I recently sang the praises of the new Spider-Gwen series, but the illustrious Ms. Stacy is not the only spider-broad to get her own series coming out of the Edge of Spider-verse event. I meant to pick up the first issue of Silk when it came out last month, but my shop was sold out by the time I got there. I finally got my hands on the second printing of Silk #1 the other day, along with the first printing of the second issue, and I’m pleased to report that it’s a tremendously enjoyable read.
Silk is a young Korean-American woman, née Cindy Moon, who was bitten by the same spider as Peter Parker way back when (it really got around, apparently). She began exploring her powers with the help of a mysterious and wealthy benefactor, but when he realized the villains of the Spider-verse event were hunting her, he convinced her to go underground. Literally—she spent ten years hiding in a bunker, shut off from the world, and only emerged after Peter Parker tracked her down. Now that the hunters are gone and she’s back in the world, all she wants to do is find her family, who disappeared in the interim. To help her do so, she picks up an internship at the Fact Channel, an offshoot of the Daily Bugle, so she can keep an eye on all the newest news. All while continuing to fight crime, of course.
The first two issues set up both the backstory and the conflict nicely. Her past isn’t totally laid out for us, which would have been boring to people who already read Spider-verse, but it isn’t done so sparsely that it’s alienating to people like me who were barely following the event. We have some flashbacks to her with her parents, with whom she, as a headstrong teenager, had a bit of an antagonistic relationship, and with her younger brother, with whom she was clearly close. The flashbacks are mirrored against Cindy in the present day, where she tries to backtrack through her old neighborhood for clues and only finds that everything has changed. The conflict doesn’t appear to be limited to just Cindy’s search for her family, though; she is also being tracked by someone or something with less-than-pure intentions that’s interested in her biology.
Cindy’s an interesting character; she’s not totally oblivious to social cues—she did live till late teenagerhood as a regular non-powered person—but living alone for so long has left her with no patience for people who speak indirectly or who beat around the bush. She’s still getting used to interacting with people again, and it doesn’t help matters that she’s in an awkward spot with Peter Parker, because they kind of hooked up during the Spider-verse event and she’s not sure how to navigate their relationship.
Cindy is also an important addition to the Marvel universe because she’s Korean-American. Coming out of Spider-verse and immediately headlining her own book makes her one of the most high-profile Asian-American superheroes. Furthermore, I think it’s also important to note that while Cindy doesn’t hide her race in costume—she only covers the bottom half of her face—she’s still relatively unique among superheroes of color, especially superheroes of Asian heritage, in that her powers aren’t coded to her ethnicity.
Silk is written by Robbie Thompson, whose name I recognized instantly on looking at the cover, but which I could not place for the life of me. It wasn’t until I was reading the end-notes, where the editor of the book specifically said that Thompson’s best known for being a Supernatural writer, that it clicked. Thompson is actually responsible for some of my absolute favorite episodes of SPN in its later seasons (and the creation of Charlie frickin Bradbury), and he’s doing a bang-up job so far with Silk as well. Meanwhile, Stacey Lee is doing beautiful things with the interior art—it’s tremendously expressive, and cute without being cutesy or infantilizing.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Silk yet, I definitely recommend picking it up. It’s engaging and fun, full of diverse characters and Robbie Thompson’s trademark goofy pop-culture references, and well worth your $3.99.