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Back in the late 1970s, the person who went on to create Black Cat, Marve Wolfman, wanted to make a female foil for Spider-Woman. However, in this Black Cat cosplay ideas guide, you’ll notice that nothing of her original concept remained from the rejected cover show on the left.
According to Wolfman, everything but Black Cat’s name and powers was changed when she was moved over to The Amazing Spider-Man #194 comic, where she made her official debut.
Although several Batman fans, including myself, saw parallels between Felicia Hardy (Black Cat) and Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Wolfman wasn’t thinking about the famous DC cat burglar at the time. He was actually taking inspiration from the animated short film “Bad Luck Blackie,” where a black cat brought bad luck to anyone in their vicinity.
Interestingly, Black Cat receives “bad luck” powers approximately 5 years after her initial appearance in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man. Although she does lose them shortly after, it’s clear that her Femme Fatale personality and looks are key components of Black Cat.
Speaking of her looks, very little has changed in Felicia Hardy’s costume since her debut, but there are slight changes in her outfits that make her an iconic and easy character to cosplay.
Bottom Line Up Front
Black Cat is an easy character to cosplay, and you don’t have to be an incredible sewer to pull her off. Whether you choose to cosplay as a casual Felicia Hardy or as the combat harden anti-hero Black Cat, there are tons of options for casual and hardcore fans to enjoy.
What to Consider Before Choosing a Black Cat Cosplay
Cosplaying as Black Cat won’t be too difficult. All you’ll need is a catsuit and some way to sew wig hair and/or fur on it. However, to pick the right cosplay, you’ll need to consider the following.
Felicia Hardy vs Black Cat
Felicia Hardy is the given name to the person who becomes Black Cat. Like most Marvel superheroes, the costume separates the civilian from the crime fighter or villain, but not everyone looks distinct in their regular clothing. Due to Felicia Hardy’s white hair, there are several casual outfits cosplayers could wear and still come across as Black Cat to most Spider-Man fans.
For example, the Black Cat #1 JSC Exclusive Variant G pictured below is a variant of the famous and controversial, Amazing Spider-Man #601 cover of Mary Jane sitting unnaturally.
The creator of both covers, J Scott Campbell, made a redesign of the Mary Jane cover and the Black Cat cover the same year due to the backlash that came from Amazing Spider-Man #601. It was the subject of several popular memes, making the Felicia Hardy outfit very recognizable.
There are several other casual Felicia Hardy outfits, which I’ll discuss later on in this blog post, and they may be preferable to fans who don’t want to wear a catsuit. Still, any version of Black Cat wearing her signature catsuit will be more recognizable to casual or non-Spider-Man fans.
Black Cat wears a leather catsuit for most of her costumes, but you’re welcome to wear PU leather if that makes you more comfortable. Good quality PU leather is typically the better option because it’s more breathable and easier to work with. Most sewing machines can’t sew through real leather unless you purchase a separate needle and/or have an industrial machine.
Keep in mind that PU leather or pleather is typically made from low-quality materials, so don’t just settle on the first catsuit you find if you’re simply adding the fur/hair to the costume. Alternatively, you can try a latex catsuit if you want to imitate the shine of genuine leather.
WARNING NSFW: Most good-quality catsuits are available on fetish websites, like Latex Catfish. The CF-CANV15403 in black is what I’d recommend for most cosplayers.
Although Black Cat doesn’t technically wear a corset in the comics (although there are outfits that resemble corsets, like in Amazing Spider-Man #800), the cosplay community typically wears corsets to simulate her hourglass body. As only 8% of women naturally have an hourglass figure, it makes sense that customers would go to great lengths to achieve this body type.
However, wearing corsets for the first time or when you’re unsure how to wear them is very, very dangerous. Most corset newbies will start their journey by lacing the garment as tightly as possible, but that can result in discomfort, shortness of breath, bruising, or cracked ribs.
You don’t have to wear a corset to cosplay Black Cat, but if you choose to, make sure you do so properly. Don’t make convention day the first time you lace up a corset, and never purchase a piece that’s too big or too small, or it will rest too high or too low on the bust.
Also, keep in mind that most corsets, unless they’re thin and don’t have any protruding lace or buckles, will show through your catsuit. For the best look, lace your corset over your catsuit or sew a corset into the catsuit itself so it seamlessly integrates with the costume.
Long White Wig
As I mentioned in my “Best Epic Cosplay Wigs” article, white wigs can’t hide imperfections as well as darker-colored wigs. Since Black Cat is an inexpensive cosplay, I recommend spending most of your money on the wig. If you’re cosplaying Black Cat from the video game “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” you can’t afford not to buy a full-lace or monofilament wig-cap wig.
That’s because Black Cat’s hair is worn in a ponytail in the video game, and up-dos are almost impossible to pull off without a high-quality wig cap. Here’s a list of wigs I’d recommend:
- TEMPER: Almond Latte Lyte
- FASHIONDEITY: White Platinum Blonde Wig
- Donalove Hair: White Waist-Length Wig
You could also dye your hair white and wear ponytail extensions, but that will cost you hundreds of dollars in bleach. You also run the risk of severely damaging your hair. Unless you really want to cosplay Felicia Hardy with a ponytail, it’s easier and cheaper to wear her hair loose.
To cut down on costs, prioritize lace-front wigs. Sometimes Black Cat’s hair is straight. Other times it’s wavy. She’s also seen with bangs and shorter hair. Feel free to pick a big style and length that suits your preferences, but keep in mind her hair is typically waist-length.
Unless you buy a Black Cat costume with hair or fur already on it, you’re going to have to sew it on the costume itself. Most purchasable Black Cat cosplays don’t use high-quality hair or fur, so you might prefer to make your own anyway or rip off the fur that came with the costume.
In costumes where the fur is bunched, not loose like hair, use IKEA mats, vintage fur coats from second-hand stores, or wholesale fake-fur “fabric” from eBay. Not only are these options cheap, but they don’t harm animals. If you’re sewing on hair, use hair extensions that don’t come with clips attached. There will be a section at the top of the extension you can sew to the catsuit.
Cat Claws and Mask
For my first Black Cat cosplay, I glued fake nails directly on gloves, but it looks really messy. What I find works better is inserting fake nails inside the glove and shaping the fabric around it so it looks like the claws are actually a part of the glove. You’ll need gloves that are a few sizes too big and black thread to keep the nails in place. It’s better to sew these gloves yourself.
For the mask, you can either draw it on your skin or use a 3D-printed mask. I find that a physical mask works better, but if you have exceptional makeup skills, check out Rebecca Smile’s video:
Black Cat Spiderman Tutorial | Rebecca Smile
Credit: Rebecca Smile
When made out of rubber or silicone, like this mask by Catbox3D, the mask can wrap around your features rather than sit on top of your face as most cheaper pieces do. To attach these types of masks to your face, use spirit gum, a skin-safe glue that stays tacky for hours.
Make sure you buy spirit gum remover! You won’t be able to remove spirit gum completely with water or other adhesive removers, so don’t use it on your skin until you also have a remover.
The hardest thing about cosplaying any character who wears a bodysuit is going to the bathroom. If you’re wearing a corset over the bodysuit, it could take you a few minutes to get your outfit off and at least 5 minutes to lace up your corset and put your catsuit back on.
There are catsuits that have a zipper in the crotch, but none of Black Cat’s outfits have a visible zipper in that area. If you’re really good at hiding zippers, or you’re okay with removing realism so you can use the bathroom without a lot of fuss, sew an invisible zipper on your suit.
For a cosplay to appear on the list below, it must follow the following criteria:
- The cosplay has to be something Felicia Hardy has worn or;
- The cosplay has to be widely accepted as a great interpretation of the character.
- The outfit has to appear in either the comic, animated show, or video games.
- The cosplay can include mix and match elements (aka white gloves instead of black).
- The cosplays on this list must be wholly or partially available online to purchase.
- The cosplays will vary in difficulty, ranging from easy (bought) to hard (hand-made).
In the next section, we’ll look at the best Black Cat cosplay ideas for newbies and experts.
WARNING: Spoilers for Spider-Man below.
Our Selections: The Best Black Cat Cosplay Ideas
Black Cat can be cosplayed several different ways, and most of her outfits can be customized to fit any body type or aesthetic preference.
Here are a few ideas I’d recommend you’d cosplay.
Amazing Spider-Man #194 Black Cat
Considered the “classic” Black Cat look, the Amazing Spider-Man #194 features Felicia Hardy with shoulder-length hair, the black catsuit, white fur-trimmed gloves and boots, and a small, barely noticeable white fur trim around the collar. This look is revisited several times.
For example, the Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #8 Spider-Man Villains Variant featuring Black Cat includes the revamped look with longer fur/hair cuffs on her arms and legs and a frayed white fur collar. You can also see her elongated black choker, a popular accessory at the time.
Amazing Spider-Man #371 Black Cat
This version of Black Cat shows a plunging neckline so low that it rests below her belly button.
You’ll need a lot of double-sided tape for this costume. In the Amazing Spider-Man #371, we’re starting to see the more “well-known” catsuit take shape with the long white hair sewed onto the top of the boots and gloves.
But the collar doesn’t have fur. Look closely, and you’ll see the original studded golden choker from the Amazing Spider-Man #194 changed to black.
Web of Spider-Man #128 Black Cat
The Web of Spider-Man #128 consume looks very similar to The Amazing Spider-Man #371 look, except the suit’s collar isn’t nearly as low. Although it isn’t visible in the photo, this is one of her first appearances with the white-clawed gloves, better seen in Marvel Team-Up (Vol. 3) #9.
Superior Spider-Man #20 Black Cat
If there’s anything that could be considered the “Black Cat Suit,” it would be the one featured in Superior Spider-Man #20. Her suit is black from head to toe except for the hair/fur around the boots, gloves, and collar. You can also see her elongated choker and lack of earrings.
This version of the suit is easy to find, but it typically comes without hair on the gloves and shoes or with cheap-looking fur. EZCosplay, the version that comes without hair, is the better of the two, but if you can’t sew, Halloween Costumes has a great budget option.
Claws #2 Black Cat
Claws, the Wolverine and Black Cat crossover comic, features one of Black Cat’s most unique outfits to date. While she’s still wearing her black catsuit, it’s worn off the shoulder and without any fur. Instead, she’s decked out with white belted gloves and boots, pictured below.
She’s also wearing a mask, cat ears, and a utility belt. Her eyes, while still green, are more cat-like and have slits. She’s also seen with an actual cat-collar complete with a medallion.
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #3 Black Cat
As Black Cat was reworked for a new era of Marvel comics, we can see they retired her iconic black and white catsuit. In fact, it doesn’t reappear until Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #16.HU, 5 years after Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #3. It likely returned quickly due to its unpopularity.
In this new version of Black Cat, Felicia Hardy is completely covered in a black catsuit with yellow accents, which are either larger or smaller depending on the comic. Long, black hair is sewed onto her gloves, boots, and sometimes collar. A small emblem sits around her collar bone, and she often appears with a long chain belt that wraps around her waist and legs.
However, that belt doesn’t appear in her Silk #3 appearance, shown below.
Sometimes, she’ll wear bracelets, like in Venom (Vol. 3) #2, pictured below.
Other times her hair will be styled differently, like in Star-Lord (Vol. 2) #5, pictured below.
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do #2 Black Cat
From this point on, Black Cat’s design stays pretty consistent in the comics. However, illustrators experimented with different hair lengths. The photo above shows Black Cat’s often used hairstyle in Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do #2, where she has short bangs.
You can also see the return of her Superior Spider-Man #20 outfit. But, for the most part, Black Cat either has short side-swept bangs or no bangs at all.
Black Cat Cosplay Variants
Before I move on, I wanted to talk about the many ways you can customize Black Cat based on her cover art and other appearances. In the Campbell Variant cover shown above from the Superior Spider-Man #20 issue, you can see her fur is connected to different leather pieces, not her suit. She’s also wearing different jewelry, a corset, and hair that’s heavily parted to the right.
In Black Cat Annual (Vol. 2) #1, pictured above, her hair is straight, not wavy.
In Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 5) #87, pictured above, she’s seen with a pink backpack. This would be perfect for con season, especially since Black Cat’s suit doesn’t have pockets.
In this Bartel Variant of Black Cat #3, you can see Black Cat is dripping in jewelry.
Black Cat #1 Frankie’s Comics Exclusive Variant Black Cat
This costume is a very cute rendition of Black Cat’s suit. Her sharp-clawed gloves are replaced with black paws, her newly acquired hood has cat ears and white fur that wraps around her arms and hands, and you can see a long tail. Her boots are also a classic white.
Black Cat (Vol. 2) #1 Pichelli Variant Black Cat
I can’t get enough of this alt cover pictured in Black Cat (Vol. 2) #1. First off, her dress shows off her shoulders in a similar way to Claws #2, except it appears to be a gown. You can see a peek-a-boo camisole or bra, her clawed gloves, and gold and black jewelry.
This looks similar to the Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond #1 JSC Exclusive Variant B variant cover, except you can tell it’s a gown, and you can see what shoes she’s wearing, shown below.
Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond #1 JSC Exclusive Variant D Black Cat
Mary Jane and Black Cat teamed up in their own comic, Mary Jane & Black Cat, but have appeared in multiple variant covers together for a while now. Mary Jane typically gets dressed up more in these comics, but in Beyond #1’s JSC Exclusive Variant D cover, Black Cat shines.
Wearing a cropped fur-lined leather jacket and leather pants, she looks more like Felicia Hardy than her Black Cat alter-ego. This is more apparent by her shirt, which is The Amazing Spider-Man #607 cover art. If you look closely, you can see she’s wearing earrings and rings.
Black Cat (Vol. 2) #2 Yggdrasil Staff Black Cat
This brief but incredibly rad moment in Marvel history is always understated. In Black Cat (Vol. 2) #2, Felicia Hardy takes possession of the Yggdrasil Staff and gets a costume change. You can see in the photo above that she’s wearing golden Asgardian armor, complete with a cape.
I have never seen anyone do this cosplay, but I assume it’s because you’ll have to make the entire costume yourself. Not only that, but nothing here screams Black Cat, despite the hair.
Amazing Spider-Man #607 Black Cat
You’ve already seen this photo in Black Cat’s outfit on the Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond #1 JSC Exclusive Variant D cover, but if you want to just wear the Spider-Man dress, you should go for it. You can make this dress by dismantling a Spider-Man suit and removing the bottom half.
Superior Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #1 Lozano Variant Black Cat
In Superior Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #1, we see a return of the plunging neckline and the detail on the suit. With her white coat, clawed gloves, and choker in view, you could almost confuse this outfit for high fashion. To pull off this cosplay, you’ll have to add extra panels to a catsuit.
Black Cat #12 Black Cat
There’s no true way to express how cool this would be to cosplay. Pictured above is the Iron Cat Armor, a suit that Black Cat used the Nanoforge to create. Since it was developed too quickly, it possessed few properties but could graze Iron Man’s suit during their fight at Stark Unlimited.
This suit has a similar construction to Raiden’s suit in Metal Gear Rising with its intricate paneling. I’d recommend using Worbla or foam to construct the suit and a motorcycle helmet to create Iron Cat’s helmet. For the fabric coming off the suit, use cotton and clip it at the back of the helmet. It’s hard to see how that’s one in the first photo, but you can see it here.
You’ll need to add LED lights throughout the costume. To learn how to do this, watch below:
I help you get started with LEDs – Cosplay Tutorial
Symbiote Suit/Black Spider-Man Suit Black Cat
Unless I missed something, I can’t find any examples, other than fan art, where Felica Hardy is wearing a Black Spider-Man Suit or a black symbiote suit, except in Web of Shadows (above).
(Although, there is a hard-to-find Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #23 Woo Dae Shim Venom-Ized Black Cat Variant Cover released in 2019, way after wearing the suit became popular.)
In the video game Web of Shadows on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and Wii, Black Cat becomes possessed by the symbiote. So, technically, Black Cat does wear a suit resembling the Black Spider-Man Suit, but it looks nothing like the popular Black Cat Symbiote suit you can buy in stores. You can see this suit on cosplayers like Angelica Sixx and MegaCo.
Here’s another great example of the suit:
I’m not the cosplay police, so I’m not saying not to wear this costume. But, for it to be included in the selection criteria, the cosplay must appear in official Spider-Man media or be accepted by the community as an interpretation of the character. This cosplay falls under the latter!
If you’re not confident in your sewing skills, buying a Symbiote Suit is a great way to dip your toe into cosplay. I don’t want to come off like you shouldn’t cosplay costumes that aren’t canon.
But, if you’re interested in trying out a few other Venom-Ized cosplays, try cosplaying the cover of Black Cat #2 Mark Brooks Venom Variant, shown below:
Or the Anti-Venom suit Black Cat wears in Black Cat #2 shown below:
Or the super scary Venom Black Cat in Amazing Spider-Man Venom Inc. Omega #1 KRS Exclusive Cover D, pictured below:
Marvel’s Spider-Man Black Cat
Although the art above comes from Marvel’s Spider-Man Black Cat Strikes (2020 Marvel) #2B, the costume was first released in Marvel’s Spider-Man video game expansion, The City That Never Sleeps.
Here’s an example of what she looks like in the video game:
Here’s a great example of the cosplay created by AGflower:
This costume is distinct from her other looks, especially if you consider her hair, suit, and Catwoman-like goggles. It definitely looks like Black Cat can maneuver better in this outfit.
You can purchase decent-looking versions of this costume at EZ Coplay and Heros Time.
Black Cat #1 JSC Exclusive Variant G Felicia Hardy
If you missed it in my “Felicia Hardy vs Black Cat” section, this version of Felicia Hardy is a tongue-in-cheek remake of the controversial Amazing Spider-Man #601 cover of Mary Jane. This is a super casual cosplay that’s perfect for glasses wearers and hot summers.
Black Cat #1 KRS Comics Exclusive Nakayama Variant Felicia Hardy
This variant cover is another easy cosplay. It’s super stylish, too, so you’ll be able to wear this look when you’re out of cosplay. You can easily find a “MEOW” print shirt and a leather skirt at Forever 21, but you may need to look online for the white half-gloves, boots, and leopard bag.
Black Cat (Vol. 2) #4 Women’s History Month Variant Felicia Hardy
To celebrate Women’s History Month, Marvel released variant covers to commemorate the various women in their universe. One of those covers belonged to Black Cat, pictured above. She’s wearing a beautiful blouse and skirt combo, an updo, and gold lion jewelry.
Symbiote Spider-Man #1 KRS Comics Exclusive Variant D Felicia Hardy
Felicia Hardy looks similar to Mary Jane in this variant cover, but she still exudes the personality she’s known for. This is probably the easiest to find cosplay on this list, as most stores carry ripped blue jeans. For the top, try custom t-shirt websites like RedBubble or Vistaprint.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Black Cat good in Spider-Man?
Answer: Black Cat is considered an anti-hero in Spider-Man, similar to Catwoman in Batman. She makes a better burglar than a hero, but she does use her skills to help out the good guys every once and a while. Felicia Hardy’s bad luck powers also make it difficult to work with her.
Question: Is Black Cat in love with Spider-Man?
Answer: Felicia Hardy and Peter Parker have an on and off relationship with each other. She’s considered one of three love interests of Spider-Man next to Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson. At multiple points in the series, Black Cat confesses her love for Spider-Man.
Question: What is Black Cat’s suit made out of?
Answer: Black Cat’s suit is made out of a leather-like material in the comics. She currently uses a costume designed by the Tinkerer, which increases many of her natural attributes. For cosplay, most people use PU leather or latex because it’s cheaper and more breathable.
Question: How do you make a Black Cat cosplay?
Answer: For most Black Cat cosplays, you’ll need to create her catsuit. There are three ways to do this: buy a pre-existing garment, buy a pattern, or use a duct tape pattern. From there, you’ll need to sew hair or fur onto the garment by hand sewing it or by using a sewing machine.
Black Cat is a fun, simple cosplay you can wear no matter the season. Thanks to the leather catsuit and gloves, you’ll stay warm year-round, but the costume is open enough to also keep you cool. I’m sure that all of my ideas will get you more than enough attention on social media.
A word of advice: Some people in the cosplay community frown upon cosplayers who dress up as “sexy” characters—Don’t listen to them. If you feel comfortable wearing Black Cat, don’t let anyone stop you. I, and many others, want everyone to enjoy cosplay, regardless of how the person looks or how the character looks. If you’re having fun, that’s what matters.
If you want to try out some more comic-book cosplay ideas, check out our “Scarlet Witch Cosplay Ideas Guide” article, our “Power Girl Cosplay Outfit Ideas” blog post, and our “Harley Quinn Cosplay” post. With all these ideas, you’ll have more than enough cosplays for con!