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1982-02-01 00:01:15
Previous:
Team America #2
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Box 16/EiC: Jim Shooter/1982
Next:
Marvel Team-Up #115-116

Amazing Spider-Man #226-227

Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #226, Amazing Spider-Man #227
Published Date: Mar-Apr 82
Title: "But the cat came back..." / "Goin' straight!"
Credits:
Roger Stern - Writer
John Romita Jr. - Penciler
Jim Mooney - Inker
Tom DeFalco - Editor

Review/plot:
It turns out that the Black Cat was just faking her insanity during her last appearance. She still is obsessed with Spider-Man, but not quite to the degree that she pretended to. She escapes from the mental hospital she was placed in (we're introduced to the hospital as the Foolkiller from last issue is brought in).

Spider-Man catches up with her...

...and tries to convince her to go straight. He even makes the case to Jean DeWolff that she should be given a chance.

But the Cat doesn't believe that there can be redemption for her so she continues to try to break the law and lure Spidey in with her. So by the time the DA approves DeWolff's request for amnesty, it's too late and she's gone too far. She's presumed dead at the end of the issue, having seemingly chosen to drown over being taken to the police by Spider-Man.

Peter acknowledges that he's still broken up over Gwen Stacy's death and that's why he's been unable to move forward with any of the women in his life. That's why he decides to give it a go with the Black Cat.

I think the fact that this is a relationship that he can pursue as Spider-Man instead of Peter Parker is also a factor.

Despite the fact that she seemingly dies at the end of this arc, this is, of course, the beginning of a legitimate (i.e., non-stalker) long term relationship between Spidey and the Cat.

There's a good little gag at a costume party. Spider-Man as Jawa.

And another where, while on a high after his dates with Felicia, he cranks out his mid-term paper in a single sitting.

Quality Rating: B+

Historical Significance Rating: 3 - continuing developments for the Black Cat.

Chronological Placement Considerations: In order to accommodate a reference syncing Amazing Spider-Man #229 with Fantastic Four #241 and Avengers #219, a number of Amazing Spider-Man issues have been moved back in publication time.

References:

Cross-over: N/A

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: N/A

Inbound References (3): show

Characters Appearing: Black Cat, Debra Whitman, Foolkiller II, Jean DeWolff, Marcy Kane, Morris Sloan, Phillip Chang, Spider-Man

Previous:
Team America #2
Up:
Main
Box 16/EiC: Jim Shooter/1982
Next:
Marvel Team-Up #115-116

Comments

Stern writes the best black cat, as she always should have been written. Only playing at being a loon, not a real loon as later portrayed by Mantlo.
As always the liitle touches go a long way. We learn that to go out in public, Felicia has to wear a brunette wig (makes sense as her hair colour would make her easy to spot. Also she makes for a smoking brunette)

Stern definitely wrote a better Black Cat than Mantlo. I was getting whiplash during the "I want to see you without your mask/Put your mask back on!" period.

That bit with the overweight nurse losing her focus because she's drooling/stuffing her face at a candy machine, while standard, is still cringe-worthy in these more sensitive times.

Stern's Black Cat is fantastic! I like Mantlo as an action writer but good god he just doesn't like women and mental illness!


 
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