Marvel has added another character to its LGBT+ pantheon by seemingly confirming Spider-Man’s sometimes lover and ally, Black Cat, is queer.
The legendary comic book publisher has been hinting for a while that Felicia Hardy – Black Cat’s real name – has been part of the LGBT+ community. Marvel revealed earlier this year it would be releasing a series of comic variant covers to celebrate Pride Month which features “some of Marvel’s most popular LGBTQ+ heroes”. One of these covers featured Hardy/Black Cat, whose sexual orientation has yet to be made explicit.
However, Marvel has confirmed that Hardy is queer in Black Cat #7, which will be published on Wednesday (2 June). BleedingCool reported the soon-to-be-published comic explores Hardy’s sexuality a bit further by featuring Hardy locking lips with another woman.
The comic focuses on Hardy dealing with the New York City branch of the Thieves Guild – a global secret society of criminals. As part of her ongoing struggle with the Thieves Guild, Hardy comes face-to-face with Odessa Drake, who is the leader of the New York branch. The comic hints that the two have become romantically involved as their war is “put to bed”.
In leaked panels on BleedingCool, Hardy and Drake can be seen staring into each other’s eyes before they eventually share a passionate kiss with the New York City skyline in the background. But the text on the page reveals that Hardy doesn’t think that she sees a “future” with Drake, who is a “beautiful woman with her own obsessions”.
Black Cat has been part of Spider-Man’s supporting casts since her first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #194 in 1979. Hardy, who is the daughter of a world-renowned cat burglar, has used her gymnastic abilities and martial arts skills to follow in her father’s footsteps. Throughout her appearance in the Marvel universe, Hardy has sometimes been an enemy, love interest and ally to Spider-Man.
Marvel has previously hinted that Hardy might have had relationships with other women. Fans were introduced to Hardy’s old “friend” in 2020’s Black Cat #10. The comic contained a flashback in which Hardy and Blake are being taught the art of thievery by their mentor – the master thief, the Fox. In one panel, the two women can be seen sneakily holding hands underneath a table while listening to the Fox.
Black Cat #5, which was published in April, featured a heart-to-heart discussion between Hardy and the Fox, according to screenshots shared by ScreenRant. Fox and Hardy are seemingly discussing her future as a professional thief and what this could mean for her relationship with Blake.
The Fox asked Hardy if she had “told Ms Blake” about her decisions for the future as the man says he knows the two women have “grown quite close”.
Hardy paused before she admits that she has to “do this myself”. She added that “Tamara’s not ready”, and Hardy says she can’t “risk her getting pinched if it goes wrong”.
“She won’t forgive me for this,” Hardy said.
The Fox then replied: “A young heart is easily broken, my dear. But likewise, it will mend easily, with time.”