5 out of 5
So, firstly, these are all great issues. The trade is wholly satisfying, just based on that. But a nice “bonus” is how they’re actually linear, too: normally, annuals and extras like a FCBD stand aside from the main story, and you can definitely read both of them like that – they can stand alone if needed – but they also fully work within the Black Cat storyline. It’s not just a TPB collection of odds and ends – it will make complete sense on your shelf when volume 4 comes out.
I could knock this for charging us for a free book (at 15.99, it’s essentially priced for four issues), but to offset that, they really stuffed the thing with extra art – a whole slew of cover variants, thumbnails, pencil pages. Yeah, maybe it’s just filler, but when the comics are this much fun, it’s cool to see different artists’ takes on covers (whether or not they actually reflect the story) and how pencils / roughs shake out compared to fully colored pages.