Black Cat #10 Review

by Charles Martin on September 29, 2021

Black Cat #10 Review
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: C.F. Villa
Colourist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Ferran Delgado
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Jed MacKay has had a good run on Black Cat -- two of them, in fact. #10 is the end of this volume, but it's not quite the end of the story.

Still to come is Giant-Size Black Cat: Infinity Score, and this issue serves mainly as a set-up for that one. 

Felicia's done a fair job so far at collecting the new Infinity Stone people, but aside from start-and-finish check-ins with Quantum and Star, they don't figure much into the adventure at hand.

This issue is more about refining the Cat's supporting cast, setting up adversaries and allies for the big finale. We get Nick Fury Jr. dogging the protagonist's steps until he's chased off by a welcome returnee (no spoilers!).

More to the point, the meat of this issue is given over to Nighthawk. The AU Nighthawk fresh out of Heroes Reborn, to be specific. He knows Felicia -- okay, he knows a Felicia -- and he's got a sinister interest in her current stone-collecting project.

As an aside, can I bring up what a raw deal Nighthawk has gotten over the decades? Because creators keep rebooting the Squadron Supreme to their "knockoff Justice League" factory settings, Nighthawk (all of the Supremes, but him especially) has been consistently inconsistent. At one point I researched him online and discovered there have been no less than six different AU Nighthawks imported to the main Marvel universe. And that was a couple of years ago; I bet we're up to seven or eight Nighthawks now.

Anyway! Nighthawk VII/VIII here is firmly of the opinion that his Heroes Reborn universe was superior to the 616. And he believes that the Infinity Stones his sorta-ex-girlfriend is collecting could be the key to getting his universe back.

As befits the stage-setting nature of this issue, Jed MacKay adeptly whisks Nighthawk away as soon as his goals and motivations are established. Resolution will have to wait for the Giant-Size follow-up.

The author also delivers the usual helping of exquisite Felicia narration -- it's the constant that has borne this volume and the last one aloft at the highest levels of quality. By this point, with years of experience under his belt, Mr. MacKay is a master at portraying Felicia Hardy.

I'm gonna miss that voice when this is all over.

The script certainly doesn't scrimp on the action. Nighthawk introduces himself by chasing down Felicia in an extremely acrobatic fashion, and Nick Fury Jr. is pressing his opposition to Felicia in "helicopter gunship" style tonight. So there's plenty of jumping, shooting, dodging and diving to go around.

That suits the talents of artist C.F. Villa, who is good with faces but truly great with action scenes. He builds several great chains of action panels here, smoothly conveying the physicality of the story while also giving the characters (Felicia in particular) plenty of attractive spotlight moments.

Colourist Brian Reber pops the cherry on top of the visual sundae with an excellent nighttime palette. The characters pop against subdued backgrounds, but Mr. Reber uses a lot of yellow for both city lights and exciting highlights like gunfire.

Another aside -- I wonder if colourists find it more or less challenging to work with a mostly monochrome character like Black Cat? Mr. Reber would be the man to ask; I think he's handled every single issue for this volume and the last.

For a final issue, Black Cat #10 is surprisingly open-ended, but that's reasonable given the fact the creators will get one last hurrah in the upcoming GS Black Cat. What this issue delivers is another exquisitely rendered portrait of Felicia Hardy, fully demonstrating the storytelling skills that have made this run great. This comic also shows who the key players will be in the big finish -- although a few twists and surprises would hardly be out of place.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
It's a pity there's no space here for a check-in with Overtime. I kinda like that guy.