|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (July 1979)|
|Created by||Marv Wolfman|
|Alter ego||Walter Hardy|
|Notable aliases||John Hardesky|
Walter Hardy is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Keith Pollard, he first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (July 1979). He is a world-renowned cat burglar and the father of Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat.
Fictional character biography
Walter Hardy is a well-known cat burglar who got arrested at some point. Years later, the thief known as Black Cat steals precinct papers on the prison holding him. Peter Parker also conducted his own research, learning that Walter Hardy had been locked up in New York Prison for the past few decades and is now terminally ill. At the prison, Spider-Man fights Black Cat while her accomplices Boris Korpse and Bruno Grainger blast the wall to Walter Hardy's prison cell, the rubble of which buries Spider-Man.
With Spider-Man unable to get out of the rubble, the prison officers are unable to stop Black Cat, Korpse, and Grainger from making off with Walter Hardy. At his home, Black Cat reveals that she is his daughter, Felicia Hardy, and mentions that her mother Lydia purposefully hid his past from her. Walter then leaves to spend his final moments with his wife. After Black Cat falls into the river, Spider-Man goes to meet up with Lydia Hardy as she weeps over Walter's death.
Powers and abilities
The Cat has a miniature grappling hook device, which enables him to swing from buildings in a manner similar to Spider-Man, though not quite as fast. He can also use the cable from this device as a tightrope, wall scaling device, swing line, and/or as a weapon in combat. He has photographic memory as well.
In other media
- The Cat appeared in the Spider-Man episodes "The Cat" and "The Black Cat", voiced by John Phillip Law. The character's name is changed to John Hardesky, but is still similar to his comic counterpart. As a boy, he was tricked by the Nazis into spying on the Captain America experiment and had a picture-memory of it. When he found out who the real Nazis were, he evaded them when Red Skull sent them after Walter and he managed to give them the slip. Years later, he is shown in protective S.H.I.E.L.D. custody until the Kingpin had Chameleon replace him so that Kingpin can get the formula to make his own super-soldiers. Upon discovering the formula, Kingpin decides to arrange a "family reunion" by having Doctor Octopus kidnap Felicia Hardy. She becomes a test subject to the super-soldier formula subjected to her by Herbert Landon and is transformed into the Black Cat. After encountering Black Cat, Spider-Man follows her to Kingpin's hideout and rescues her and Walter. Walter destroys the super-soldier serum before Herbert Landon can duplicate it. With Kingpin's plan thwarted, Walter says goodbye to his daughter and willingly returns to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
- Walter Hardy, amalgamated with the Burglar, appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man, voiced by James Remar. In a flashback accessed by the Venom symbiote, he is shown robbing Sullivan Edwards and escaping in the elevator. After Peter Parker's Uncle Ben is murdered, Peter investigates as Spider-Man and finds out that the murderer was chased to an abandoned warehouse. Though the burglar falls out of the window, Spider-Man saves him and leaves him for the police. In the episode "Opening Night", the burglar's identity as the Black Cat's father is revealed to Spider-Man at the time when Green Goblin releases all of the Vault's inmates. Black Cat arrives to bust him out of the Vault as Spider-Man is testing it out. Even though Black Cat wants him to escape with her, Walter decides to remain in the Vault to atone for Uncle Ben's murder.
- Walter Hardy appears in the 2018 Spider-Man video game, voiced by Daniel Riordan. He is featured in a sidequest in the DLC episode "The Heist." Spider-Man is contacted by Mackey, an NYPD detective who tasks him with tracking down paintings stolen by Walter, who was the original Black Cat. As Spider-Man looks for the paintings, Mackey relays Walter's backstory to the hero, explaining that because of his skill as a thief, the Maggia sought to recruit him. When Walter refused, he let himself be arrested and supposedly died drowning in a failed escape attempt from Ryker's, his death shielding his family from Maggia retaliation. After collecting all of the stolen art, Spider-Man returns to the precinct and discovers that Mackey is actually Walter, who faked his death and took on an alias so that he could obtain the paintings and use them to finance his retirement. Before he leaves, Walter asks Spider-Man to take care of the new Black Cat.
- Comic Vine, Walter Hardy first appearance.
- Amazing Spider-Man #194. Marvel Comics.
- Amazing Spider-Man #195. Marvel Comics.
- Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #78. Marvel Comics.
- Ultimate Spider-Man #53