Iron Cat #1 (July 2022)
Writer – Jed Mackay
Artist – Pere Perez
I took a much-needed day off on Halloween to travel to a few comic book stores around the Pittsburgh area to start Christmas shopping for friends and family. One of the comics I grabbed as a gift for a friend was Iron Cat #1. (Just don’t tell them I read it before I gave it to them. Thanks!)
Felicia Hardy is after the Gavrilov diamond and reminisces about the first time she tried to steal it twelve years ago. Back then, she was aided by her mentor, the Black Fox, and her close friend and fellow thief, Tamara Blake. As she readies to open the vault, she’s interrupted by a phone call from Tony Stark. The Armored Avenger thinks Felicia stole the upgraded Iron Cat armor but she pleads her innocence to Tony. Felicia’s heist takes a dangerous turn as a security alarm blares and the Black Cat comes face to face with the pilot of the armor. Felicia must try to stay alive long enough to find out who is wearing the armor and out for revenge.
When you think of the greatest team-ups in Marvel Comics history, no one would have thought to pair the Black Cat and Iron Man but for some reason, it surprisingly works. Every character Jed Mackay has been working with over the past few years has been reenergized and reinvigorated thanks to his attention and care. He has shown a lot of love for Dr. Strange and Moon Knight, for example, and has breathed new life into Felicia Hardy’s characterization. This was much needed after her villainous turn in the pages of the Amazing Spider-Man. Pere Perez and Frank D’Armata work well together diving into Felicia’s past as she tried to steal the Gavrilov diamond in Carnelia and her attempt to get “the one treasure that got away” in the present. D’Armata uses lighter shades of color to represent the past, while maintaining a darker tone for the here and now. This works better than having two different artists work on the same book.
This comic is so much fun and the love/hate relationship between Felicia and Tony is on full display in this issue. They must begrudgingly work together to retrieve the Iron Cat armor before its user does enough damage to ruin both Tony and Felicia’s reputations. I was very surprised that the reveal of this new Iron Cat happened in the first issue of this miniseries. Normally a plot twist this big usually happens around Issue Three to set up the final two issues. It is nice to see this tried-and-true template turned on its head. By revealing the identity of Iron Cat in Issue One, we can learn more about the character’s backstory and understand the motivation for their evil machinations against the World’s Great Cat Burglar.
Next Issue – “THE CAT’S OUT OF THE BAG! Iron Cat has it out for Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, and will stop at nothing to tear Felicia down. Meanwhile, all hell has broken loose at Stark Unlimited after Iron Cat broke in to steal the armor. Iron Man and Black Cat join forces to stop their mutual enemy! This is one team-up you do NOT want to miss!”