Marvel's Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes #1 Review

by Harlan Ivester on January 15, 2020

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Luca Maresca
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            The Heist was my overall favorite of the DLC content for Spider-Man PS4. Simple as they were, I enjoyed the tag team mechanics of fighting alongside Felicia, the story hadn’t become totally ridiculous yet, and perhaps more importantly, I just love me some Black Cat. Sadly, she was hardly seen after the 2 or so hours(?) of content centered around her. Maybe a comic book retelling is just what we need to feel complete.

            If you’ve been itching to relive that story, for whatever reason, but just haven’t had the time to sit down with your Playstation and boot it up, then perhaps Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes is right for you. I didn’t read the City at War comics, so I’m not sure if they worked the same way, but the first issue of Black Cat Strikes is half new content, with the rest being the opening of the DLC. That new content is pretty standard Peter-meets-Felicia fanfare, but I enjoyed it nonetheless (because I just love me some Black Cat). There are definitely a few moments where Hopeless’s dialogue feels off, though. He writes Peter well, but occasionally Felicia says something that feels so slightly off. Her line about consent doesn’t feel something anybody would actually say. His Wilson Fisk is noticeably casual in his demeanor, and I don’t think it’s just because he’s only wearing a towel. Overall, I enjoyed the writing here, even if the dialogue took me out of it once or twice.

            Luca Maresca and Rachelle Rosenberg are a great team. Marsca doensn’t get the chance to show us anything particularly amazing, but through awesome vantage points, even the most mundane events can become a spectacle. If I have to knock it for something, I will say that the afterimages that connect the dots in the action don’t really flow together too well. Still, there’s strong force in every swing and kick. Spidey’s eyes aren’t too expressive; Maresca relies more on body language for acting and pulls it off well. I would argue that that’s harder to do. Rosenberg is always paying close attention to where the lights are at, which I can always appreciate. Especially in a book that takes place in New York City at night, it makes a huge difference. The dynamics really make the pages feel like a high-budget, well animated cartoon.

            The Black Cat Strikes #1 is a really solid first issue. I was surprised to find how much new content there was in the story, even if it’s very standard for Spider-Man. The dialogue is weird at times, but those of us that are here for the Peter/Felicia tension will be happy. Maresca & Rosenberg give this book a major advantage with crisp, fluid visuals that bring the scene to life. I’m going to go boot up my PS4 now.

Our Score:


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