Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Gwen Stacey swing into action in issue seven of Marvel Action: Spider-Man as they come up against the dastardly cat burglar Black Cat.
When the three young heroes find a burglar breaking into a jewellery store they inadvertently end up catching Walter Hardy, one of the best cat burglars in the world. Whilst this may initially seem like a good thing it turns out that Walter has a daughter, Felicia Hardy, who soon sets her sights on revenge against the Spider Squad for getting her father sent to prison. The super powered cat burglar draws the heroic trio into a trap, where she uses her ability to cause bad luck in people to cause the heroes to lose in spectacular fashion.
Black Cat makes a pretty good first appearance here, using one of her lesser known abilities to cause a lot of trouble for our heroes. The run of bad luck that they experience not only allows her to win against them, but also to drive a wedge between them. The three heroes have a few victories under their belts by this point, but are still a fairly new team, and as such there’s a lot of tension between them as they try to figure out their places.
READ MORE: Blade Runner 2019 #2 – Review
This is something that runs throughout the issue. Peter is trying to be a leader and mentor to the others, using his longer experience as Spider-Man to lead them into their fight against crime. Whilst this makes a degree of sense due to him having been a hero for longer and having developed their web shooters, he’s still a teenager, and barely older than the others. He’s unsure of himself, and doesn’t know if he has what it takes to be a leader.
Gwen by contrast is very much the stronger member of the group, wanting to charge her way into any given situation. She’s headstrong, and is afraid that inaction might mean that a bad guy could get away. She’s clearly had to fight for her place in the world before, being a young woman, and isn’t sure that she’s able to follow someone else.
Miles is the most unsure member of the group. He’s even struggling to find a name for himself. This was a situation I was wondering how the book would address. Having originated in the Ultimate universe, Miles became Spider-Man following the death of Peter Parker, and even kept that name when he became part of the 616 universe, though that also included a much older Peter. Here Peter isn’t as old, and isn’t as well established as the 616 Spider-Man, so it’s still unclear if he’s the kind of person willing to share the title of Spider-Man, though from his comments that Miles should call himself Spider-Man 2 it might be something this Peter isn’t so comfortable with.
READ MORE: Star Wars Adventures Annual 2019 – Review
This sense of conflict between the three, and their struggle to find their places within a team is brilliantly highlighted with the inclusion of Black Cat, and something that I’m looking forward to seeing develop over the next few issues. The villain is sure to push the heroes further, but whether or not they come to find themselves by the end of this story remains to be seen.
As always the artwork by Fico Ossio is wonderful, and is able to capture wonderful moments of character interaction, which is no easy feat when they all have their faces covered. Fico manages to bring life to static masks, able to create expressions that convey so much emotion. There’s also the option of a variant cover with artwork from Nicoletta Baldari, which is both completely different from Fico’s work, yet captures the sense of fun that fills the book.