Real Name: Lydia Hardy
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Unspecified job in the Mayor of New York City's office
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), Byron, Kyoko, Tami
Enemies: Vasili Sidorov
Known Relatives: Walter Hardy (husband, deceased), Felicia Hardy (Black Cat, daughter)
Aliases: Claudia Moon
Base of Operations: Queens, New York City
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man I#195 (July, 1979)
Powers/Abilities: Lydia Hardy is a normal middle-aged woman.
History: (Amazing Spider-Man I#195 (fb)/Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#2 (fb) ) - Lydia married Walter Hardy, a somewhat retired cat burglar; they eventually had a daughter, Felicia, who idolized her father. Although largely retired, he still committed the odd burglary, explaining his frequent absences to Felicia by claiming to be a travelling salesman; the family didn't live remarkably well off the money it brought in, and Walter could have made money in other ways, but he was addicted to the thrill of crime.
(Uncanny Origins#10 (fb) ) - The Hardy family visited Niagara Falls.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#195 (fb)/Uncanny Origins#10 (fb) ) - When Felicia was thirteen, Walter was put in jail for a crime he didn't commit; he asked Lydia to tell Felicia that he'd died in a plane crash. Although she did so, Felicia soon found out the truth. The next day, Lydia attended a gymnastics meet, where she was disappointed that Felicia came in second.
(Uncanny Origins#10 (fb) ) - Felicia snuck past her sleeping mother and broke into her safe, which held some of her father's stolen jewels and his lock-picks.
(Uncanny Origins#10 (fb) ) - Years later, Lydia and Felicia saw a news report about Walter Hardy dying of cancer in prison. Lydia apologized for lying to her daughter, and expressed regret that Walter would die, alone, in prison.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#195) - Felicia, as the Black Cat, broke Walter out of prison and brought him home. Lydia had a brief reunion with Walter before he succumbed to his illness.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#78) - Lydia visited Felicia at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where she had been taken after being shot by Dr. Octopus' men. Lydia was pleased to hear that her daughter had renounced crime.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#84) - Lydia was with Felicia as she prepared to check out of the hospital; as they left, Felicia introduced Lydia to Spider-Man. She thanked him for saving her daughter's life, and departed with Felicia in a cab.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#85) - Lydia stayed with Felicia in her apartment as she recovered, preparing meals for her. As she finished dinner one night, Felicia exhorted her to go out, convincing Lydia to accept an invitation to play bridge at her church.
(Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#2 (fb) ) - Lydia moved into a new apartment, and lost touch with Felicia.
(Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#2 (fb)/Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#3 (fb) ) - Vasili Sidorov, a servant of the Kravinoff family, kidnapped Lydia to blackmail Felicia into stealing the treasures the Kravinoffs lost in the Russian Revolution. He imprisoned her in the staff quarters of the Kravinoff mansion. and hooked her up to a remotely-detonated explosive device.
(Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#2) - Sidorov briefly allowed Lydia to speak with Felicia to confirm she was alive. Several days later, after Felicia stole the items he'd requested, she contacted her mother to pass on the message that she had found Sidorov's storage unit.
(Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#3) - Lydia sang to herself to calm her nerves, unwittingly alerting the other Kravinoff servants to her presence. Angered, Sidorov gagged her, and demanded that Felicia bring him one last Kravinoff treasure - a sword. Later, while distracting Sidorov with a delivery of fake artifacts and an imposter Black Cat, Felicia broke into the Kravinoff mansion to rescue her mother, only to find that the detonator was armed...
(Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#4) - Felicia smuggled Lydia out of the Kravinoff estate in a crate, leaving her in the care of her associates Kyoko, Tami, and Byron while she went to look for Spider-Man. Unsuccessful, she reconnected with her mother and took her to her new home, a suburban house Felicia had purchased for her. She also set Lydia up with a new identity, "Claudia Moon", and a new job in the Mayor's office to keep her safe from the Kravinoffs.
Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard, and "M. Hands".
Lydia Hardy turned up several times in the '90s Spider-Man cartoon, inexplicably renamed Anastasia Hardy and played by a succession of voice actresses; Rue McClanahan (Golden Girls) for one episode, Dimitra Arliss (The Sting, Firefox) in another, and Nita Talbot (Hogan's Heroes, Soap) for three others.
"M. Hands" is short for Many Hands, meaning ASM I#195 had a zillion inkers.
Around the time the ASM Presents mini happened, Felicia was going by "Ashley Moon" and also had a job in the Mayor's office: it's possible their aliases were mother and daughter as well.
Profile by Minor Irritant.
Lydia has no known connections to
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#4, p17, pan4 (main image)
Uncanny Origins#10, p3, pan7 (younger Lydia)
Amazing Spider-Man I#195 (August, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (pencils), "M. Hands" (inks)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#78 (May, 1983) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#84 (November, 1983) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Dave Simons (art), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#85 (December, 1983) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Roger Stern (plot assist), Al Milgrom (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Uncanny Origins#10 (June, 1997) - Lysa Marie Hawkins (writer), Marc Campos (art), Joe Andreani (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#2-4 (September-November, 2010) - Jen Van Meter (writer), Javier Pulido (art), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Last updated: 01/29/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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