Appearing in "Cat's Paws"
- Sharon Selleck (Mentioned)
- Rhino (Mentioned)
- Shocker (Mentioned)
- Galactus (Mentioned)
- Klaw (Mentioned)
- Crystal (Mentioned)
- Quicksilver (Mentioned)
- Nova (Mentioned)
- Starfox (Mentioned)
- J. Jonah Jameson (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Headdress of T'Chambwe
- Letter from T'Challa to Johnny
- She-Hulk's trench coat
- Spider-Man's costume
- Walter Hardy's lucky lock-pick
Synopsis for "Cat's Paws"
A number of years ago, Walter Hardy breaks into the Wakandan Embassy where he tries to steal the Headdress of T'Chambwe. However he sets off the alarm forcing him to flee...
... A few years later, the Human Torch is dressing up as Spider-Man for a costume party when he opens an invitation from the Wakandan Embassy to a display of the Headdress of T'Chambwe. However Johnny believes he has a hot date for this costume party and decides to skip it. Just then there is a knock at the door and it's Johnny's new teammate the She-Hulk. She is dressed up like a French maid. However when Johnny suggests that he and Jennifer stay in and drink a bottle of wine, She-Hulk decides that it's a bad idea and leaves. Johnny is upset that putting himself out has left him hanging and flames on and flies off into the city.
Elsewhere in Manhattan, Spider-Man and his partner the Black Cat have finished putting a kibosh on the Beetle. They leave him behind for Lieutenant Jean DeWolfe and take off. Although the officers think that Spider-Man isn't so bad these days, DeWolfe can't help but wonder how long before the Black Cat's checkered past will lead to him turning her over to the police. As the two livers swing across the roofs, they begin discussing what they should do next. Felicia tells Spider-Man she wants to do something with him as Peter Parker, something that Peter is excited to hear and commands his costume to revert to his street clothing. She tells him about T'Challa's gala where the mask is being displayed and asks Peter to allow her to come with him under his Daily Bugle credentials. She explains that her father tried to steal it over a decade before but failed, but Peter won't allow her to commit the theft. At that moment, the Human Torch is passing by and is shocked to see Peter Parker talking to an attractive woman, and a costumed one at that. He decides to spy on them to hear what is going on. Eventually the Black Cat gets upset and leaves, Johnny decides to take advantage of the situation and presents himself to the Black Cat and offers his assistance.
Later that day, Peter Parker tries to gain access to the Wakandan embassy on his press credentials but is rejected because he is not wearing the proper attire. Jumping into some nearby bushes, Peter commands his costume to change from street clothes to a tux and is able to get inside, although the sudden change shocks the bouncer. As Peter takes picture of the Black Panther and the event he is surprised when Johnny Storm shows up with Felicia Hardy as his date. Peter tries to talk sense into the Human Torch, but the Torch won't listen to him and threatens to have the guards throw him out if he doesn't cut it out. With no choice, Peter has to get back to work, but decides to keep an eye on things to try and stop Felicia from stealing the mask. Soon, Johnny uses his ties with the Black Panther to be allowed to see the mask alone. Peter decides that to get closer and uses his costume to transform his attire into a Wakandan security officer's outfit to follow after them.
In the room where the mask is on display, Felicia wonders aloud how they can keep such a treasure out in the open. The guard then explains all the many security features hidden in the mask. When she spots Peter out in the corner of her eye, she calls the guard's attention to his presence and Peter is chase away. While they are alone, Felicia prepares to complete the job. Peter meanwhile runs into a room where a bunch of Wakandan guards are in ceremonial garb. He makes a run for it and changes into his Spider-Man costume now that his cover is blown. Becoming aware of the situation, the Black Panther goes after Spider-Man.
Meanwhile, in the secure room, Felicia has Johnny use his powers to absorb the heat in the room and keep the heat sensors fooled. While Spider-Man is busy defending himself against the Black Panther and the guards, Felicia manages to breach the security to get at the mask. Suddenly, the alarm goes off, prompting Johnny and Felicia to flee. The alarm distracts T'Challa long enough for Spider-Man to escape. He catches up with the Black Cat and the Torch outside and learns that Felicia wasn't trying to steal the mask, but to recover a lock-pick kit that his father was he lost during his heist. Spider-Man freaks out because they could have easily asked T'Challa to get it back, but both Johnny and Felicia explain that there was no fun in doing that.
As Johnny begins explaining how they plotted the entire caper down to Spider-Man trying to stop them. While he lays it out the entire plot, both Spider-Man and the Black Cat start making out. When Johnny notices he's shocked that Spider-Man is making time with Peter Parker's girlfriend, unaware that they are both the same person. However his shock is quickly replaced by his own self interest when he asks the Cat to call him sometime and flies off.
It's taken awhile, but it looks like these two young heroes are finally becoming good friends. What could possibly come between them now? Would you believe... a girl? It's a love triangle that ends in a kitty-corner, when the Torch puts the moves on Spidey's latex-wearing bad girl, the Black Cat! Is Johnny her new red-hot lover, or a cat's-paw for her latest heist? This one's got it all, spider-fan: the black costume, the Black Cat, and... wait for it... the Black Panther?!
- At the time of this story, the She-Hulk had joined the Fantastic Four after the Thing decided to stay on Battleworld following the events of the first Secret Wars. She joined the team in Fantastic Four #265. She remains with the team until shortly after the Thing's return, leaving around Fantastic Four #301.
- Johnny mentions his friend Sharon Selleck who briefly had a crush on Johnny from Fantastic Four #245-269.
- Also at the time of this story, Spider-Man was dating the Black Cat. Their relationship lasted from Amazing Spider-Man #228 until Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #129.
- This story also takes place after Spider-Man obtained the alien symbiote costume in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8. He eventually abandoned the costume in Amazing Spider-Man #258.
- Johnny mentions two of his past failed relationships. His relationship with Crystal which lasted from Fantastic Four #66-105 she eventually started a relationship with Quicksilver in Fantastic Four #131 and they got married in Fantastic Four #150. He also mentions Frankie Raye who Johnny dated on an off since Fantastic Four #164 until she became a herald of Galactus in Fantastic Four #244.
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