SILK #1 Review & Spoilers
untitled (20 pages)
Story by: Robbie Thompson
Art by: Stacey Lee
Colors by: Ian Herring
Letters by: VC’s Travis Lanham
Covers by: Dave Johnson; Stacey Lee; Skottie Young
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
HUZZAH!! Cindy Moon is in her own monthly spinning out of Spider-Verse as promised. To mention that another female-led book has hit the shelves is an obvious plus but this should please all fans Spider since the universe is expanding yet again without accentuating Peter Parker (although he makes a guest appearance).
Along with Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman, who gets a new costume in Spider-Women #5, and an alternate universe’s Gwen Stacey as Spider-Gwen who gets the #1 treatment this month, Cindy Moon’s Silk rounds out Marvel Comics’ Spider-Women ongoing series debuting alongside Spider-Verse. (BTW, if you thought Spider-Verse was over, guess again. Spider-Verse returns in Secret Wars!)
We now return you to your regularly scheduled review by Paul Miranda!
I’ll start this review at the end and work backwards. Cindy Moon is a deliberate analogue (JJJ said it best but in another context) of Peter Parker. The parallels are not accidental. There have to be some differences of course since we know the two crossed paths less than a year ago. Try finding those issues now!!
The recap page definitely lays out the W5. Anyone can pick this up and go with the flow.
First page is a full panel. From a glance it looks like Silk is punching an updated/upgraded Vulture. Real quickly (for the benefit of the reader as well as the protagonist) he is anything but!! Dragonclaw is his nomenclature. Cindy definitely dates herself when she asks if he’s named after an unfamiliar Pokémon. I guffawed at this. Pop culture connections FTW. Cindy is already delivering the puns (just like Petey) when she extracts her claws and dents the amateur’s armour. Just as she’s granted that little victory, her spider-sense sets her off and her webline is snapped. She even ‘prays’ aloud to give herself a quip as she falls to her impending doom. Want more similarities?? She starts to inner monologue ‘hard’. Spidey swoops to her rescue and uses his trademark humour much more effectively. Silk is dejected and pulls a Houdini on him refusing his offer for dinner and convo.
May the inner monologue continue!! Cindy contemplates her current situation. She wonders if she actually is okay. Being a super-hero = outcast. There is no normal. Ever!! One cool power she has over Peter is that she can weave clothes just like a silk spider would. See what I did there? 😉 Technically speaking, I’m referring to a Golden silk orb-weaver of the genus Nephila. I’m veering off-course here…
A look into the past. Cindy is arguing with her mother over her scholarly achievements (or lack thereof) and extracurricular activities. Through the narration we learn that Cindy already had a ‘super power’ — eidetic memory a.k.a. photographic memory. She’s a wunderkind! a phenom! Like any other brilliant mind, she’s only doing average in school much to her mother’s dismay. Cindy is determined to play a hockey game instead of going on a field trip for extra credit because she wants to see her secret boyfriend of six months. Mom is outraged. Dad roots for the guy. Cindy will turn eighteen in one week. Given that, she’ll be able to govern her own life. Mom doesn’t buckle. She tells him to take her lil’ bro on a playdate. Cindy fires back with the standard response all teens have directed towards their parents at one time or another: “I hate you.” Her brother says the exact opposite.
Cindy goes to her day job which happens to be the Fact Channel under the
tutelage dictatorship of..wait for it..J. Jonah Jameson!!! Kwinkydink? I think not! Anyway, JJJ is always foaming at the mouth. He points out Cindy’s tardiness and doesn’t even pretend to want to know her name. While he keeps ranting, Cindy inadvertently sets up a date between two female co-workers: Lola and Rafferty. JJJ admires Cindy’s ‘way back’ demeanour. He calls her “analog” and asks her to pitch a story for the slumming ratings. Cindy’s brilliant idea is to cover Silk. HA HA. Knowing that it’s a horrible idea, she opens her mouth. The damage is done. JJ is thrilled. He ties this new heroine’s appearance to Spider-Man’s incompetence. There can be no sweeter irony here: Cindy corrects Jameson by saying “Factually, Spider-Man wasn’t…” but he’s not interested, cutting her off. Headlines are what matter. Spidey-bashing is a bonus. JJ threatens to fire Cindy if she doesn’t follow through. Lola, also Cindy’s roommate, is eternally grateful for the set-up. Cindy’s actual boss actually walks in and is outraged and awestruck that the pitch meeting is over and that Jameson ruled the roost. Cindy’s real reason for the day job: not the money, duh!! She’ll use the channel’s resources to track down her parents.
Picking up right after Cindy stormed off, Junior gives her some perspective. He finds that she’s weird for being mean to her parents. She, being the older sibling, tells him that he won’t understand until he hits the teenage years. He cuts the tension and offers the cutest laughable moment when he points out that white chocolate is really weird and gross. (I disagree!) That’s enough to calm her down as the two exchange their fraternal love.
New term has been coined!! Silk-sense. Copyrighted by Cindy Moon. Silk can’t continue her mission with the daily drudgery of both jobs getting in her way. Her silk-sense is also impeding her full functionality. Enter: Dragonclaw, round two. She spins a super-cool shield that could even rival Cap’s. She has this fixation to deliver quips. I know she and Peter are ‘intimate’ but to that extent?!? The obligatory punch is given, or ‘love tap’ as she puts it. PPFFTT, as if! She literally doesn’t realize her own strength. Due to her out-of-the-loop status, Silk wonders if this so-called Pokémon knock-off can even teleport. She even assures herself that she’s asking for a quote-unquote friend. Plus, what hero has never said “Crime doesn’t pay.” The candle on the cake.
Cindy’s living situation changes in the blink of an eye. Having had roommates myself, there never is any true privacy. Cindy overhears Lola and Rafferty enjoying each other’s company behind a closed door. She does the noble thing and gets the hell out of dodge. She even leaves a note informing her of having found a new place. AAAWWW. *sniff*
Cindy meets up with her dreamboat: Hector Cervantez. She seems genuinely surprised by his appearance. He has ditched hockey to give her a six-month anniversary gift: a moon anklet for his Moon. Cindy says it best: “cornball”. OK, I’m going be ‘girly’ for a second and say that the gesture and statement are unique and heartfelt. Major points for Hector! Secret origin imminent!!! They clasp hands as they walk towards the science exhibit. HHHMM, I wonder…what will transpire?
One really is the loneliest number. Silk decides to dial a friend. One Amazing Spider-Friend, to be precise. He jokingly responds that he is swamped when she delivers the standard line of “Hey, you busy?” She uses the pretext of asking how to deal with the
spider-sense silk-sense. I love how Spidey thinks of the term as a brand name for shampoo. Yuck yuck yuck! Silk’s situation is reminiscent of Daredevil’s more modern interpretation in that he had to seal himself in a sensory deprivation chamber to cope with the overwhelming feedback from his radar sense. Silk calls it ‘static’ since she resides in the Big Apple. Spidey tries to sell her on how great NYC actually is but then tells her to find balance. He offers a shoulder by asking her if she wants to visit him. She replies with the ambivalent yes/no. End call.
It’s about time some Big Bad shows up and not some D-Lister. That honour goes to Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat. Looks like she’s the financier for the failed Dragonclaw. The has-been is ordered to go to The Shop. She asks her henchmen to look in on Silk. Felicia definitely has a bone to pick with her. Free plug: read AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 to see what I’m referencing.
Interspersed epilogue: the loser asserts that he’ll do absolutely anything to get a power boost and the respect that most criminals crave. The Repairman (new character) is delighted to hear that since it seems some bodily mutilation will occur to transform him into an actual dragon. Cindy goes back to the bunker where she can close off herself from all the noise as well as human contact. She replays a video of Ezekiel Sims. The building where the bunker is located is so off-the-books that she can’t help but admire Ezekiel’s resourcefulness in maintaining this massive secret. Cindy is convinced that Ezekiel is not truly dead. His ‘essence’ has to have lived on somewhere in some form. She feels he’s his best bet at finding her family.
Way to end the last panel on an eyebrow-raising note!! Some individuals are spying on the newest Spider-heroine. What’s most intriguing is the confirmation that Cindy has returned home. Say what?!?
*spin* *spin* *spin*
I won’t go into extensive detail comparing/contrasting Cindy and Peter. Any adequate arachnid erudite can determine that for him/herself. My greatest observation is this — while perusing this premiere issue I felt shades of BATGIRL (especially with the eidetic memory, just like Babs!) GASP!! I mentioned the Distinguished Competition. By no means is this a dis. In fact, I feel it necessary to mention this since it just happens to be the latest trend. That’s a good thing. Cindy may be almost 28 in age (just like Petey) but her mindset as well as her appearance is ten years younger. Her roomie situation fizzles fast but she has enough of the Marvel angst coupled with being a decade behind. I feel this woman’s pain, solitude, and determination.
All-new creative team on this title. By that I mean that I knew of none of them beforehand and two of the three have landed their first major gig. The letters page explains who’s who but I also researched online months ahead of this release. Robbie Thompson’s main claim to fame is being the main writer on Supernatural. Welcome aborad! He provides a most convincing female perspective. The story is well-paced and the flashbacks give much-needed backstory for a brand-new character who hasn’t yet been fully developed. Cindy’s ‘before life’ is full of tense and cute scenes. This is universal. The modern ‘after life’ is set up superbly as well. Gonna be a super-heroine? Gotta have a major villain(ness). ‘nuff said!
Stacey Lee is another unknown individual to my limited knowledge. According to editor Nick Lowe, she illustrated some awesome covers that caught the attention of former editor Ellie Pyle. She’s double trouble in that she pencils and inks. Much respect! Cindy is given an animé-esque aesthetic highlighting her Asian background although she looks more Caucasian at her workplace. Spidey looks purposely cartoony (to emphasize his humour?) The schnoz on Dragonclaw is quite fitting. Stacey alternates well between the sky fighting scenes and the more personal interactions.
Ian Herring has had some exposure to the Spider-titles having coloured LEARNING to CRAWL. The sepia-induced tones give the flashbacks the proper touch to indicate that life isn’t always a bed of roses. Aside from that, a larger-than-life character requires bombastic colours in her world. His range is extensive as he touches upon the entire spectrum.
I wonder if Travis Lanham did the logo. If so, wick-ed!! I love the little web he designed on the very first caption on the very first page. It’s little things like that that make all the difference. Red is an interesting choice for Cindy’s inner voice. His best piece is the handwritten note from Cindy to Lola.
Equal amounts of comedy, tragedy, action, suspense, foreshadowing, flashbacking, cheesy dialogue/scenes, character interaction, and plot development make this first volley a worthwhile read. I give this book an 8 out of 10 for the years Cindy spent in isolation.
Tags: Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man, Spider-Verse, spider-woman