New Year, New Adventures: Reviewing ‘Silk’ #1
by Scott Redmond
Cindy Moon is back in action as a whole new Silk series has arrived, giving the breakout character another chance to showcase why she’s so great by embracing aspects of the Spider-Man universe while still being fully her own character. There is a fun energy that permeates this book that digs deep into the best aspects of comic books and builds a solid detailed and emotional world around the character.
Debuting new characters within these comic book universes that have been running for decades is not an easy prospect. For everyone that catches on with the audience at the time, there are ten others that end up in character limbo either for only cameos going forward or till some new writer down the line can find a way to dust them off and maybe give them a second chance.
Cindy Moon, Silk, is one of those characters that managed to attract attention when she emerged in 2014 and has chugged along and been part of some really good stories. Compared to much of the massive group of Spider-related characters, she has probably had the least exposure, but that seems to be changing. Thanks to her recently wrapped 2021 mini-series, the character is getting another go at another series, her fourth one.
Just like with the previous mini-series, new writer Emily Kim instantly taps into the energy that makes Cindy very different from Peter Parker personality-wise, but very much the same in the areas of responsibility and heroism. The weight of guilt is something that seems to hang around Peter a lot, mined constantly in his books, while with Cindy that isn’t there. She has steady relationships with her family and friends, a solid handle on her job (even an interesting relationship with boss J. Jonah Jameson), and sees a therapist who she can openly talk to about her personal and superhero life issues.
Honestly, it showcases the fact that you can tell stories about responsibility and drama where a spider character can be an accomplished adult that isn’t constantly failing in life. Peter Parker should be taking notes from Cindy.
With some characters, the fish out of water type situation can get sort of grating or old, but with Cindy, Kim makes it come off as charming and a bit funny that she’s out of touch with stuff that even Jameson is very much in the know about. Pitting her, the “youngest old person I know” as Jameson put it, against a villain who literally steals the youth from people is a nice touch and exactly the kind of comic book stuff that I love to see. Tying it into ancient Korean magic and artifacts just adds another interesting level on top of it all.
Takeshi Miyazawa and Ian Herring are still on board from the last series, bringing the same fun and energetic but also serious style and energy that they brought last time. There is a great flow to the action scenes, especially in Miyazawa’s very distinctive style. It pairs well with Herring’s colors which bring a sense of weight onto the artwork and have a more matte quality to them rather than a slicker or shinier one. There is also a very noticeable difference between day and night scenes, which is not always the case in many storytelling mediums.
Also, I have to mention the fact that there is a whole lot of great paneling work with closeups and other measures that not only help showcase a lot of the detail in these pages but also give a lot of room for great emotional work. We see just how these characters are feeling, what they are talking about, and what they are doing very clearly without having to be told this. Showing and not telling the reader, leaving room for the dialogue and other story elements to put their focus elsewhere so we get the complete picture from all aspects.
Another returning member of the creative team is Ariana Maher who just continues to amaze and delight with her body of lettering work across a wide variety of books now. It’s a lot of the ‘little things’ that Maher does that actually make her work stand tall. One of those aspects I truly appreciate is how she uses sentence case in the dialogue so that when it shifts to all caps or bigger font we can fully tell that characters are yelling rather than talking as they were before. The same goes for smaller fonts for whispers, it all just helps to put in our mind exactly how what is being said should be ‘heard’ when we read it.
A fun and energetic action-packed book like this needs to have SFX that has the same energy, and that’s what Maher always brings along. There are various ideas about where and how SFX should fit into a page, and they all work, but the style where they are very much part of the action and right next to where the sound would/should be coming from is always a favorite. Such as a ‘Splat’ where a thief is being webbed to the car or the ‘wham’ of a kick following Silk’s leg as she delivers the kick. It just makes it more ‘real’ in a sense and brings another dimension to the sensory feelings it’s meant to evoke.
Silk #1 is now on sale in print and digitally from Marvel Comics.