The Other Side of the Page: Books and Comics
The Not So Silky Truth About Silk #1
New this week in the world of comics is Silk #1
I’m not sure what I feel about this title. I want to like Cindy Moon AKA Silk, but she’s a bit of a Mary Sue to me.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Marvel just finished up a huge event called Spider-Verse. The Inheritors were these suped up bad guys who looked like humans paused midway through a werewolf transformation. Trying to fulfill a prophecy where they will live forever, have more powers, yada yada yada, they hunt down every Spider-Man throughout all the universes to steal their life energies. Silk was an important figure being one of the three totems in the prophecy. She was the one who set off the events of the Spider-Verse.
First, I should say that I’m not the biggest Spider-Man fan. Peter Parker is a doll, but if I have to watch his origin story in movie form again, I swear to God I’m burning Sony and Marvel down. I do recognize that Peter Parker paved the way for modern comic books. He was a teenager with real life problems outside of being a superhero. When he came about in the 60s, there was nothing like him at the time. I love that he’s witty and has some of the best one liners around. But when it comes to my pull list, I’d rather get other titles like Ms. Marvel, Saga, or Loki: Agent of Asgard before Spider-Man.
I did make a point to pick up the Spider-Verse mostly because I work in a comic book store. I like to keep up with what my customers are reading. We got a lot of great characters from this story arc.
People (including myself) are gaga for Spider-Gwen. Edge of Spider-Verse #2 went to a fourth printing. A graded first print is currently selling for about $150! Gwen also has the best costume around.
Spider-Gwen #1 has already sold over 200,000 copies in preorders, and it’s not even out until next week!
My personal favorite from the Spider-Verse was Peni Parker who piloted the Sp//der suit in an alternate universe written by Gerard Way.
Yes, Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance. I’m biased. That’s my favorite band. Maybe that’s why I love Peni so much.
Edge of Spider-Verse #5 felt unique too. It was written like a mecha anime for Spider-Man.
And then we got Silk in the swath of amazing characters.
When I first met Cindy, I hadn’t been reading Amazing Spider-Man. I picked up part one of Spider-Verse which was #9 in the series. My introduction to her was busting into naked Peter Parker’s room talking about how great it is that her spider pheromones allows them to get wicked turned on and sex each other up.
Peter obviously wasn’t the biggest fan of this except for the getting laid part. Thank god that first impressions aren’t always the best.
After the awkward first moments, I ended up liking Silk a lot. She’s inexperienced as a hero and doesn’t quite know how to function in a team setting. Her and Peter are the point of views for the reader navigating their way through the Spider-Verse. They voice our questions about the surrounding plot. If it’s not focused on Peter, then we’re reading about Silk.
I found myself cracking up reading the Spider-Woman tie ins. Jessica Drew would turn to say something important to Silk, and the teenager has vanished from sight. It was Adventures in Babysitting the Spider-Verse edition gone wrong.
Cindy also found her purpose and drive to be a hero. Acknowledging her flaws and recognizing her fear wasn’t a bad thing, she discovered bravery in herself to keep fighting. She ignored everyone barking commands at her and trusted her instincts. It led to many pivotal moments that allowed the Spiders to save the day.
In the aftermath, I wanted to see where they would take Cindy next.
Here’s a quick rundown on Silk #1.
-Cindy is Asian American. I’m all for more women titles and more people of color in comics. I’m not sure if Silk will be the next Kamala Khan, but this is a step in the right direction.
-She struggles with her identity. She’s not sure what kind of superhero she wants to be. Cindy will try out a not-so-funny one liner for them to fall flat on the bad guy. My favorite line of the issue was her yelling, “Clever quip that masks my fear!”
-Cindy doesn’t have control of her powers which will give direction to the comic.
-I’m glad they stayed away from Cindy’s origin story of how she got her powers. Instead, they focused on her relationship with her family and her drive to find them.
-I hate to say it, but this was a pretty boring comic. There were a few good moments like Cindy calling the baddie a Pokemon. I also liked seeing her lose control of her powers. But overall, it was a pretty straightforward comic. Nothing blew me away.
-I’m not sure where Peter is fitting into Silk’s world. Is he her mentor? Are they dating? Are they even sleeping together anymore? I wanted him to do more in this issue. While I respect that he’s giving her space to figure out things on her own, I feel like Peter would at least verbally try more to get through to her. He’s been in her shoes and knows exactly what Cindy is going through. Letting her have time to figure things out is great, but I would have like Peter to say more, “I know how you feel. I’m here if you need me.” Instead, we got Peter trying to be the funny one liner guy. We know Peter Parker can be sincere and a good counselor. Where was he in this issue?
But my biggest issue with Silk #1 is…
Cindy is the girl version of Peter Parker.
There is nothing new about Cindy. She got her powers the same was as he did. He lost Uncle Ben, and it affected him. Cindy’s family is missing, and it’s driving her in this series. Both work for the Daily Planet and trick J. Jonah Jameson with stories smearing Spider-Man to make a living. She has the same struggles Peter did when he first started. We’ve also seen these plots in the Ultimates Universe with Miles Morales. It’s not new!
The only really interesting thing about Cindy is she was stuck in a bunker for about a decade. Trying to rebuild her new life in New York is like-
Oh wait! Peter Parker had a similar story like that recently too!
Peter was killed in Amazing Spider-Man #700 and was trapped in Doctor Octopus’ mind. The villain took control of Peter’s body to become the Superior Spider-Man. The superhero game proved too much for Doctor Octopus, and he gave Peter back his body. Peter has no memories of what the baddie did. Like Cindy, he was in his own mental bunker. Like Cindy, he’s been picking up the pieces of his past life. LIKE CINDY, Peter is trying to make a new start.
To be honest, I want to love Cindy. She has great possibility to be an incredibly interesting character. I’ll also try and give series a few issues before deciding whether or not to drop it. A lot of times the first issue can be the worst, but a series will build well over time. I’m hoping that’s what happens to Silk.
But to be even more honest with you, she’s going to be snuffed out by Spider-Gwen next week. I don’t foresee Silk breaking any sale records anytime soon.
Good luck, Cindy Moon. You’re gonna need it, kid.
I’m giving Silk #1 three mental bunkers out of five.