To my utter dismay, it was announced last month that Marvel has canceled the Silk ongoing series. While the series is admittedly, not as popular as the likes of Spider-Gwen, Deadpool, or even Squirrel Girl, it contains a truly compelling story, and a highly relatable lead, in the form of Cindy Moon, aka, Silk!
With that in mind, it felt necessary to go back and spotlight Silk’s first trade, The Life and Times of Cindy Moon.
Introduced in the Original Sin story arc, the addition of Cindy Moon to the Marvel universe seems like yet another attempt to reskin the popular Spider-Man character, just to make a quick buck. Female counterparts to Spider-Man, are not even that rare, with the existence of Spider-Girl (May-day Parker) the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane in an alternative future, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) an Avenger and now mother, and the alternative universe Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacy) that was bitten by the spider in place of Peter. That leads to the question, what makes Silk stand out, and why should you care?
While the likes of Spider-Man and his other web-slinging counterparts, tend to focus heavily on their never ending rogue’s gallery, jumping from a monster of the week ordeals to multi-part battles for the fate of the world. Silk’s crime fighting antics act as a backdrop to her story, and a way to establish herself within the Marvel universe than anything. The driving force behind her heroism is her determination to find what she left behind. Creating a truly unique edition to the Spider line up, and a genuine joy to read.
Cindy Moon, brought to life in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man, provides a stark contrast to Peter. Having been bitten by the same radioactive spider that gave Peter his web-slinging powers, Cindy is hidden away from the world, in order to protect the ones she loved from her seemingly uncontrollable powers. Having been set free 10 years later, Cindy has to face the world alone, unsure of how to proceed other than the example set forth by Peter and her memories of better times. Her interesting relationship with Peter Parker hammers home just how different the same set of circumstances can be when a different extreme is taken, but how both choices meant loosing something close to them. That there was no easy answer, no right choice.
Cindy’s use of pop culture references, while this would usually heavily date the comic a few years down the line, work wonderfully in helping to shape Cindy’s personality and the time frame her mind is still stuck in. Making references to the Pokemon franchise, in its first few pages to only question if that’s still a thing, and highlighting her preference for paper and pen to the modern day tablet or phone. The inclusion of Cindy’s natural eidetic memory is a breath of fresh air, feeling that she has been “adjusting to powers” her whole life, bringing up just how painful this kind of ability can be especially when you lose something, or in this case people you love. Combining her natural abilities with her spider powers creates a new look at the spider based heroes. While Peter puts more focus into being Spider-Man out of a sense of responsibility, frequently forgetting his obligations as Peter Parker. Cindy is unable to forget her driving force, with finding her family being the top priority for both identities. The notion of Cindy working as an intern at a news site may appear as an attempt to simply mimic the early career of Peter Parker. However, it makes a lot of sense for her character. Cindy’s need to readjust herself to the modern world as well as finding leads to the overarching detective work of the series plays out beautifully and even leads to some fascinating and adorable scenes between both Cindy and J. Jonah Jameson.
The artwork is delightfully stylised, with the elegant ability to show both the fast sweeping action of battle scenes , and to slow down seamlessly for the sombre and isolated moments down in the bunker. The use of colour throughout, while not especially focus on delicate shading, is vibrant with a somewhat minimalistic approach. Knowing when to burst with colour and when to fade into the memories. Characters are easily distinguishable and visually striking creating an incredibly engaging and seamless read.
Silk: The Life and Times of Cindy Moon, contains all 7 issues and while some prior knowledge of the events in Amazing Spider-Man may prove helpful, they are completely non-compulsory to enjoy this largely self-contained tale.
Written by Robbie Thompson, with art by Stacey Lee. Silk – The Life and Times of Cindy Moon, is available in both Trade Paperback and Hardcover.