Appearing in "Never Let the Black Cat Cross Your Path!"
- Black Cat (First appearance)
- Boris Korpse (First appearance)
- Bruno Grainger (First appearance)
- Dr. Reinhardt
- Daily Bugle
- Walter Hardy (First appearance)
- Emil Greco (First appearance)
- New York City
Synopsis for "Never Let the Black Cat Cross Your Path!"
A costumed female named the Black Cat begins her criminal career by breaking into an office to steal some files. She manages to get what she is looking for before the staff returns from break. After reading the files, she dumps them off a rooftop. She tracks down a musclebound thief named Bruno Grainger while he is in the process of stealing tires. The Black Cat tests his strength and although she easily overpowers she is still impressed and offers him a job. She next interrupts demolitions expert Boris Kropse as he is trying to blast his way into a safe in a US government facility and offers him employment as well.
The following morning, Peter Parker pays a visit to his Aunt May at the Restwell Retirement Home. Although his Aunt appears to be adjusting well, Peter can't help but cry. As he leaves, he is unaware that he is being watched by the administrator, Doctor Reinhart and the Burglar who shot his Uncle Ben. Reinhart points out how Peter visits his aunt every day and asks the Burglar why he is doing this. The Burglar threatens to kill Reinhart if he interferes, saying that May Parker knows the location of the riches that he was looking for the night he shot Ben Parker. When Reinhart balks at this, the Burglar strikes him across the face with a beer bottle and threatens to shoot him where he stands if the administration refuses to do something about the Parker kid.
Meanwhile, things at the Daily Bugle are far from rosy. Ned Leeds demands answers from his wife Betty regarding her attempts to get back together with Peter Parker. While in the editor's office, J. Jonah Jameson learns that Parker has started taking photos for the Daily Globe. Jameson is furious and refuses to accept responsibility considering he fired Peter in the first place. Just then, Spider-Man arrives in the window to give Jameson some grief. Jonah is furious at this point and tells the wall-crawler that he has a surprise for him. Fearing that Jonah has figured out his secret identity, the web-slinger angrily demands to know what Jameson is talking about. When Jonah begins screaming for help, Spider-Man stops himself and quickly flees the scene. Spider-Man then slings over to the Daily Globe where he meets with editor Barney Bushkin who congratulates Peter for all the great photos he has taken since he started working for the Globe. This comes as a surprise to Peter who is used to getting grief from his former employers.
Later, Spider-Man is patrolling the city when he spots the Black Cat traveling by rooftop. He is impressed with her abilities and decides to follow her, hoping that she is not a criminal and ask her out on a date. Meanwhile, the Black Cat meets with arms dealer Emil Greco to purchase weapons for her plan. When Spider-Man sees this illegal arms deal going down he swings in to interrupt it. The Black Cat tells Greco to let her handle it and is able to keep up with Spider-Man. Somehow, Spider-Man trips up, almost as though the Black Cat has cursed him with bad luck. When a rack of guns falls on the wall-crawler, the Black Cat tries to flee with the weapon she purchased. However, Spider-Man catches up with her, but she manages to throw him off by first being flirtatious, then by lifting up his mask enough to steal a kiss. Caught off guard, Spider-Man is unable to stop the Black Cat when she flees when the authorities arrive. Back at her hideout, the Black Cat tells Boris Korpse and Bruno Grainger that they are going to break into prison.
The following morning, Peter Parker leaves his apartment and finds Ned Leeds waiting for him. Ned demands to fight to keep his wife. Peter isn't interested in talking and shoves Ned aside. When he arrives at Empire State University, he is confronted by Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn. They want to know why he stood them up for the surprise graduation party they were going to throw for him. Upset at being constantly hassled, Peter loses his temper with his two friends and storms off. Later, back at the Daily Globe, Peter catches a news report about how the Black Cat stole files from a police precinct regarding Boris Korpse, Bruno Grainger, Walter Hardy a once famous cat burglar, as well as arms dealer Emil Greco. Seeing a connection, Peter rushes from the office, snubbing April Maye, a Globe reporter who offers to take him out for lunch. April vows that Peter won't be able to ignore her the next time they meet.
Doing some investigating of his own, Peter learns that Walter Hardy has been locked up in prison for the past few decades and is terminally ill. Realizing that the Black Cat plans on breaking him out of prison, Spider-Man goes there to prevent it from happening. Outside of Hardy's cell, Spider-Man is attacked by the Black Cat. While the two fight it out, Boris and Bruno work to blast Walter free from his cell. Spider-Man is caught in the blast and left buried under a pile of rubble. As the alarms sound, the femme fatale tells Spider-Man that this is what happens when you let a black cat cross your path.
- Doctor Reinhart is actually Spider-Man's old foe Mysterio, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #198. The Reinhart identity was one that Mysterio used in Amazing Spider-Man #24.
- This is the burglar who shot Uncle Ben back in Amazing Fantasy #15. What he is seeking to find is revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #200.
- The front page of the Daily Globe that Joe Robertson shows Jonah has a cover story about Spider-Man and the Human Torch's battle with the Monocle. This battle occurred in Fantastic Four #207.
- Spider-Man fears that Jameson might have unmasked him when the pair were shackled together in Amazing Spider-Man #192. The truth about that moment is not revealed until Amazing Spider-Man #201.
- Jameson's increasingly irrational behavior is a combination of grief caused by the disappearance of his son John in Amazing Spider-Man #190, something he blames Spider-Man for. However, his mental state is also being affected by a device created by Jonas Harrow, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #206.
- Ned Leeds is having turbulence in his marriage to Betty. The pair were married in Amazing Spider-Man #156. Betty returned to New York because she was unhappy with her marriage in Amazing Spider-Man #183 and has been trying to rekindle her old romance with Peter since. The pair dated from Amazing Spider-Man #7–30.
- Peter didn't show up for a surprise graduation party in Amazing Spider-Man #192.
- The news report states that Walter Hardy was a famous cat burglar of the 1950s. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.