Review: ‘Silk’ #4 Brings Flashbacks, Classic Spidey Villains, Tech Versus Demons, And More To The Table
by Scott Redmond
Silk continues its run of fantastic character development, energetic and emotional scenes, and an engaging story that catapults Cindy Moon/Silk to the heroic levels she should be inhabiting at all times. A creative tie to a Spider-Man villain helps open the story and allows for some really fun, moody, colorful artwork that embodies all the perfect qualities of superhero comic books.
Most superhero characters have a day job to go alongside their secret identities (those that have one). Often those day jobs are often just background or only play part in the drama or character development moments around the character. Every so often with a handful of characters said career is actually used in an interesting way within their narrative. Silk #4 is one of those times.
Origin stories of brand-new characters can often be something that can become a bit like an anchor that slows down the momentum of any given story. Through no fault of the creator, even the best-done origins can often do this only because its real estate taken away from the main story that the audience has been following. Maurene Goo easily sidestepped that with the origin story of CEO antagonist Saya Ishii by not only tying to a well-known mid-level Spider-Man character but using Cindy Moon/Silk’s career in a very clever way.
The aforementioned Spider-Man character, the robotic (to replace missing body parts) gangster Silvermane, calls upon Cindy, and because she’s a reporter he begins to spin her a tale of his daughter Saya and how she got to this point. Cindy, ever the good reporter, asks the right questions and makes the right comments here or there to speed up the narrative as she absorbs the information about her new foe. A foe that knows Cindy’s secrets already.
It’s a very great use of her journalistic career in the story, a move that this journalism degree-holding reviewer was definitely clearly a fan of. The aforementioned current plot slowing down issue is also avoided by the fact that intercut with the backstory being told is the continuation of the plot told through the confrontation of Saya and her demon cat companion Kasha, who has betrayed Saya in order to raise a demon god. All of that probably sounds pretty odd but it’s pretty awesome and continues to prove why comics are an amazing medium.
Takeshi Miyazawa and Ian Herring continue to do stellar work together capturing all the nuanced emotion and energetic action that the book requires. The close-up style shots continue here and do so much to show you just how a character is feeling in that moment, enhancing whatever words might be there. Showing, not just telling the reader.
A really great touch is the one where Herring changes the color palates back and forth across the pages to give the flashbacks that more muted memory sort of look (even shifting the muted color screens over them for each area or era of flashback) while pulling in a lot of bright colors for the modern-day spaces while still keeping them shadowy and down to earth at the same time. Things are bright but not in a shiny way but not dull either, which fits the book’s style greatly.
Unlike the last issue that had a lot of daytime scenes to really pull from natural colors of the world, this issue takes place at night and in dark caves with unnatural elements. So, it gives a lot of room to just go all in and pull out the greens and reds and blues and various color combinations that just highlight the otherworldly nature of the cave scenes.
Ariana Maher is just a truly great letterer and there is a reason that she has found so much work as of late across a variety of books. Not only can her lettering work shift greatly to fit whatever the art style and sensibilities/genre of a book are, but they subtly shift even within a book. The dialogue lettering is different between characters in the modern-day (like with the demon Kasha) but also takes on a slightly different shape and tone within the flashbacks, fitting with how memories are different than how we perceive the current time.
Then there are the really great dynamic SFX that help elevate already awesome scenes, adding that other sense element of sound to a page. They shift between more subtle and not too distracting from the action to bold and loud and highly noticeable when they need to be depending on the scene action. It can often be truly hard to really review lettering work because of how little it’s talked about in industry circles, but it’s very easy to truly notice what great lettering can do for a book and Maher does fantastic work.
Silk #4 is now on sale in print and digitally from Marvel Comics.