Black Cat’s Comic Book Powers Were Too ‘Ridiculous’ For Spider-Man: The Animated Series

In the comics, Felicia Hardy was pretty much Marvel’s answer to DC’s Catwoman. Not unlike Selina Kyle, Felicia is a skilled cat burglar; the daughter of a renowned thief. In her early days as Black Cat, she has no powers to speak of. She’s pretty much getting by on her cunning, her drive, and her hard-won physical strength and agility. But all that changed in Bill Mantlo and Al Milgrom’s “Spectacular Spider-Man” #89. After making a deal with the Kingpin and subjecting herself to a scientific experiment, Felicia comes away with the gift of tychokinesis. It’s essentially a means of probability manipulation, meaning that Felicia was able to “project” bad luck onto her enemies. It’s a fitting power for someone who goes by the moniker of Black Cat — but to Semper, it didn’t have any place in the animated series.

John Semper spoke to Marvel Animation Age (via DCAnimated) all about his take on Felicia Hardy. The producer had no love for her tychokinetic ability: “I always though that having somebody project ‘bad luck’ on somebody else as a ‘super power’ — the Black Cat’s super-power in the comic books — was ridiculous,” he explained. Semper chose to switch up her backstory in a way that connected her to Erskine’s original serum. In the animated series, Felicia’s father, John Hardesky, finds himself in Erskine’s lab during World War II. His photographic memory allowed him to memorize the super soldier formula before the Erskine’s death and the destruction of all his research. Decades later, Kingpin captured him and forced him to replicate the serum, which he later used on Felicia.

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