You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough
Felicia grew up as the daughter of a world-famous cat burglar named Walter Hardy. Walter taught her to be confident and to seize life by the horns. Assaulted by her college boyfriend Ryan, Felicia began to train in martial arts and acrobatics, her ultimate goal to kill her rapist.
Before she could, Ryan was killed by a drunk driver. Unable to exact revenge against the man who ruined her life, Felicia became a cat burglar like her father, determined to be even better than he was. Donning a black costume and mask, she became the Black Cat and sought to steal from the world to replace what was taken from her.
Her first act as Black Cat was to break her dying father out of prison. Despite Spider-Man's interference, she succeeded; though Walter died at home shortly after.More frequent run-ins and even a romantic relationship with Spider-Man soon followed, and wanting to be his equal, she acquired her signature bad luck powers. What she didn't know is that her powers were provided by the Kingpin, and they came with a price.
Hard Luck Woman
Thanks to powers provided to her by the Kingpin, Felicia can negatively affect the fortunes of her enemies. In the same manner that a superstitious person believes misfortune can be caused by actual black cats, she can cause someone to trip, miss an attack, fall down, or hurt themselves, keeping her opponents from harming her in battle.
Before she sought out powers to try and be on equal footing with her love Spider-Man, the Black Cat was an ordinary, though highly-trained, cat burglar. Now, her powers make every encounter with her as unpredictable as possible, naturally making her very difficult to catch.
Other than Felicia's bad luck powers, Black Cat is an expert thief and skilled acrobat. She also has extensive knowledge of the criminal underground.
Give Us a Hiss
The Kingpin is chief among Black Cat's enemies. Not only is he the man behind her power upgrade (without her knowledge), but he's been known to manipulate her on many occasions. Since he gave her the powers, Kingpin feels like Felicia owes him. She, of course, doesn't see it that way. Black Cat once worked with superspy the Foreigner in a conspiracy to kill Spider-Man, even carrying on an affair with him and with Peter Parker simultaneously. She always planned to betray Foreigner in the end, and since he could kill her easily, she had to flee the country to escape his wrath.
Claws of the Cat
The life of a cat burglar is a solitary one, and though Felicia has temporary alliances with other criminals, there are only a few the Black Cat keeps close.
One notable exception, of course, is Spider-Man. Depending on the week, Spidey is either a friend, lover, or bitter enemy. Spider-Man is the first hero Black Cat encounters after beginning her career as a masked burglar, and Felicia develops a crush immediately. Not one to associate with criminals, it takes Spider-Man awhile to return the affection; but eventually, he is won over by Black Cat's charm. Misty Knight, though a former policewoman and hero for hire by trade, still manages to become good friends with Black Cat. Felicia is known to help Misty on cases and even join the same Super Hero team on occasion, including short stints with the Heroes for Hire and Fearless Defenders, with Misty overlooking some of Felicia's pettier crimes in return. Don't Cross Her Path
After kicking off her career in masked cat burglary, the Black Cat quickly drew the ire of Spider-Man, who didn't much care for masked burglars. Felicia's immediate infatuation took Peter Parker off guard, considering he never became comfortable with romantic attention from women. Despite Felicia's life of crime, they began an on-again, off-again romantic relationship that would last for several months. Felicia even considered giving up her life of crime for Spider-Man.
After the Black Cat was injured during a battle with Doctor Octopus and landed in the hospital in critical condition, Peter Parker decided he cared for Felicia enough to reveal his secret identity to her. He was met with bewilderment. Black Cat couldn't understand why Peter, despite his Spider-Man alter ego, continued to live his mundane, paycheck to paycheck life. To her, the life of a costumed thrill seeker was everything. There was no other half. She made Peter put the mask back on and leave it on as often as possible.
From then on, the Black Cat rejected and was hostile towards Peter Parker, while remaining in love with Spider-Man. Still, the Black Cat's lack of powers made her feel inadequate. When Spider-Man was sent to Battleworld by the Beyonder, Felicia sought out the same power broker that had given several criminal colleagues their abilities. Felicia was imbued with bad luck powers. But, unbeknownst to her, those powers were provided by her and Spider-Man's enemy, the Kingpin. As these powers began to affect and injure Spider-Man whenever she was around him, they were forced to break up, which is exactly what the Kingpin wanted. In fact, this bad luck began to surround Spider-Man permanently, forcing him to visit Doctor Strange to rid himself of it. Strange's magic had the side effect of morphing Felicia's powers into more cat-like abilities, including claws, speed and stealth.
A run-in with master spy the Foreigner followed. Though Felicia was severely outclassed, he did not kill her, but in fact offered Felicia a deal to kill Spider-Man. She agreed, planning to betray him later. She resumed her romance with Spider-Man, even moving in with Peter despite her ongoing affair with the Foreigner. Ultimately, though, her double-cross was revealed, and Felicia was forced to flee the country.
Returning to New York, Felicia was horrified to learn that Peter had married Mary Jane Watson in her absence. She began dating Peter's friend Flash Thompson to get back at Peter, but her revenge plan was subverted when her relationship with Flash blossomed into something genuine. She managed a friendship with Peter and even with Mary Jane, assisting Spider-Man against Carnage's war against the city. Unfortunately, Flash broke up with Felicia, revealing that he knew about her dual identity all along and believing it would eventually come between them.
During the Civil War that brutally divided Super Heroes, Felicia opted to register via the Superhuman Registration Act. Felicia then joined the re-formed Heroes for Hire, alongside Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, to apprehend unregistered heroes and villains.
After the Civil War ended, Black Cat joined up with the Fearless Defenders for a time, assisting her friend Misty once again. They battled the Doom Maidens alongside Valkyrie, Storm, Hellcat, Tigra and others.
Eventually, Felicia grew bored of the chase and began to save up for retirement. After running into Spider-Man, who was at this point Otto Octavius in Peter Parker's body, and getting punched in the mouth for her trouble, Felicia was motivated to become a crime boss, on the heels of Spider-Man's perceived betrayal.
Gathering allies like Electro, Scorpion and Hammerhead, Felicia began to amass power in the criminal underworld. Thanks to associate crime boss Mr. Negative, her bad luck powers were back and stronger than ever before, now powered by her ruthless mindset. Black Cat's burgeoning criminal empire dissolved after working with Spider-Man to take down rival Lee Price. Still retaining her bad luck powers, Black Cat operates as both a vigilante and burglar. Felicia Hardy has feline-based powers, including enhanced strength and agility, as well as bad luck aura to use against her opponents. Her powers later mutate, granting her extraordinary balance and retractable claws. Peak Human Strength: The Black Cat's costume increases her physical strength to levels beyond the natural limits of a woman of her weight and physical build. In fact, her strength is increased to the maximum of human potential, enabling her to lift approximately 800 lbs with maximum effort.
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"Another string of robberies continues to plague the lower west side with eye witness accounts saying the culprit believed to be a woman, despite previous reports of Spider-Man potentially being the suspect wanted for questioning."
Norman sneered at the television. Just the very mention of Spider-Man was enough to make his skin crawl, setting his teeth on edge. One way or another, the spider would be a muddled mess beneath his boot. The first step to achieving that plan was to conquer Oscorp again. Taking it by force wasn't an option this time, not if he wanted to have free reign and acquisition over the various resources at their disposal.
Suddenly, it clicked. His head snapped back to the television, the puzzle pieces falling into place. His last encounter with the spider, a young woman he called Felicia. The image replayed over and over in his head, recalling something in her hand. Could it have been the drives recently stolen? If so, she could easily aid him in taking back Oscorp. The only questions remaining were would she aid him and would he have to twist her arm to make it happen?
It took a considerable amount of work and data mining to narrow it down, but it could only be one Felicia. Her location varied, numerous sources giving different addresses and locations of possibility. Only one of them came back twice. Without another doubt in his mind, Norman took to the skies. In the midnight air, there was a freedom, a calming presence that soon would end with another reign of terror raining down from the heavenly sky above.
Hovering above the apartment complex that was likely where she resided, Norman silently descended onto the balcony adjacent to the sliding door. Inside, no visible signs of light. Either she was out roaming the streets like a cat prowling for a meal, or she was resting. Considering if his hunch was right, it must have been the former. Reaching out to the door handle, he gave it a tug, the lock not registered. "Hm," he muttered, hues narrowing as he entered through the door frame.
The door closed behind him, an audible thud echoing into the dormant air space. "Miss Hardy?" Norman called out, his head swinging from either end to observe the landscape, "My name is Norman Osborn, I mean you no harm." Combat boots thud against the wooden tiling, no sound stirring beyond that. Coming around the corner, Norman noticed the kitchen, one singular light lit over top of the sink.
Having crossed the distance, Norman found himself beneath the light's comforting warmth, sighing softly, a low, near inaudible growl lacing the sigh. In that instant, a moment of letting his guard down just slightly, he heard a shuffling noise behind him. Instinct took over, his hand reaching for one of the homemade explosive bombs attached to his belt. His weight shifted on the spot, arm raising and holding the bomb firm in his hand, now coming to discover the young woman standing behind him, arms crossed.
"I nearly blew you sky high, dear," he scoffed, lowering the bomb just slightly, "Sorry, a force of habit." Shrugging, he lowered the bomb lower, finger still hovering the activation panel. "Got a proposition for you, then I will be on my way," Norman leaned forward, his weight resting against the island in the center of the kitchen, "You're gonna help me get Oscorp back." Felicia made her way from the darkened corner of the room, debating if it was worthwhile to help the old man. After all, he was Spider-man's sworn enemy. Maybe that was reason enough?
"What's in it for me?" she asked, the subtle light bringing her into view. Norman just smirked, pressing his weight off the island, "That, my dear, is for you to answer, anything you want, name your price."