Rewind Review – The Amazing Spider-Man #16.HU (Marvel)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artwork: Iban Coello
Colours: Edgar Delgado
Release Date: 6th March 2019 (available on ComiXology)

Making the bold decision to relegate its title character to a series of emotionally-charged flashback sequences, Nick Spencer’s storyline for this first of four Hunted related bonus issues instead gave his 52,961 readers in March 2019 a fascinating insight into the turbulent world of the Black Cat, as Felicia Hardy tries to single-handedly right so many of the wrongs she committed whilst “becoming the Queenpin of Crime” and “running the New York underworld with Hammerhead as my right hand.”

Such a marketing ploy, which resulted in Marvel publishing no less than three different editions of The Amazing Spider-Man in a single month, could easily have oversaturated an audience already awash with other spider-related heroes in their Pull Lists. Yet such is the enthralling nature of the American author’s twenty-page plot that this particular comic is arguably crucial viewing for either a fan of the feline burglar or anyone intrigued as to just how Kraven The Hunter managed to ‘acquire’ his menagerie of “criminals who dare claim affinity with the beasts of the wild.”

For starters, Spencer provides plenty of evidence to show just how formidable a fighter the Black Cat can be when she has a  lot of “unchecked aggression” that she needs to get out of her system right now. Enraged by her returning memories of Peter Parker and the break-up of their intimate relationship, Hardy is clearly as savage a street-level combatant as she is viciously clawed. Indeed, she wades through Hammerhead’s minions like they were playing pieces in a board game and even manages to momentarily gain the upper hand when faced with the combined might of Taskmaster and the Black Ant, courtesy of a well-thrown flash grenade.

However, this tome isn’t simply about Iban Coello pencilling plenty of pulse-pounding bouts of pugilism, but also shows just how kind-hearted Felicia is determined to become despite all her deep, dark misgivings. Initially fooling herself into believing that she’ll leave poor Billy Connors trapped sobbing within a small cage so that another “do-gooder in tights” can rescue him, her subsequent decision to save the boy at the cost of her own well-being is dramatically-penned, and definitely gets the heart-racing when the entire scenario is revealed to have been a trap orchestrated by the Black Cat’s former lieutenant in the Maggia; “Hey, Boss. I told ‘em I’d only help if I got to watch.”


The writer of this piece was: Blax Kleric
Blax Tweets from @Blaxkleric
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

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