WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man #2 by J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D'Amico, Dave Stewart and VC's Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
Spider-Man and Black Cat have had a long history together in the Marvel Universe, going from romantic partners to bitter rivals to fellow vigilantes. After taking a villainous turn as a New York City mob boss, Felicia Hardy is back among the good guys while starring in a new solo series in the main Marvel Universe.
Now, a new Black Cat has potentially leapt on the scene in Marvel's Spider-Man miniseries by filmmaker J.J. Abrams, his son Henry Abrams and artist Sara Pichelli. The comic takes place in an alternate universe where Mary Jane -- Peter Parker's wife -- dies during a battle against a new mysterious villain named Cadaverous.
Distraught over his wife's death, Peter retires from being Spider-Man and throws himself into a career that conveniently takes him out of New York. However, he leaves his son Ben Parker behind in the Big Apple in the care of Aunt May. Now a teenager, Ben is shocked when his body starts to develop spider-like abilities, most notably when he sends a school bully through a classroom door, earning him a trip to detention.
It's here where Ben meets Faye Ito, a young girl who immediately catches his eye. Faye takes a liking to Ben as well after hearing about how he handled the bully. When Faye stops by Aunt May's house to hang out with Ben, she surprisingly shows up wearing a cat-themed costume, invoking memories of the Black Cat.
Faye's costume is primarily black, though Faye has accessorized it with goggles and a nose-mouth mask. The timing is ironic since Ben just finished burning one of his father's Spider-Man suits on the grill in the backyard. Faye calls herself the Marker and encourages Ben to get a costume of his own so they can head out. Luckily, Aunt May has a couple more Spider-Man costumes lying around.
We then find out exactly why Faye goes by the Marker -- she's a local graffiti artist who targets storefronts for poor business practices. While she and Ben mark up another store, Faye delivers a speech that offers a different perspective on Spider-Man's mantra of power and responsibility. "You don't have great responsibility because you have great power... your hero got it the other way around!" Faye tells Peter. "It's up to us because we all have a great responsibility. Each of us. We're only powerful because of it. These suits tell us anyone can be a hero."
Powerful speech aside, the police show up to put an end to Faye and Ben's spray paint job. Cornered with nowhere else to go, Ben activates his web-shooters to flee through the air.
Ben must be feeling himself, because he immediately starts to spill the secret that his father is the real Spider-Man to Faye. For her credit, Faye takes the information dump pretty well and is excited to go on another swinging session as soon as possible. Of course, the reappearance of Spider-Man is headline news, as we get scenes of Peter and Cadaverous watching the news coverage from afar. Cadaverous' reaction is the most interesting since the reemergence of Spider-Man brings him out of hiding once again.
The villain appears to attack an Oscorp building, which brings Spider-Man out to investigate. He's soon attacked by Cadaverous' minions after rescuing a civilian from the rubble, barely escaping with his life. Ben gets a smack of reality when he arrives home to find Peter and Aunt May waiting for him at the front door.
No matter what the older Parkers tell Ben, he seems almost certain to continue operating as Spider-Man. Plus, with Cadaverous back, Ben and his father may find themselves fighting side-by-side against Cadaverous before too long, with Faye Ito's Black Cat getting in the mix as well.