Consistently published since the 1960s, Spider-Man’s cast has grown enormous. While many of his supporting characters joined him on the big screen, one glaring hole remains. Felicia Hardy, AKA Black Cat, has yet to be adapted, and several fans want to see her in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, other fans are more hesitant.
Felicia Hardy AKA Black Cat is not the same as Catwoman
A list of similar Marvel and DC characters could fill its own article.
The Batman villain Catwoman is a cat-themed cat burglar (get it) dressed in black. Meanwhile, Spider-Man’s Black Cat is a cat-themed cat burglar dressed in black.
The casual audience’s confusion is understandable.
However, the major difference is where these two fall on the hero-villain scale. Catwoman, more often than not, plays the part of a villain through and through. Felicia Hardy, while often a thief, has played more of an antihero for most of her existence.
Meeting Spider-Man and developing a certain dynamic, she realized that she could not both side with him and steal at the same time.
This lead to a unique relationship with the webhead that few other Marvel characters can rival.
However, while Spider-Man and Black Cat have fantastic storytelling potential, this might not be the best time for Black Cat to make her film debut.
Black Cat’s personality is very flirtatious
There are a million egregious examples of women in comics positioned in back-breaking poses or existing as little more than props for male counterparts.
Filmmakers have tried pushing away from this to develop more rounded female characters. Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman are two fantastic examples of this shift for stronger women.
However, sometimes this is overcorrected.
A large part of Black Cat’s charm in the comics lies in her playful relationship with Spider-Man. Very few characters in Marvel can leave him speechless. Black Cat, however, frequently teases and flirts with him solely because she knows his attraction to her.
Much like how some fans believe Venom cannot be accurately portrayed with a PG-13 rating, stripping Black Cat’s penchant for innuendos away would be a huge loss to her character.
Even if Marvel kept her risqué personality, given that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man still attends high school, she would likely be aged down. A minor making frequent sexual advances does not really match the tone and attitude of Marvel’s films.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe could still include her edgier nature, it would need to be toned way down to a point where she might not even feel like the same character.
Felicia Hardy is a more grounded hero
Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness dives into an increasingly complicated cosmic world.
A grounded cat burglar like Black Cat does not make the most sense to bring in at this time. Characters with more capabilities to explore the stars, alternate Earths, or the quantum realm seem to be Marvel’s focus. While she has previously obtained luck-based power, Felicia Hardy rarely has the equipment to fight a multiversal threat.
However, an argument could be made against this point.
The upcoming Disney+ show She-Hulk follows another often grounded character. And after all, the multiverse has literally infinite possibilities, so a totally new version of these characters could still be seen.
The pros and cons for Black Cat
Things inevitably change from page to screen. However, when a character goes through so much change, is it even the same person anymore?
If Felicia Hardy, AKA Black Cat, came to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, several changes would likely make the character unrecognizable.
Though, there is another Spider-Man universe active.
Sony’s Venom looks to expand into other characters like Kraven the Hunter and Morbius. There is still debate over if Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will appear in Sony films. Some older sources, like the Independant, reported that the character was already de-confirmed for the MCU.
If not, Felicia Hardy might provide the perfect candidate. A previously canceled movie starring Black Cat signals that Sony has an interest in adapting her to film.
While the feline antihero might not fit the Marvel Cinematic Universe, perhaps Sony could take a second look at Black Cat in the future.