Marvel Voices Pride #1
"When A Black Cat Crosses Your Path, You Give Them The Right-Of-Way" tells a fun Black Cat vignette briefly introducing Krakoa’s newest superstar — Jessie Drake!
This issue is finally here, and we’re treated to a euphoria of stories from a murderer’s row of LGBTQ+ creators from all over the spectrum, featuring LGBTQ+ characters from all over the multiverse, bringing us both stories that are in continuity, as well as some not. It’s another example of Marvel branching out, trying to include voices of diversity from a multitude of creators and characters, and offering a pathway to inclusion in acceptance.
There are a few reasons why I absolutely loved this four page vignette, and I’ll lay it all out for you.
First: I love the Black Cat. My most prized Spider-Man comic is her first appearance, and is the only comic I have CGC graded. I love it that much. If Cat is in a book, I will buy it. I don’t care if I dislike the character’s book she’s guesting in, or the creators are garbage. I love her that much.
Second: Jessie Drake, a young mutant empathic metamorph, whose debut in Marvel Comics Presents #150-151 might be the best Typhoid Mary story Ann Nocenti and the late Steve Lightle ever created. She’s a young trans girl who was being abused by a secret, nefarious government program (aren’t they all?) called the Fortress. The program captures and experiments on young mutant children, like Jessie. The significance here is that Jessie is Marvel’s first openly transgender character, and considering this was in 1994, it was a huge milestone for the company. The story includes Typhoid Mary, Wolverine, body armor Daredevil, and Ghost Rider stand-in Vengeance. You can find the original storyline in the trade paperback Typhoid’s Kiss.
Third: I love this creative team. Leah Williams, an openly bisexual woman, writing the out and proud bisexual Black Cat, and Jan Bazaldua, a trans artist known by her amazing work on Mr. & Mrs. X, Avengers, various Spider-Man titles, and many, many more. So going into this story it felt like this was the beginning of something special.
All of this rolled up into a very bombastic 4 page story: Someone hired Steel Raven (another character introduced in the same storyline Jessie was) to impersonate Black Cat, and she’s determined to find out why. There’s a mix-up, some Cat flirtation, which to be expected, and what looks like it could be something down the road. Is Leah taking over Black Cat for MacKay? I don’t know. I don’t want to lose the current team, but if Williams and Bazaldua are coming on, Felicia and her world is in very good hands.
Leah Williams and Jan Bazaldua thrill in this story steeped in the past to reintroduce one of Marvel’s queer character pioneers, and bring her into the future. There’s a promise of something more to come between these two, and I hope the reception is big enough that Marvel lets this story be told.
Marvel Voices: Pride #1: Black Cat & Jessie Drake in "When a Black Cat Crosses Your Path..."
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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