spiderman and felicia-hardy in an image from 'Spider-Man 2' the game.

The Gays Win Again: Black Cat Is Canonically Queer in ‘Spider-Man 2’

Black Cat has a girlfriend!

Spider-Man 2, the sequel to the hit Playstation game, has arrived, bringing back many iconic Spider-Man characters. One of the returning characters is Felicia Hardy a.k.a. Black Cat. And this time, she’s not alone. Ms. Hardy apparently has a girlfriend back in Paris.

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Black Cat in Spider-Man games

At first, when players heard Felicia confess that she has a girlfriend, they thought it was another red herring. To be fair, their skepticism is not without reason.

In the “City that Never Sleeps” DLC for Spider-Man (2018), Felicia tells Peter that the gang-lord Hammerhead has kidnapped her son, which is why she needs to collect drives with Mafia secrets on them. When Peter asks if he is the father, Felicia repeatedly avoids the question, promising to talk about it “later.”

It’s only after Black Cat locks Peter in a vault that she reveals that it was all a lie and part of her scheme to get a massive payout by stealing from Hammerhead. Black Cat is seemingly killed after Hammerhead destroys her penthouse, but she returns later in the game to repay Peter for his help.

So when players heard Felicia say that she stole the Wand of Watoomb to help her girlfriend, many were understandably skeptical due to past encounters with Hardy. However, it appears that this time, she is honest in her justifications.

After defeating Kraven the Hunter’s men, Miles Morales helps Felicia open a portal to Paris, and Felicia appears genuinely emotional and thankful for Miles’ help. She also later contacts Peter and talks about how they’ve “both moved on” from their past relationship, confirming that she is indeed in a relationship.

All of this is wonderful and goes to show how the character of Felicia Hardy has grown, especially with regard to the male gaze.

The Male Gaze

Panel from Black Cat Striks #1 (2020) where Black Cat / Felicia Hardy is in a sensual pose over Spider-Man Peter Parker
(Marvel Comics)

Like many female comic book characters, Felica Hardy has frequently been designed and portrayed with the male gaze in mind. The Male Gaze is basically an idea that in almost all media from print to screen is made with the focus being on a male audience. It’s why there are often gratuitous sex/nude scenes and long shots that focus on female characters’ bodies, even in female-led media.

While Felicia still wears her black catsuits in the Spider-Man games, her hair is in a much more practical ponytail and her overall look is more function over form. However, the 2018 game does fall into the usual song and dance routine of Black Cat using her sensuality and past relationship with Peter to help her in her heists.

Spider-Man 2 arguably fixes that by making Miles Morales the main Spider-Man she interacts with. Some people argue that it should have been Peter helping Felicia, as he’s the one who had a relationship with her. However, that’s exactly why it shouldn’t be Peter. Peter’s presence would likely shift focus away from Felicia, and more towards their past relationship and his feelings about his ex dating another woman. With Miles, it becomes more about helping a friend of a friend.

Also, while Felicia Hardy has been canonically queer in Marvel’s main comic continuity since 2021, Spider-Man 2 is the first non-comic adaptation that portrays her as being openly queer. While the relationship is mostly off-screen, it feels equal in its anonymity, with Miles not reacting with any amount of surprise or further inquisition. He trusts her to be honest, and it appears that she has been. After decades of queer-baiting bait-and-switch, having Felicia not lie about having a girlfriend is a refreshing change of pace.

The ending of her arc in the main game also leaves hope that we may get a long-overdue DLC where we get to play as Black Cat when she rushes to the aid of her Parisian girlfriend.

… Well, a girl can dream at least.

(featured image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

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Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.