WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Marvel’s Spider-Man and its first story DLC expansion, "The Heist," available now on the PlayStation 4.
The first story expansion for Insomniac Games' Marvel's Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4 was released this week as part of the video game's The City That Never Sleeps DLC, which follows up on the main game with new adventures.
Titled "The Heist," the DLC expansion takes place sometime after Doctor Octopus and his Sinister Six have been thwarted by Spider-Man, with New York City liberated from the violence that gripped it following the arrest of the Kingpin in the game's prologue. However, despite the supervillains' incarceration and the end of Mister Negative's gang of Inner Demons, things are far from peaceful in the city -- and it doesn't look like they'll be cooling down any time soon. In this way, the events of the DLC set up future PS4 stories to come for the friendly neighborhood webslinger.
Much like how the toppling of Wilson Fisk's empire in the opening moments of the game left a power vacuum in the New York criminal underworld (leading to Mister Negative making his own power play to become the new crime lord of the city), a new vacuum has been created following Martin Li's Inner Demons coming to an end. The Maggia, a criminal syndicate of various mob families, reemerges, this time counting longtime Spider-Man villain Hammerhead as the most prominent member of the organization.
Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Don Heck for 1965's Avengers #13, the Maggia are the Marvel Universe's analogue to the Mafia, often rivaling the Kingpin as the dominant criminal enterprise in New York. The Maggia often enlists supervillains as enforcers, and this time is no exception. The only villain that gets mentioned in the expansion is Hammerhead, a mob boss with an indestructible skull who often uses it to lethal effect.
While Spidey never directly faces Hammerhead himself, the villain's presence is felt throughout the expansion, as Maggia henchmen in his employ commit various crimes across the city, including planting car bombs in busy areas, launching a massive counterfeit operation and staging the expansion's inciting heist on an art museum. It isn't until the new story's cliffhanger ending that Hammerhead is briefly seen, watching a bomb intended for Felicia Hardy, better known to comic book fans as the Black Cat, destroy the cat burglar's Manhattan penthouse.
Created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Dave Cockrum for 1979's Amazing Spider-Man #194, the Black Cat makes her full on-screen debut here after appearing as a voice-only role in the main game. The Black Cat's dynamic with Spidey alternates between flirtatious and adversarial due to a previous romantic relationship with Peter Parker that saw the hero attempt to train Felicia to become a hero in her own right, rather than a master thief.
In addition to setting up the character for future appearances in DLC and sequels, Black Cat also introduces a new gameplay mechanic that has her and Spider-Man team up both in active combat and stealth mode to take down various Maggia enforcers. Perhaps the biggest role Felicia Hardy plays is directly setting up the events of the next DLC expansion.