The Cats Scratch Back: Reviewing ‘Iron Cat’ #5

If there is one thing that entertainment has taught us all over the decades, it’s that even when the world is in grave danger of destruction there is always time to hash out relationship issues. Mending fences and reaching a sense of closure knows no bounds, especially for master thieves fighting threats way out of their weight class. 

No matter the stakes that the series has put into place, Madame Menace threatens the entire world thanks to her longtime hatred for Tony Stark and a desire to see him suffer, at its core all of the recent books with Black Cat/Felicia Hardy boil down to emotional character elements. We see that here, as Jed MacKay does what he does best with this character (and truly all characters) and gets to the heart of things. I love how throughout this whole series he made sure to highlight how different Tamara and Felicia are in how they go about being thieves, one much smarter and the other more emotional/risky/going with her heart, and how that helped save the day and for the moment patch up the issue that led Tamara to seek revenge. 

None of it feels rushed or contrived, and at the end, Tamara runs off and is still doing what she does and it’s not like they suddenly are best friends or are together again. Instead, Tamara helps save the day but rushes off to keep doing her thief thing, at least now understanding that Black Fox choose to go to Felicia with his plan because he knew that Tamara would have been able to see right through him. Not neglect or disrespect from her mentor/father figure, but full respect for her abilities. 

Tony Stark is a fun character that MacKay writes so well, would love to see him tackle that series one day or even just a series regularly starring Tony and other heroes, and he knows how to get to the heart of the character. Tony is smart, but not the genius that always sees every avenue. Having Tamara come up with the solution was great, as was the fact that Tony just goes with it trusting that it will be something that works, no matter what the consequences might be. Just an overall great understanding of the characters here, and how they mesh. 

Every issue I mention and it never stops being true, Pere Pérez and Frank D’Armata were the perfect choices to illustrate this series. Doesn’t matter if it’s the smooth kinetic action pages or the slower but still fast-paced character/emotional pages, they make it all so beautiful and energetic. There are plenty of great close-up shots that showcase facial expressions, nailing the emotional end of things, and also plenty of pages that one first glance might seem hectic but are in fact so perfectly ordered in how they flow. There are panels of various styles and shapes scattered around some pages as the fight goes on and we see also what Stark is doing and the taskbar of the computer program loading up and more. It is ordered flowing chaos that is fun and keeps the pages moving in a powerful way. 

Never does this series shy away from the vivid bright over-the-top sorts of colors, it is a super book, after all, each of the spaces the characters inhabit is just so bright and almost otherworldly in some respects. Yet there are also plenty of darker colors and shadows mixed in to keep things toned down and almost grounded in some ways. Each of the characters has their own distinctive set of colors that surround them from blues to pinks to neon greens, and the way those colors play off each other on the same page is pretty cool. In a way, it adds more of the character’s personalities to the page on top of what we’re already seeing. 

Another realm that is just full of power and energy is the lettering which comes from Ariana Maher, one of the best around. Just like with the personalized colors, we can feel the energy and personality of characters through the speech as everyone’s bubbles are not only colored differently but even shaped differently. Mixing this with changes done to the font in order to really sell the tone/volume of a moment, always love when a yell/scream causes the bubble to take on the shape of the large words/letters themselves, creates something special and fun. Every word or utterance or thought conveyed upon the page has weight and power and energy to it, making sure that we can hear it quite well as we read through the issue. 

I love how MacKay is the defacto Black Cat guy now, and we won’t have to miss his work with the character for long as Mary Jane & Black Cat is right around the corner, and the end page of this issue teases it could become more than five issues if people pre-order/buy issues. Sounds good to me. 

Iron Cat #5 is now available from Marvel Comics. 

If there is one thing that entertainment has taught us all over the decades, it’s that even when the worldCOMICONRead More

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