Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: C.F. Villa
Color Artist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Ferran Delgado
Felicia Hardy’s heist days have come to end. Unsurprisingly, the Black Cat has gone out in style. The Giant-Sized farewell looks to involve Felicia working over a trio of Infinity Stone-empowered youngsters at the behest of Dr. Doom. But looks can be deceiving, and Jed MacKay has some (heartwarming) surprises in store for readers.
The final Black Cat story could have used an extra issue or two to tell properly. But MacKay manages his time well and C.F. Villa’s art is some of the best in the business.
This Black Cat was a very fun book at its best, but it spent too much time bouncing around art teams and narrative asides to get a proper rhythm. Even the Black Fox arc was split up by the Dark Reign interruption and the switch between volumes. Things happen and evaporate–like Black Cat’s nemesis-turned-lover-turned-where’d-she-go? dance with Odessa Drake. And the book could have also benefited from a few more one-off heists–Black Cat’s invasion of Dr. Stranger’s manor and her Madripoor jaunt with Wolverine were series highs.
Unfortunately, the book felt it was really getting its feet under it with the Infinity Score arc, integrating Black Cat’s increasingly ambitious heists with the larger Marvel universe. On the brighter side, Felicia Hardy has been a charming and lethal character for the duration of the series, and she scores a few big Wins in the Infinity Score finale.
C.F. Villa draws exceptionally well. His rakish, polished style doesn’t just suit Felicia Hardy, it acclimates the atmosphere of the book to her. I really hope he continues to draw this character in the future. Villa’s facial expressions are hilarious. His character designs bold and elegant, his action both slick and cartoonish. There’s a particularly striking page depicting multiple shoot outs and super battles spread across four floors of a hospital staffed entirely by SHIELD agents. It’s an ebullient climax for a book all about fun and heart.
In the closing pages, there’s a tease regarding Black Cat and the Thunderbolts. And while the last image of the book suggests freedom, as ever, is Felicia’s next destination, the former would be an intriguing change of pace for our favorite thief.
Giant-Sized Black Cat: Infinite Score
Giant-Sized is one of the most fun, best looking issues in a book all about fun, style, and heart. I'd love to see Villa draw Felicia again, maybe as part of a Thunderbolts roster.