Here Kitty Kitty
Contrary to the majority of the Spider-Man fandom, The Black Cat is my favorite of Parker's many love interests. There's something just inherently awesome about her. She's strong and capable of taking care of herself but not at the cost of femininity. (Try saying that word five times fast.) I don't mean to say that she's the best choice for Peter (she's not) or that Mary Jane, Gwen, or Kitty (pulling from Ultimate) aren't capable ladies as well, but something about Felicia just screams awesome. (And no, I don't mean her, *ahem*, "ballasts") So, given my affinity for Cat, I've really wanted to read one of her mini series. I was originally intending to read "The Evil That Men Do", but upon seeing that Kevin Smith wrote it, I fled from the issue as fast as possible. (I'm pretty sure I don't need to tell you what he did to Batman, but just in case...) Fortunately, this limited series has been published relatively recently and I dove right in.
The first thing I noticed while reading this issue was the art and layout. It has a very retro feel to it. The art is reminiscent of what I imagine someone like Ditko or Romita would create if they had started there career today. The panel layout also has a bit of retro fever. Many of the pages seem to follow what could roughly be called a grid, just like the Spidey comics of old did back when random panel placement was nonexistent and splash pages were a rarity saved for only the most awesome of awesome moments. All of this is mixed with modern comic techniques and artistic style in a surprisingly gorgeous way. Well done.
The story follows Black Cat (surprise!) as she begins an investigation that she hopes will lead her to a thief whose acts of misconduct have been wrongly attributed to her. Obviously, this kind of thing doesn't sit well with Hardy. (She has her own acts of misconduct to be credited for.) it's a simple setup initially, but it promises some potential fun spy-like action. Something that I don't see often in comic books (perhaps because I don't read any Black Widow comics). Plus, we get to see a bit of the Kravinoffs here, which makes things a bit more interesting.
Alright, I've rambled a lot in this review. Hopefully you were able to take from this jumbled mess of words that this issue was really good. It does a good job of starting the story in the first issue (as opposed to just setting it up) and the art is a great blend of modern and retro style. Easily recommendable to anyone even mildly interested.