Appearing in 1st story
- Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) (Main story and flashback)
- Iron Cat (Tamara Blake) (First appearance as Iron Cat) (Main story and flashback)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
- Pigs (Mentioned)
- Elephants (Only in flashback)
- Lobsters (Referenced)
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- North America
- Europe (Only in flashback)
- Hell (Invoked)
Synopsis for 1st story
The Black Cat breaks into a vault to steal the Gavrilov Diamond, a treasure that she once attempted to steal twelve years ago with the help of her recently-deceased mentor, the Black Fox, and Tamara Blake, a fellow protégée of the Fox and Felicia's girlfriend at the time. Felicia reminisces about her high-octane escape from the police forces of Carnelia as she works, but she is interrupted by a call from Iron Man. Somebody broke into a facility of his to steal the Iron Cat Armor that he had rebuilt and upgraded. He suspects Felicia, but she clarifies she has nothing to do with it. Suddenly, a person wearing the Iron Cat Armor attacks Felicia with murderous intent, and a chase ensues across the buildings of Manhattan.
In the past, the Fox orders Felicia to leave behind the Gavrilov Diamond to hold off the police so that she can evade them and reunite with him and Tamara. In the present, Hardy grows weary from the chase, and the Iron Cat ultimately reveals that she is Tamara, seeking revenge for the Black Fox's death and holding Felicia accountable, unaware of the complicated circumstances behind the tragedy. Felicia manages to slip away from Tamara and seeks Tony Stark's help. He's initially dismissive until Felicia explains the situation, and Tony finds common ground in the fact that Felicia's ex-girlfriend is "trying to kill her with super-science."
As she stands in front of a vault door with a bag on her shoulder, the Black Cat contemplates how far she will go for a memory. She comments that it will take her effort to open this vault, and she is doing it for personal reasons. Felicia starts cracking the safe using a stethoscope, while explaining inside it is the Gavrilov Diamond, a mysterious artifact believed to be alive and capable of showing people their death, but Felicia only cares that it's the one that got away.
Twelve years into the past, Felicia is speeding down the streets of Pershyy Misto, Carnelia on a scooter, carrying a bag. Via comms, he's informing her mentor, the Black Fox, that she's secured the diamond. She turns around and makes a grimace as she clarifies that she didn't exactly get out clean, and four police cars appear behind her. In a river on the mountains, the Black Fox is waiting on a boat with Tamara Blake. Felicia suspects they were given away by a cop that the Fox had bribed. The Fox mentions that he is not inflexible, and orders Felicia to continue to the rendezvous point, and that he will take measures to ensure her escape. After the Black Fox hangs up his cellphone, Tamara looks away from a magazine to ask him if Felicia is okay. He assures her that Felicia will be fine, and that he always has a plan. When Tamara asks him what he is planning, the Fox dials on his phone, and to her confusion, tells Tamara he is going to call the police.
In the present, Felicia has opened the door and is fiddling with a security keypad on a wall inside the vault. She thinks to herself that the heist she is reminiscing about was the perfect crime; not in its execution, but in the thrill of the escape and the location. She compares it to the joyful feeling of being a kid, ripping and running with her loved ones. As she walks away from the tampered keypad, Felicia recalls that, twelve years later, and less than a year ago, she betrayed the Fox. Standing in front of a safe's door within the vault, Felicia reaches into her bag and blows powder into it, revealing a laser grid. As she does this, Felicia expresses regret for what happened with the Fox, but she clarifies she had the best intentions; the Fox was dying and he almost traded all of Manhattan to an alien god in exchange for immortality. He had tricked Felicia into helping him, but in the end she saved the island despite her love for the Black Fox. Felicia curses out at the appearing laser grid.
Back in the past, the Fox and Tamara are rushing through the river on the boat. Blake inquires about the call, and the Fox puts on his sunglasses, sarcastically doubting why does he put together mission briefs when neither Tamara nor Felicia read them. As the boat approaches the city, the Fox explains that Carnelia used to be a satellite state of the USSR, and that its government established a national police service when it became independent. Tamara drily declares a love for history. The Fox reprimands Blake and continues; Carnelia's capital, Pershyy Misto, has had its own police service since its founding in the 1920s. As Felicia continues zooming through the street with police cars on her trail, the Fox narrates that the capital police and the national police are in a precarious state, and their jurisdictions overlap in Pershyy Misto. Suddenly, a patrol car with a different color scheme crashes into one of Felicia's pursuers. The Fox adds that both police forces hate each other. Tamara remarks with amusement that the Fox has set the cops on the cops, and the Fox tells her to take note that even one's enemies have enemies. Something that doesn't make them one's friends, but useful tools. Felicia continues her escape with a smile on her face.
Once again in the present, Felicia has cracked the safe's door and starts opening a small box containing the Gavrilov Diamond. In her inner monologue, she realizes she's doing this for the Fox, to finally finish the Gavrilov Diamond job for closure. Felicia is startled when her phone suddenly starts ringing, and from the other side of the line, Iron Man sternly tells her that she wants something back. She begins a barrage of questions; whether what he wants is the diamond, how did he get her number, and how did he turn on her phone's ringer. In a facility elsewhere, Iron Man looks up into a hole in the ceiling. Initially confused about what diamond she's talking about, Stark accuses Felicia of breaking into one of his storage facilities and hitting it hard with a viral system attack. He asks rhetorically how does he know it was Felicia, and sarcastically asks who else would steal the Iron Cat Armor. Felicia is shocked, but she quickly asks why would she want to steal the Iron Cat, pointing out as well that she left it in pieces with Tony there. As he takes flight out of the facility through the hole in the roof, Iron Man reveals that he both rebuilt and improved it. When Felicia asks why in disbelief, Stark expresses that when he gets bored, he starts wanting a drink, so he needs to occupy himself. Black Cat remarks they have established she didn't steal it, so she asks demandingly if she can get on with her life. Back at the vault, Felicia tells Tony that she is on a job, and points out that this situation is not her problem. As she is finishing the sentence, Hardy is surprised by hearing a crashing sound above her. She ducks as the ceiling collapses behind her. The alarm starts blurting out and Felicia expresses her discontent in her inner monologue, and her confusion with her voice. As she crouches, she's surprised when she looks up to see somebody wearing the Iron Cat Armor, hovering above her, and greeting her by name. Felicia thinks to herself that this would appear to be her problem after all.
In the past, Felicia speeds through a farmers' market on the scooter. She tells the Fox that she's inbound, and asks her cohorts if they're ready. From the boat, Tamara tells her they are ready to intercept. However, Felicia stops on her tracks with surprise. She finds a marching circus parading on the street in front of her, and she relays to Tamara that there is an issue with the escape route. In the present, the Black Cat inquires about her attacker's identity and their use of her old outfit. The intruder commends Felicia's taste in clothes, and, as for her name, she supposes that "Iron Cat" will do. Felicia tells her to help herself with whatever else is in the vault, and clarifies that she only wants the diamond. She's interrupted by having to dodge a pink repulsor blast from the Iron Cat.
Thinking to herself, Felicia recaps her current situation in panic as she jumps through a window and fires her grappling hook, swinging away as she wonders what did she do. She notices Iron Cat flying toward her and notices the armor is fast, and that she should know that since she designed it. As the Iron Cat fires a continuous repulsor stream behind the Black Cat, Felicia recalls that its speed was all the Iron Cat had going for it, as well as electronic countermeasures and glaws, and that it had no repulsors or life support; barely any armor at all. Iron Cat fires micro-missiles from her wrist, and Felicia points out that Tony rebuilt the suit, and that he is much better at building them than her. The missiles explode a hole in a building in front of Felicia, and she jumps into it. As this happens, Hardy clarifies that she means she has no idea what the Iron Cat is now capable of. While running away from a barrage of repulsor shots, the Black Cat comments that, in contrast, she only has "a bunch of rope and moxie," and while she has "moxie for days," she's only a cat with not many lives left. The Iron Cat blast toward Felicia, but she jumps over her pursuer, and dives through another window with her rope in hand. The Iron Cat keeps pursuing her.
In the past, Tamara informs the Black Fox with urgency that Felicia's escape route is blocked. As he looks at a map of the city, the Fox laments the circumstances, but doesn't lose hope. He asks Tamara to hand him over the radio, and through it, he poses Felicia one of two questions: whether she can get to Glorious Liberation Lagoon. Felicia continues moving fast through the streets of the city, with cars from both police forces behind her. The officers in both cars are bickering with each other. Hardy tells her mentor that she can. The Fox then asks the second question: whether Felicia is prepared to do whatever it might take to escape, even if it will go against her every instinct. The young Felicia asks the Fox what is he asking for, and he tells her it's a sacrifice, which he claims sometimes is called for, in order to secure a treasure.
In the present, the Black Cat is wrangling the Iron Cat with her rope, causing both to plummet downward. As the Iron Cat zigzags across the air and Felicia manages to climb on her back, Hardy thinks to herself that, while she likes to indulge, she keeps in shape, but she's ultimately a normal human, whose body is starting to ache and tire, unlike the Iron Cat, who is being facilitated by Stark's technology. The Iron Cat discharges a jolt of pink electricity through Felicia's body, knocking Hardy off herself and into a rooftop under them. As she falls panting, Felicia tells the Iron Cat that she can have the diamond, and expresses that it wouldn't be the first time she had to give it up. While she lands, the Iron Cat hems, and remarks that Felicia does remember the first time in Carnelia. She declares her love for history, causing Felicia to express disbelief.
Back in the past, Felicia continues rushing on the scooter with a concerned look. With hesitation, Felicia heeds the Fox's signal through the comms. She throws the bag containing the diamond behind her, exclaiming for the police to take it back. She balances herself atop the scooter, asking Tamara if she's going to be there for her. Blake replies that she will always, and Felicia tells her to be ready on her mark. The scooter crashes into the edge of a bridge, sending Hardy flying forward as she shouts her mark. She cries out for Tamara as the boat emerges from under the bridge. The Fox is driving the boat with unease, while Blake raises her arms to catch Felicia, and cries out her name. Felicia collides into Tamara's arms, and they hug as the boat speeds away. In the present, Tamara asks Felicia to recall the Black Fox's words, "that sometimes a sacrifice must be made, in order to secure the treasure."
The Black Cat braces herself as the Iron Cat points out that the Fox didn't care about the diamond, and that he told Felicia to leave it behind to hold off the police because Hardy herself was the treasure he couldn't bear to lose. With a frown in her face, Felicia asks the Iron Cat to let her see her face. The Iron Cat obliges and begins taking off her helmet. She asks Felicia if she can understand how she felt when she heard the news, that her heart broke when she learned the Black Fox was dead. She reveals that she swore to avenge him, and hoped Felicia would be with her. Tamara exposes her face, expressing her disbelief when she learned that Felicia had killed him. The Black Cat holds her arms forward and attempts to explain the situation, but Tamara interrupts her to demand Felicia to tell her she is not responsible. Felicia thinks to herself that she can't lie to Tamara, since she knows all of her tells and all the secrets of her heart better than anyone. Hardy thinks to herself that she is responsible, and that Tamara is geared to kill her for it. As she holds a handful of flash grenades behind her, Felicia remarks that Tamara isn't wearing her helmet. As she apologizes for it, Felicia throws the grenades at Tamara's face, enveloping her in a white flash. Tamara holds her hand forward as the smoke disperses. With tears in her eyes, Blake calls out for Felicia, and curses out when she realizes she's alone. As this happens, Felicia expresses in her inner monologue her exasperation for the night, but points out that it's not over, since she needs some help.
Inside his penthouse, Tony Stark is sitting at his sofa, looking at numerous holographic panels pertaining to the heist of the Iron Cat, and eating a pastry. He's surrounded by a window overlooking the plants of his terrace. His virtual assistant informs Stark that he has a visitor while he hears numerous bangs coming from his side, he reacts with sarcasm. Tony looks at his side and warns Felicia to go away, or he will turn on the sprinklers. Felicia keeps banging at the window, angrily ordering Stark to let her in and requesting his help. Without looking away from his holograms, Tony asks his penthouse to turn on the sprinklers, and the house obeys. Felicia curses out. With his eyes locked on his work, Tony ignores Felicia while the water soaks her. As she scowls at him with her fists on her hips, Stark remarks that the last time he let Felicia anywhere near him, she built and stole an armor from him. He adds that it has now become the number one pain in his neck. He tells Felicia that they have no common ground, and that there is nothing she could say to make him open his door. The Black Cat hesitates for a moment before angling her head against the window and whispering. Tony makes eye contact with Felicia, asking what did she say. Dolefully, she repeats herself out loud, she said that her ex-girlfriend is trying to kill her with super-science. Tony expresses with surprise that he and Hardy do have something in common. He tells her to come in, and the door in front of Felicia unlocks. She walks toward Tony as he stands up and tells her that that has happened to him many times.
The Iron Cat armor made its first appearance in BLACK CAT #11 but both Black Cat and Iron Man thought that was the last they would see of it. If Felicia is surprised to see the armor again, you can imagine how furious Tony is. There's someone new in the Iron Cat armor and they have a plan that will put them in the crosshairs of all the heroes of the Marvel Universe. Both Iron Man and Black Cat's secrets and mistakes are going to come back to haunt them and it's going to get ROUGH! Don't miss this fantastic new miniseries!
- The Black Cat reminisces about the fact that she caused the Black Fox's death by preventing him from from trading Manhattan to the an alien god in exchange for immortality. This happened in Black Cat (Vol. 2) #7, and the alien god she references is the Gilded Saint.
- When the Black Cat points out to Iron Man that she left the Iron Cat Armor in pieces and that he was there, an editor's note cites Black Cat #12. In that issue and the previous one, Felicia uses Stark's Nanoforge to create the Iron Cat Armor, and uses it to threaten Odessa Drake before letting the suit fall to pieces due to its hasty construction.
- Carnelia was first established to exist in Iron Man #117. Iron Man accidentally killed the ambassador to Carnelia, Sergei Kotznin, in Iron Man #124, due to the machinations of Justin Hammer.