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Black Cat

Real Name: Felicia Hardy
Occupation: Adventurer, former burglar
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with a criminal record, granted legal amnesty
Identity: Known to legal authorities
Former Aliases
: Felicity Harmon
Place of Birth
: Queens, New York
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Walter (father, deceased), Lydia (mother)
Group Affiliation: Former partner of Spider-Man
Base of Operations: New York City
First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194

History: Learning that her father had been an infamous cat burglar, Felicia Hardy decided to follow in his footsteps. She undertook a rigorous training program that increased her strength, endurance, and agility, learned such criminal skills as lock picking and safecracking, and gained a knowledge of martial arts such as karate. Donning a costume to conceal her identity, she set out to seek her fortune as the Black Cat.

In keeping her chosen nom du crime, the Black Cat decided to create the impression in her adversaries’ mind that she could give them “bad luck” through some power of her own. Hence, before committing a crime in a certain area, she would carefully prepare objects in the same area so that apparent “accidents” would befall any of her pursuers later on. For example, she would rig brick walls so that they would collapse, prepare ropes so that they would break, and rig fire escapes so that they would fall. Through trick such as these, she managed to convince her principal opponent, Spider-Man, that she did indeed have the powers to affect probability.

Upon finally being captured, the Black Cat feigned insanity, and some time later escaped imprisonment. She had become greatly attracted to Spider-Man, and joined him battling criminals, thereby winning amnesty from the New York City legal authorities for her own past crimes. She sought to become the regular crime fighting partner of Spider-Man, who had by now reciprocated her love for him, going so far even as to reveal his secret identity to her. However, she revealed to him that she had no superhuman powers, and, after she had severely injured in one of his clashes with Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man considered it to be too dangerous for her to join him in fighting his superhuman adversaries.

Distraught, the Black Cat determined to gain superhuman powers by some means. Meanwhile, the Kingpin, the most powerful organized crime leader on the East Coast, sought vengeance on the Black Cat. She had stolen a detonator for a nuclear device from him that had later fallen into the hand of Doctor Octopus. Feeling helpless to stop Octopus, Kingpin vowed to punish the Black Cat for her theft of the detonator. Concealing his identity from her, the Kingpin offered to grant the Black Cat superhuman powers in exchange for her services. The Black Cat suspected that her unknown benefactor was a criminal, but accepted the offer, telling herself that she would turn him over to the law after fulfilling her debt to him.

The scientists in the employ of her benefactor discovered that the Black Cat had latent abilities within her genes, and were able to activate those powers, using information from the notes of the late Dr. Farley Stillwell, who had given the Fly and the Scorpion their superhuman abilities. She now had the power to cause her adversaries “bad luck” that she had only pretended to possess before, Moreover, the Black Cat’s agility and speed had also been enhanced. Only after she received these powers did the Black Cat learn that her benefactor was the Kingpin.

At first the Black Cat concealed the origin of her new powers from Spider-Man, but eventually he learned that the Kingpin was responsible for them. The Black Cat then confronted the Kingpin, who informed her that he had given her, her powers in order to get revenge both on her and on Spider-Man. The Kingpin revealed to her that her powers would, in time, bring “bad luck” to any one who was regularly in her presence. Indeed, Spider-Man had been uncharacteristic clumsy recently when near the Cat. The Kingpin said that the Cat’s powers would increasingly affect Spider-Man the more time she stayed with him, and implied that the end result would be Spider-Man’s death.

The Kingpin pledged to Spider-Man never again to force the Black Cat to do his bidding. The Black Cat decided that, to save Spider-Man’s life, she would end her affair and partnership with him, but before she could tell him this, he put an end to them himself due to his dissatisfaction with her amorality and her disdain for his life apart from being Spider-Man.

The exact whereabouts and present activities of the Black Cat are unknown.

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 120 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Platinum blonde

Strength Level: The Black Cat possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: The Black Cat has certain superhuman powers which are the result of latent mutations which were activated by radiation and chemical injections.

Her principal power enables her subliminally and psionically to affect probability fields, causing improbable (but not impossible) things to occur within her line of sight. This phenomenon can cause walls and ceilings to collapse, ropes to break, machinery to explode, guns to backfire, and people to drop their weapons, or collide with each other. This talent would seem to be a natural unconsciously controlled ability to manipulate probabilities in extremely localized areas, which is triggered when she is in a stressful situation (such as fighting or escaping). Although the Black Cat cannot consciously control her ability, she can activate it by putting herself in a position in which she could be harmed. The Black Cat's power ordinarily only cause such improbable events to befall people or objects which intended to cause her harm. However, over a period of time, her power will increasingly come to affect anyone who spends a great deal of time near her, regardless of that person's intensions toward her. Hence, that person will also fall victim to those distortions of probability fields.

The Black Cat's power always adversely affects its target; it never affects probability so as to bring them "good luck."

Abilities: The Black Cat has trained herself to be an Olympic level athlete with superb gymnastic skills. She is extremely agile, able to execute complicated flips, springs, and rolls with minimal effort. She is nimble footed and possesses excellent reflexes. She moves with the grace and stealth of her namesake. She has been known to do standing high jumps of almost six feet and standing broad jumps of nearly ten feet. The Black Cat has a black belt in karate and judo, making her proficient in unarmed combat.

Weapons: The Black Cat sometimes carries a length of cable which can be strung between buildings and walked on like a tightrope, or use simply to swing on. The cable is attached to a grappling hook. She once used a cable which terminated in a super-adhesive ball, but has since abandoned the device for reasons undisclosed.

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