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Marvel’s Black Cat is one of the most recognized bad-girls (turned good) of comics and also one of the most under appreciated. Most eyes see her as a pair of boobs in a skin tight leather suit with a penchant for stealing things, as well as having a weird affinity for cats, perhaps taking the term “Cat Burglar” too literally.  Black Cat, aka Felicia Hardy, is those things, but she is also so much more, she’s a femme fatale. Like all tempting, but dangerous women, they’re not born that way, they’re made. The formula is simple: take a young female, the “daddies little girl” type, and put them through a stressor; either one or a series of traumatic life altering events. Pain and despair take root and define a life of sorrow and pitiful existence, or the damage forges something different. Something where innocence and naivety no longer exist and are instead replaced by toughness and self-reliance. Where there is no good and bad, there is just thyself.

Her origin is that of tragedy. Felicia grew up as as a product of criminal father, incarcerated for his crimes as a notorious thief. Later she became victim to a loss of innocence of the worst kind, being raped by her college boyfriend. She turned her grief and shame into rage, focusing her feelings for revenge towards intensifying her training regime in martial arts and acrobatics. However, she was robbed of a chance for vengeance, as her assaulter was killed in a drunk driving accident. What’s a angst ridden trained fighter with a genetic predisposition for crime to do? Become a thief, with a whole lot of sass and sexiness to spare.

Black Cat is and has been a reformed burglar, else she wouldn’t be a hero, but she continues to walk on the wild side as a detective and adventurer. She’s the former girlfriend of Spider-Man, Flash Thompson, and the mercenary known as the Foreigner.

To celebrate this superhero, known for being as sly as she is sexy with an itch for shiny treasures, comes Sideshow Collectibles and J. Scott Campbell  with a treasure all their own.  

While most know Campbell as the creator of Danger Girl from the Wildstorm/DC comic line, he’s received more recent attention for his cover art work on Spider-Man. His renderings for Spidey and Co. dance between Anime and traditional Western drawing styles; there is a cartoonish accent to the characters faces and body types which are over exemplified but not so much that there isn’t a distinguished real world look to them.  Whatever it is is, it works for Spider-Man. The art stands out with a clear presence of color, character, and charm.

His work on Spider-Man has been so well received that Sideshow Collectables partnered with him and have created a like of statues known as J. Scott Campbell Spider-Man Collection. In the line already are statues based on Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, and the web head himself Spider-Man.

Before we take a much closer look at the Black Cat statue, let’s take a quick look at the J. Scott Collection from Sideshow Collectables.

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If that set of statues doesn’t get your Spider-sense tingling then nothing will. Black Cat is the latest in the series and one well worth having on your shelf. Now let’s get a closer look at what you’ll get when you pick up this statue.

PACKAGING:

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The box is pretty standard for collectable statues, There’s J. Scott Campbell’s artwork that the statue is based on is right on the front, along with his stylized signature, which is on the box top and back.

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If there is anything to complain about the box exterior it is that there isn’t much on it. The sides are blank, and the back just has the Spider-Man bug. It could have used a character description or origin, perhaps something with Black Cat and Spider-Man fighting, a panel from Black Cat’s appearance in a comic book, or something… anything really besides blank space.

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The statue comes in a well designed Styrofoam container, it’s a tight fit, and you don’t want to mess up or tear the box getting it out. Carefully open the box, then you can push from the bottom a bit, just enough to get it out where you can actually get your fingers on it and then pull it out.

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The statue is in its own cutout section that holds it in place while in the box.

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Don’t forget that there are usually some extra pieces in there wrapped in tissue paper and placed in one of the packaging wells. This Black Cat statue has a diamond mound and a cat is its paired accessories. You’ll want to try them both to decide which to display with the statue and keeping what’s left safely in the box. When you’ve got everything out here’s what you have.

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The packaging gets an excellent grade. It is well designed, constructed, and does a good good protecting the statue inside, but could use some additional artwork or character description on the box to help make it more enticing. Let’s take a look at the statue itself.

THE STATUE:

Before we take that closer look, here’s some of Campbell’s Black Cat artwork prints and the design drawings for this Black Cat statue.

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As you can see, the design and the final product are both stunning pieces of art. On to the statue. One special item that needs to be pointed out about the design, which produced a large statue, that it doesn’t follow the large statue norm. Usually a big statue like this one stands about twelve inches high, higher if there is a tall statue base. This one is nine inches high, which makes it a statue that might fit where other tall statues won’t. That really helps when you’re trying to find that perfect place to display this statue. It also breaks up how the eye looks across your other statues close by and adds some interesting ways that you can display your collection.

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Let’s talk about the shape and forms and the overall display and how it serves the character. Obviously the statue is based on the art but think about the character and what you know of her – she is sexy, sultry, and a little vulnerable. She has a vibe and spirit that is unique to her. Is that persona/identity captured in the statue? Well what you have here is Felicia Hardy seductively toying with a familiar looking ball of yarn while sitting a top of mound of diamonds. So, yes, absolutely!

J. Scott Campbell captured the Black Cat quite well. Hats off to Steve Schumacher who sculpted the statue based on Campbell’s drawings above and Chadwick Andersen & Michael Woodring who did the mold and casting, let’s not forget Kat Sapene who handled the painting. You’d be hard pressed to find any paint or color were it didn’t belong, that isn’t always the case with many statues.

The details are very nice, from her light blue eyes and heavy eye liner down to the wrinkles in her gloves and boots. There is a soft matte
black to the most of the costume (bosom, arms, butt) but then a sheen/gloss to the boots, gloves, and corset giving a distinction of leather.

The face sculpt got away from them a bit. The eyes are bigger, cheeks are more rounded out, chin/jaw is elongated vs the sourced art which is a little more cute/genuine. Even still, she’s sexy as hell.

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Black Cat is playing with a ball of Spider-Man yarn which keeps up with a running theme in the line. Each of the female characters in J. Scott Campbell Spider-Man Collection have some sort of Spider-Man thing in them. For instance, Mary Jane is stretching the Spider-Man outfit along her back. On Gwen Stacy, the top of her umbrella is a big Spider-Man symbol. These are all small subtle things in each statue that tie their relationship to Spider-Man.

 

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She sits upon a floor full of diamonds, she is a very talented thief after all. Those diamonds catch the light very well and add some sparkle to the piece. The bottom of the statue has all the collectable information you’d need. The statue’s production number and some Spider-Man web artwork, there’s also the four foam circles to keep the statue from scratching a surface and also keeps the statue from moving if whatever it is placed on is bumped.

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Here’s a series of pictures to give you a look at the entire statue.

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Yes, this is one sexy statue. Below you can see the cat piece that can be added to replace a bit of diamonds.

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Now this camera angle looks purr-fect, but if there is one thing worth complaining about with this statue, it is the cat piece. Aside from it not looking much like the Campbell drawing, which is more comic like with big whiskers, it doesn’t hold up well at all angles. There is a slight gap between the cat and Black Cat’s leg that stands out when looked at aside from the straight on angle. It just bugged me and stood out, once I saw it, I couldn’t un-see it. So the cat is still in the box for this NerdBastard. Ask Schrödinger, he’ll tell you.

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CLOSING THOUGHTS:

J. Scott Campbell’s Black Cat statue is a great piece and stands out among his Spider-Man collection. Not only does it look great, it isn’t the usual hero “standing there” style tall statue that you see all too often when it comes to super hero statues. Everything about this statue speaks to quality, after all Sideshow Collectables has been doing this for a long time and stands as one of the industry standards when looking for Comic Book or Pop Culture statues.

If you have any interest in this statue you’d be well advised to get it sooner rather than later. The after market is not going to let this one go for retail for long. The rebooted Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man is sure to have a big screen Black Cat showing up in the future. Once that happens, all her comic book appearances, statues, and collectables will suddenly jump in price.

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This statue can still be purchased at Sideshow Collectables using this link. It sells for $279.99 or you can use Sideshow’s payment plan at $93.00 a month. There are some shops selling it at the retail price or about $5 less, but by the time you pay their shipping, you might as well have just bought it from Sideshow.

The bottom line is if you’re a fan of J. Scott Campbell’s artwork then you’re gonna wanna get your hands on this Black Cat statue as well as the others in the series. It’s a translation from art on the comic book page to art that you can hold in your hands. Well, perhaps you’d be better off just putting it on a shelf or in a display case, but you get the idea.

Category: Cool Stuff, Featured, reviews

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