felicia has been another love interest for Peter and it didn’t seem like she would become a super character. Yet the series has built this up for some time.

In ‘The Cat’, Spidey is still grieving over the loss of Mary Jane. He goes to see Felicia who is still getting over the misfortune of her romances with Jason Philips who became the Hobgoblin and Michael Morbius who became a vampire. She returns home to find her mother attacked by Doc Ock.

Thankfully, Spidey rescues Felicia and her mother Anastasia from the clutches of Doc Ock. Spidey does all he can to find out what bargain Felicia’s mother was making with Doc Ock. In the process, he learns that Felicia’s father was John Hardesky, who later happened out to be a crook called…the Cat!

Doc Ock soon finds himself working with the Kingpin and Dr. Landon as they free John Hardesky from S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters with the Chameleon’s help. This two-parter also features the return of Nick Fury and his S.H.I.E.L.D. team. They have been keeping Hardesky as a prisoner for protection.

Spidey/Peter learns during his research that Hardesky was working as a spy in 1943 (unbeknownst to him) for the Nazis to steal a super soldier formula that created Steve Rogers as Captain America. It was fascinating to see the origins story of Captain America being portrayed in this ‘Spider-Man’ tale.

The story of the Cat and the Black Cat featured in this ‘Spider-Man’ two-parter has been echoed lately in the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 game’s DLC content story called ‘The City That Never Sleeps’. I’m not sure if the TV story is faithfully adapted from the ‘Spider-Man’ comics, but I’m sure it’s a faithful adaptation.

The first episode of this two-parter concludes with Doc Ock capturing Felicia Hardy from her home. She’s brought to Wilson Fisk as the Kingpin at his headquarters. It’s there she’s reunited with her father. There was a nice flashback scene featuring Felicia as a little girl with her father in the story. 🙂

‘THE BLACK CAT’ (Part 2)

In the second episode called ‘The Black Cat’, Spidey becomes concerned about the whereabouts of Felicia Hardy and her mother Anastasia as they’ve been gone for days. He then runs into the Black Cat, who is actually Felicia Hardy that has taken the super soldier formula given to her by her father.

The Black Cat works unwillingly for the Kingpin to commit his crimes such as stealing diamonds. When Felicia’s the Black Cat, she sounds pretty confident and not very feminine as she used to be. She gets into a tangle with Spider-Man and can easily knock him out with a gas attack by surprise. 😀

There is a moment when the Black Cat is about to unmask Spider-Man, but she doesn’t in the end and plants a kiss on his lips. This second episode also explores more of Felicia’s relationship with her father John Hardesky. He does come across as a loving father and concerned for Felicia’s well-being.

In fact, John Hardkesy comes across as very noble compared to the criminal he’s made out to be as the Cat. He seems nobler than his depiction in the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 game’s DLC story ‘The City That Never Sleeps’. Soon, John Hardkesy gets Felicia/Black Cat escape from the Kingpin’s headquarters. 🙂

Felicia/Black Cat becomes determined to rescue her father from the Kingpin’s headquarters. She soon teams up with Spider-Man whilst he’s being chased by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. This is after Nick Fury discovers that Hardesky has been replaced by the Chameleon and he wishes to capture Spider-Man.

After their trouble with S.H.I.E.L.D. and stealing a motorcycle from someone ( 😀 ), Spidey and Black Cat work together to rescue John Hardesky from the Kingpin. In the process, John Hardesky also deletes the super soldier formula from the main computer to stop it being used in the wrong hands.

Doc Ock makes an appearance at the end of the episode, but it’s very brief when Spidey and Black Cat battle him. It does make him redundant and he probably didn’t need to be in the two-parter at all. John Hardesky reunites with Anastasia and Felicia before he’s taken back by Spidey to S.H.I.E.L.D.

‘The Cat’/’The Black Cat’ is an enjoyable two-parter introducing Spidey’s new ally in Felicia Hardy who’s now become the Black Cat. It’s peculiar that Spidey doesn’t realise that it’s Felicia underneath that mask. I mean, is it really hard to see through her mask? Perhaps her new white hair masks it. 😀

‘The Cat’/’The Black Cat’ rating – 8/10

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