Sometimes there’s just no catching a break when you’re a spider-powered superhero.
That seems to be the mantra of this second issue of Cindy Moon’s newly relaunched exploits as Silk. She seems to be struggling with everything, such as earning the trust of the Black Cat, catching a good night’s sleep, finding out anything about the Goblin Nation, and avoiding J. Jonah Jameson’s ire by not letting other news stations scoop the Fact Channel on news regarding Silk. Even the “good” developments aren’t without their obstacles, such as Cindy’s receiving a tip about Goblin Nation from an unknown ally—who happens to know her costumed identity. It’s very Parker-esque in its premise, with the twist that I can’t recall Spidey ever willfully working for a criminal organization.
It makes for an entertaining read, even if it is stretched fairly thin in terms of believability. I know I may be treading dangerous waters here, talking about believability in a book whose premise is a character with spider powers, who just happened to be bitten by the same spider as another spider-powered character, but I think there’s some internal logic that gets in the way of the narrative and hampers my enjoyment of the story a little more than usual.
Not to say that Robbie Thompson’s installment doesn’t have its good points. I’m glad that he’s taken this character as far as he has, and he continues to inject the script with fun moments, playful dialog, and interesting twists. Of particular note is Cindy’s dialog, both internal and external. She is often thinking a million different things, choosing what to say among them in any given situation.
It gives her plenty of depth and shows readers how level-headed she actually is, for instance, when she discovers someone knows about her costumed identity. Her silent freak-out here is given life by the dialog boxes, even as she more or less calmly talks her way through the situation. That she’s ignoring a boy’s attempt to ask her out because of all of this only makes the situation more humorous and charming.
There are other situations that make this issue worth the read. Silk’s attempts to win the trust of Black Cat and prove herself “one of them” so she can pass information on to S.H.I.E.L.D. via Mockingbird, while arguably obvious and heavy-handed, is an interesting take on her development as a hero, and stands to be a compelling story, as long as it goes somewhere soon. On the way to investigate a tip, Cindy has a moment with a kid that is amusing, though notably unrealistic in its execution.
And it’s these kinds of moments, I feel, that are occurring way too often in this issue. If it’s good, it’s often tempered with something that takes me out of the story. Her brother, who is not seen in this issue, is barely given a mention, even as Cindy continues to investigate the gang he ran with for so long. The wide-ranging transformations of the Goblin Nation kids and goons seems hokey and far-fetched—I hope that gets explained quickly, and thoroughly. Cindy’s freak-out over her identity should have quickly been tempered with the realization that there are several people out there who already know it—like one Peter Parker, for instance.
Frankly, I was expecting his appearance by this issue’s end. As soon as she started thinking about who could possibly know her secret identity, I was already thinking he needed to swing by and remind her. With that said, I’m apprehensive about him appearing here. Cindy has done very well on her own, and how Peter is characterized next issue in the wake of the new status quo and their shared history up to this point is something I’m very interested to see.
It’s good to see Tana Ford return to this issue. She’s shown herself perfectly able to capture Cindy’s expressions in memorable ways, such as the initial panic in her eyes when she realizes someone knows she’s Silk, or Black Cat’s “later” face when she’s trying to get down to the business at hand. She also does memorable action sequences—Silk and Black Cat’s splash page fight against the Hydra goons was fun to look at, and the brief scuffle with the Goblin Nation kids wasn’t bad either. All in all, she does a good job of supporting Thompson’s narrative while deftly injecting her own touches of humor and warmth into the script.
I have to point out that Jonah still looks like Reed Richards with a moustache. I can’t unsee that.
What we get is a good, though not quite as good as I’ve come to expect, issue, with further development of Cindy’s arc regarding the Goblin Nation and a few moments that leave me dubious of how this story is being handled. Silk #2 is an overall enjoyable experience whose story I’m interested to see continue and hopefully improve in future installments.
Thompson continues Cindy's story of infiltration into the Black Cat's gang and her vendetta against the Goblin Nation, with the occasional narrative misstep. Tana Ford's artwork captures the characters and action in a fresh, believable way.