The story from #16 continues in this issue but gives us some back story of some of the events that have taken place. If you are worried about spoilers, here they come. Turn back now.
So at the end of #16, Spidey gets a message from Black Cat saying that she has been trapped. So how did she get trapped, by whom, and why did she call Spider-Man for help, that’s all answered in this issue. It starts with Felicia Hardy, A.K.A. The Black Cat, letting off some aggression on what appears to be some mobsters with guns. This action is intertwined with some flash back scenes of some history between Felicia and Peter. This is kind of awesome for me because I would really be lost without it. I suppose someone who has been reading for a long time might already know this information.
So basically, Felicia is having a difficult time dealing with memories of her relationship with Peter, and she’s taking it out on these guys in suits. It turns out that Peter got into some trouble (I guess I should know about that but I think it has to do with Doc Oct taking over his body) and having Doctor Strange cast a spell making everyone forget who was under the Spider-Man mask. This also made Felicia forget who Spider-Man was, and everything about their relationship. We also learn from the flashbacks how Felicia got the message to Peter that she was in trouble. In a joke that she did not find very funny, Peter acted as if he was proposing, but in actuality he was giving her a tracer that she could use in the event she was ever in trouble. The device could record a message and track down Spider-Man to give him the message and the coordinates of her last location.
Then there is the other half of this weaved together story. The guys in suits Felicia was ripping apart work for Hammerhead. He used to work for Felicia when she was the Queen Pin of Crime, but she left him and that life behind. She had gotten word he was looking for her and decided to pay him a visit. He was trying to recruit her to find his current partner, the Owl, who was abducted by Task Master and Black Ant. Hammerhead tells Felicia he will forgive all he feels she did wrong to him and also give her the location of some of the Owl’s expensive art in exchange for her help. She agrees and sets off the find the two behind these kidnappings.
Once she catches up to Taskmaster and Black Ant, she stumbles across Billy Connors. The two villains have him caged and ready for whatever Kraven’s plans are for the animal themed super powers. Felicia leaves Billy to go find her true target, the Owl, but promises to come back. She finds her target, but overhears that the villains are about to move the kid and has to decide who to free, it’s Billy of course. Unfortunately, it was all a trap. Hammerhead set her up to be captured as well. Jerk face. He’s lucky he doesn’t look like a shark or he’d be in a cage too. Taskmaster and Black Ant get the best of the Black Cat but not before she sends the tracer out for Spider-Man.
This issue was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the mixture of flash back and current events all together on the page. It made it feel like a ton of story in a single issue. It also helps me with some back story without me having to go look it up and comb through older issues. If you want to get caught up with some back issues, head over to mycomicshop.com and see what issues they have in stock. If you would rather read digital issues and not physical copies, ComiXology is the place to go. Their unlimited subscription includes this volume of ASM. Marvel Comics also has an unlimited subscription service where you can catch up on all your favorite Marvel titles. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment.