Real Name: Walter Hardy
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Cat burglar
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), Bruno Grainger, Dr. Boris Korpse, Loop
Known Relatives: Lydia Hardy (wife), Felicia Hardy (Black Cat, daughter)
Base of Operations: Queens, New York City
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man I#194 (July, 1979)
Powers/Abilities: Walter Hardy was an accomplished cat burglar; he employed a number of lock-picks and was a superior athlete.
History: (Amazing Spider-Man I#194 (fb) ) - Twenty-odd years ago, Walter Hardy was a famed cat burglar.
(Uncanny Origins#10 (fb) ) - Hardy operated out of Paris for a time, once stealing a Van Gogh from the Louvre.
(Felicia Hardy: The Black Cat#2 (fb) - BTS) - Walter was friends with fellow burglar Loop.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#195 (fb)/Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#2 (fb) ) - Hardy settled down with his wife Lydia; 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.
(Spider-Man/Human Torch#4 (fb) ) - Hardy tried to steal the headdress of T'Chwambe, first chieftain of the Panther Tribe, from the Wakandan Embassy in New York. He triggered the alarms, however, and accidentally dropped his lucky lock-pick into the headdress' mane while he escaped.
(Uncanny Origins#10 (fb) ) - The Hardy family visited Niagara Falls.
(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#6 (fb) ) - Walter and Felicia played basketball; when Felicia said she wanted to be a Knicks cheerleader, Walter insisted that she should try to make the team, and make the boys cheer for her.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#195 (fb)/Uncanny Origins#10 (fb) ) - When Felicia was thirteen, he 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.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#194 (fb)/Uncanny Origins#10 (fb) ) - Walter was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#195 (fb) ) - Felicia petitioned the state to release Walter on compassionate grounds, but they refused, beliving he was still dangerous.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#194) - In his cell at Sing Sing, Walter Hardy was visited by Spider-Man, who wondered why Hardy's files had been stolen that day. Before Hardy could answer, the Black Cat arrived and blew open Hardy's cell with her accomplices Bruno Grainger and Dr. Boris Korpse.
((Amazing Spider-Man I#195) - The Cat, Grainger, and Dr. Korpse carried Walter away from prison; she dismissed her hirelings, then brought Walter back to her childhood home in Forest Hills. Putting him to bed, she revealed her identity as his daughter. He tried to tell her that he never wanted her to follow in his footsteps, but she left the room. Minutes later, Walter succumbed to his illness with his wife at his side.
(Uncanny Origins#10 (fb) ) - Shortly afterwards, Felicia visited Walter's grave.
Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard, and Frank Giacoia.
Hardy's appearance varies greatly from appearance to appearance. In his youth, Spider-Man/Human Torch gives him black hair and a little Vincent Price moustache, but Spider-Man/Black Cat gives him brown hair and a receding hairline. As an old man, he's clean-shaven with a full head of hair in ASM I#194, but in Uncanny Origins, which depicts the same scenes as ASM I#194, he has the full Teddy Roosevelt. Maybe as a master cat burglar, he was also a master of disguise?
In ASM I#194, Hardy is described as a "famed 1950s cat burglar", which is topical.
Walter appeared in two Spider-Man TV series, and, bizarrely, in both he was merged with another character. In the '90s Spider-Man cartoon series, Hardy (voiced by '70s b-movie mainstay John Phillip Law) was known as "the Cat", something that's led a number of people to confuse him with this guy. He was also given a weird backstory wherein he witnessed the creation of Captain America and memorized the Super-Soldier Serum formula. Then, in the 2008 Spectacular Spider-Man series, Walter Hardy (voiced by James Remar, from The Warriors and Dexter) was the burglar who shot Uncle Ben!
Profile by Minor Irritant.
Walter Hardy has no known connections to
Amazing Spider-Man I#194, p15, pan5 (main image)
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#6, p1, pan6 (as a younger man)
Amazing Spider-Man I#194 (July, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks)
Amazing Spider-Man I#195 (August, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (pencils), "M. Hands" (inks)
Felicia Hardy: The Black Cat#2 (August, 1994) - Terry Kavanagh (plot), Joey Cavalieri (script), Andrew Wildman (pencils), Stephen Baskerville (inks), Eric Fein (editor)
Uncanny Origins#10 (June, 1997) - Lysa Marie Hawkins (writer), Marc Campos (art), Joe Andreani (editor)
Spider-Man/Human Torch#4 (June, 2005) - Dan Slott (writer), Ty Templeton (pencils), Tom Palmer and Drew Geraci (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#6 (March, 2006) - Kevin Smith (writer), Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat#2 (September, 2010) - Jen Van Meter (writer), Javier Pulido (art), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Last updated: 12/23/12
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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