La Chat Noir: Spider-Gwen #5

Spider-Gwen #5, Robbi Rodriguez, Marvel, 2015

Spider-Gwen #5: Most Wanted Part 5Spider-Gwen #5, Robbi Rodriguez, Marvel, 2015

Jason Latour (Scripter), Robbi Rodriguez (Penciller) Rico Renzi (Colourist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer) Robbi Rodriguez (Cover Artist)
Marvel Comics

This is actually the last issue of Spider-Gwen (for now) because of Marvel’s Secret Wars event. Gwen’s story will be continuing in the Secret Wars Spider-Verse series and post-Secret Wars in a new series. But for now this is the end. All of which is rather annoying since we’re very much in the middle of a fantastic plot arc.

In this issue, Felicia Hardy (a.k.a Black Cat) makes her Spider-Gwen debut! Like this universe’s Gwen and May Jane, Felicia is pursuing a career in music. She used to play in the band with The Mary Janes, but now she’s struck out on her own and formed Felicia and the Black Cats, and she has invited The Mary Janes to open for her.

Spider-Gwen #5, Robbi Rodriguez, Marvel, 2015And The Mary Janes have grudgingly agreed to perform. Not because they’re friends or because they actually believe Felicia is trying to help them out. But because whatever her intention may be, it’s an opportunity they can’t ignore.

Before the concert, however, the story breaks for a short comic within the comic -“Le Vengeance de Chat Noir.” For a few pages the comic changes from the usual punk rock style to something a little more Triplets of Bellville, in order to share a little more about Felicia’s history. I thought this brief interlude was a unique way to give more insight into her character, instead of simply casting her into the usual femme fatale role creators often shove her into.

In many ways Felicia and The Mary Janes are two sides of the same coin. Which in some ways is how it’s always been with the women in Peter Parker’s life. Only, instead of Peter being at the centre of it all, it’s now all about them. At the end of the day they’re both fighting for the same end result – a career in music. They’re just motivated by different causes, the Mary Janes are in it for the music and the art, Felicia is after the fame and fortune.

At the show, however, things don’t go as planned for The Mary Janes. Before they can wow the crowds, Felicia and her “Black Cats” interrupt and a fight quickly breaks out between them, Matt Murdock and his ninjas, who are skulking about in the crowd.

Spider-Gwen #5, Robbi Rodriguez, Marvel, 2015

What follows is a few pages of beautiful chaos. It’s clear that Hardy and Murdock have history, but not clear what finally pushed this confrontation and why the Mary Janes needed to be there to witness it (other than giving Gwen an excuse to show up in time). It’s not until near the end of the fight that Felicia lets it slip that Murdock killed her father, adding yet another layer to her character.

Spider-Gwen #5, Robbi Rodriguez, Marvel, 2015

Gwen’s quips were a little off this issue (calling Matt Murdock, ‘Murderdock’ was particularly groan-worthy). And I’m still not entirely sure I understand what he’s up to. But this issue was really more about Felicia than it was about Gwen and I hope we get to see more of her character when the series comes back after Secret Wars.

Christa Seeley

Christa Seeley

Books Editor. Maple Flavoured Darth Vader Fangirl.