The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding at a far faster rate than anybody could have expected — including, it seems, Marvel’s visionary CEO, Kevin Feige! Spider-Man: homecoming Producer Amy Pascal shocked the world when she revealed that Sony’s upcoming Spider-villain films, Venom and Silver & Black, would be “adjuncts” to the #MCU, in a statement that has left fans fascinated.
As surprising as this news may be for #Marvel fans across the world, it's time to take a quick look at these two ladies' comic book histories, and see if we can't find clues to the film's potential plot.
The Comic Book History Of Black Cat
Created by Marv Wolfman and Dave Cockrum back in 1979, the Black Cat — a.k.a. Felicia Hardy — is one of Spider-Man’s sexiest supervillains. She’s a sneak-thief who traditionally dons a form-fitting leather catsuit with a cleavage-revealing V split running down the middle (some artists have drawn the V as running down as low as her navel). Contrary to popular belief, Wolfman didn’t set out to create a Marvel version of Catwoman — he was inspired by a Tex Avery cartoon, Bad Luck Blackie, which featured a black cat. Black Cat was originally intended to be a nemesis for Spider-Woman, but Wolfman brought the character with him when he took over Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man book.
The character was heavily adapted to work in Spider-Man’s world; she became Felicia Hardy, daughter of a world-renowned cat-burglar and a student at Empire State University — the same University Peter Parker attended at the time. In 2002, writer / director Kevin Smith retconned her origin to include her being raped while a freshman at ESU; Felicia became determined never to be a victim again, and trained in combat.
Felicia first became the Black Cat when her father was imprisoned, and she attempted to rescue him; tragically, she failed. The relationship between this young cat-burglar and Spider-Man was a fascinating one, as they navigated the choppy waters of being adversaries, whilst also being deeply attracted to one another. Spider-Man has always been convinced that the Black Cat could be redeemed, and he even managed to get her criminal record expunged at one point. It was only after a particularly dramatic team-up against Doctor Octopus that the two finally began dating, and Spider-Man even revealed his secret identity to her.
Their relationship didn’t work out, not least because Felicia doubted that Peter could ever be happy with a non-superhuman. She underwent an experiment to grant her "bad luck powers," giving her the ability to negatively impact the luck of others — for instance, making their guns misfire, or improbably trip up over their own feet. Thanks to a little nudge from Doctor Strange, these powers were enhanced, giving her superhuman strength, speed, and agility, as well as razor-sharp claws.
Black Cat didn’t initially take Peter’s marriage to Mary-Jane well, but eventually became a close friend of both. She remained at Spider-Man’s side during the famous Maximum Carnage arc, and was close at hand when Peter revealed his secret identity to the world during Civil War. Unfortunately, when Spider-Man did a deal with Mephisto to restore his secret identity, it seemed to rewrite a lot of Felicia’s past; at the very least, she forgot all her history with Peter Parker.
Most recently, the Black Cat has become an outright crime lord in New York, spurred on to prove herself after she believed Spider-Man turned her in to the police (in reality Spider-Man’s body was possessed by Doctor Octopus at the time). She’s been a major recurring character across the whole Spider-Man range of late — and a dangerous foe indeed.
The Comic Book History Of Silver Sable
Created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz back in 1985, Silver Sable is a mercenary who typically leads a group known as the Wild Pack. She’s a fascinating character, whose mercenary enterprises actually drive the economy of her homeland, the fictional country Symkaria. She’s often portrayed as a hero, but Silver Sable’s background is dark and dangerous; her father led a Nazi-hunting group, and was killed before her eyes. As a result of her harsh upbringing, Silver Sable mostly represses her emotions, although occasionally she surrenders to her rage.
As we learned in a short Silver Sable and the Wild Pack series in the '90s, Sable's career is carefully watched over by her uncle Morty; she channels a lot of the money she raises into ensuring a comfortable upbringing for her niece, Anna.
Silver Sable is a highly active mercenary, and has teamed up with (or opposed) Spider-Man many times; as the years have passed, she's learned to trust the wall-crawler, and there have even been hints at a romantic affection between the two. We've often seen Spider-Man work alongside members of the Wild Pack (Silver sable even hired him on a couple of occasions). In an emotional twist, the mercenary was believed to have died during the Ends of the Earth event, when she helped battle against Doctor Octopus's insane plan to hold the world hostage. She's recently resurfaced, though, much to the surprise of Spidey and readers alike.
A Subtle Tie Between Silver Sable And The Black Cat
Silver Sable and Black Cat have never been tied together directly in the comics before. That said, they do have one surprising connection; in the Silver Sable and the Wild Pack series, we learned Silver Sable was briefly married to the Foreigner. He's a skilled mercenary and assassin, and one of the greatest hand-to-hand combatants in the Marvel Universe. Their relationship didn't work out, and they divorced. Here's the twist: Black Cat once had a relationship with the Foreigner, too, briefly conspiring with him in order to get payback on Spider-Man for dumping her!
We've already heard a few rumors on the plot of Silver & Black, and they do mention a lot of guest-stars and cameos; according to The Splash Report, we can expect Jessica Drew's Spider-Woman, the Chameleon, Kraven the Hunter, and Tombstone! That said, these rumors are unconfirmed, so should be taken with a serious pinch of salt right now. Whatever the truth may be, Sony recently recruited Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees) as Director, so we're sure to hear more news soon.
It looks as though Silver Sable and the Black Cat will finally be entering the MCU after all – after a fashion. It’s too soon to know how this is going to work out, given we have precious little information about Silver & Black so far. I can understand linking the two together; both comfortably belong in the darker, seedier corner of the Marvel Universe that Sony seem to want to develop. But I’ll reserve judgment on this project until we get a better idea how they’re adapting the characters.
Are you looking forward to 'Silver & Black'?
(Source: The Splash Report;