Sunday, 22 February 2015

New Beginnings - Silk #1

by Matt Puddy

Fresh from the finale of the Spider-Verse tales, we have a new beginning that takes the Spider Totems storyline in a different direction. Whilst readers of the recent Spider-Man event will have seen a lot of Silk within that storyline, her actual origin had appeared in earlier issues of the new Amazing Spidey characters.

For those who missed it, Cindy Moon was just another High School student who attended a science demonstration, much like Peter Parker. In fact it was the same one and the coincidences don’t stop there. The same spider that bit Peter went on to bite Cindy as well, giving her similar spider-like powers. The big difference comes when, after a few years of trying to understand her powers, Cindy is hidden away in a bunker by Ezekiel for her safety to protect her from Morlun.

The aftermath of Original Sin set Spidey on a quest to find and free Cindy, which set a great many things in motion, including an animal pheromone attraction between the two of them.

Being brought into the fray also put her firmly in the sights of the Inheritors during Spider-Verse, but in the wake of all of the various tie ins, Cindy now has her own title.

Written by Robbie Thompson, Silk opens with Cindy taking on what would easily be a D or even E-list villain called Dragonclaw. Neither seem completely comfortable in their own skins and Silk is often seen reaching for the heroes handbook for quips, comebacks and general direction. After being saved by Peter in the nick of timem real life takes over and in true spider fashion she has to get away to her job under J Jonah Jameson. Being tucked away in a bunker has its drawbacks as the world moved on - even in just 10 years - and the lack of social interaction means that sometimes she’s not prepared to talk to people in the “normal” ways, but then again it also means she’s behind the times as well – something the JJJ can equate to as well. It’s very quickly realised that once she played the Silk card she has only one priority in his business. To report on Silk.

In amongst it all she keeps having flashbacks to her family whom she was at odds with before being put into hiding, which provides the readers with one driving force behind her.

Back out on the streets she runs into Dragonclaw again which certainly goes her way. Unwittingly though the situation turns to something more when he escapes as we learn who his boss is and how far he is willing to go to please her. Silk on the other hand is having a small crisis of confidence, not knowing where to go or what to do, so she heads for the familiar surroundings of the bunker. Unbeknownst to her she’s being watched and her decision was expected.

The plot is quite an easy one to follow, even without the backstory, so any new reader can jump on to it. My reservation about it though is that there is no really new ideas outside of her powers being a slight variation on the usual spider power set. She’s suffered loss of family; is ostracized because of her non-conformance to current ideas; and has a suffering personal life in contrast to her hero life - so very similar to Peter’s beginnings as well. At least she has a mentor she can turn to - but not physically see due to their urges - and the associated awkwardness of it all.

The artwork on the cover and the title page inside are a little sneaky, as they gave me the impression that the issue was going to be similar, however the interior artwork is a lot less defined. It also makes Silk look a lot younger in the comic than the cover suggests as well. Spidey himself also looks a little skewed when we see him towards the end.

The overall look of the comic is quite young and with a strong but believably flawed female character - which made it feel like it was being aimed a quite a specific demographic. If that was the case they hit the mark well.

A divisive character in her new comic. One to try if you enjoyed Spider-Verse or fancy something a little different, although it's worth remembering there's Spider-Gwen out next week and a new costume and new direction for Spider-Woman the week after!

Matt Puddy is hoping Spider-Gwen is as much fun as it looks!

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