In Silk #1, we meet Cindy Moon, an Asian-American who was bitten by the same spider that bit Peter Parker. The first issue sets up her story nicely by introducing Cindy and giving the audience a taste of her personality and background. The fact that she shares many parallels with Spider-Man works in her favour; it seems very natural for those familiar with Peter Parker to become fans of Cindy. Although she has a lot in common with Spider-Man, Silk stands out as a refreshingly unique character in the Spiderverse.
Cindy developed adhesive fingertips and toes, the proportional strength of a spider, superhuman speed and agility, and a special organic webbing spun directly from her fingertips. Like Peter Parker, Cindy Moon works at a news outlet and covers stories about her own crime-fighting alter ego, Silk. In addition, Cindy’s boss at Fact Channel is actually J. Jonah Jameson, who was Peter’s boss at Daily Bugle.
One major difference between Cindy and Peter is that Cindy was locked away in a hermetically sealed bunker for ten years. When she was finally set free, she discovered that her family had gone missing and now she’s on a mission to figure out what happened to her parents. Although she found her brother, Albert, he has no memory of what happened to them. Albert had become involved with a gang and started using drugs, which resulted in memory loss. Since his faulty memory is a result of his former involvement with the gang, Goblin Nation, Cindy feels personally motivated to take down the Goblin King. Cindy’s personal mission makes for an interesting plot; I like that her motivation is personal and family-based, it heightens the stakes of her quest.
In this issue, Cindy stops Goblin Nation’s attempted robbery and has a run-in with Mockingbird. This was my favourite part of the issue, when Cindy made a cheesy literary joke by calling her Boo Radley. (Get it? The character from To Kill a Mockingbird.)
It appears that Cindy is working for Black Cat in order to stop Goblin Nation. However, there’s a twist at the end that reveals she’s actually still one of the good guys and is secretly working with Mockingbird. Cindy already has dual identities as news reporter and superhero, but her life as a superhero becomes even more complicated because she’s a double agent of sorts.
I find Cindy to be relatable and likeable. Seeing a woman of colour presented as a superhero is incredibly refreshing, and also, very necessary. Given the current state of whitewashing Asian roles in Hollywood, it is really uplifting to see a female superhero with monolids. She also has great personal style; she rocks a peter pan collar, has multiple ear piercings, and is self-aware of her uncoolness. She uses the word “rad” even though she knows that “nobody says ‘rad’ anymore.”
Thanks to art by Stacey Lee and Ian Herring, her personality really comes through in the details of her apartment. I was delighted to see a Sailor Moon poster on her door and a troll doll on the shelf. These are nods to the 90’s that remind us that Cindy is catching up on a decade of missed trends.
Silk #1 was released on November 25, 2015 and is written by Robbie Thompson and is available to purchase here.