Comic Review: Silk #1 by Robbie Thompson

ComicStackI’m doing something a little different here in lieu of my usual comic stack, and  you’ll see this from time to time. My intention was to make this a post all about books with leading ladies, but once I got around to writing about Silk, it become so wordy that I decided it merited its own post today.

Silk1Silk #1 by Robbie Thompson

Genre: Superheroes, Leading Ladies

Publisher: Marvel (February 18, 2015)

Art: Stacey Lee  | Cover Art: Dave Johnson

Tiara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started back to doing these little comic blurbs on Wednesdays, I mentioned that I probably wouldn’t do too many mainstream books unless I felt they warranted a mention. Silk #1 is worth a mention. There are too few mainstream books with women of color placed squarely in the center. (Cindy Moon is Asian-American.) Not only do I feel this book is important for that reason, but this is really a good female-led comic despite a few bumps I’ll talk about later.Screenshot_2015-02-24-15-40-28

Before I talk about the book itself, here’s the gist of how Cindy Moon got her spider powers. I apologize that this is probably not going to sound like the greatest story when condensed down to these few lines, but it is what it is. The spider that bit Peter Parker also managed to bite another person, Cindy Moon, giving her the same powers. (More importantly, she can weave clothing from her fingertips. Aesthetics.) Instead of having the free range that Peter Parker had, a man named Ezekiel Sims kept her in isolation for 10 years until Peter found her. Yes, that’s a fairly small view of what happened, but to talk about this in any more detail will require an aside just for this purpose.

This book starts with Cindy fighting a fairly cartoonish villain, named Dragonclaw. She equates to a Pokémon. (Side note: I freaking love Pokémon!) While fighting him, her powers begin to short out whether this relates to her decade in isolation or not is unknown, but things start to go downhill from there. She’s helped by your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man who jokingly accuses her of not calling, but their interactions say there was something there and something might still be there.


“Good talk…” seems to be a running gag between them because of their strange “something.”

I enjoyed this book, especially that I’m usually not the biggest fan of Spiderverse, but I almost always love the Spider-Women of that verse. Cindy joins Jessica Drew and Anya Corazon (Araña) in my heart. Her story focuses a bit on her past and her present, giving readers a brief glimpse of who she was before she became Silk and who she is now, shifting between a brilliant, headstrong teenage girl on the edge of adulthood and a socially awkward adult woman who’s trying to find her place as a person and a superhero. Despite the funnier moments in the book, Cindy is a woman lost, a woman struggling with her past for various reasons, a woman who wishes things were “quiet,” and a woman who still doesn’t completely understand her own strength. I’ll pause to compliment Thompson for managing to catch the nuances of a teenager butting heads with her parents over love, sports, and school without seemingly being over-broody or over-cheesy. There is a fair bit of cheesiness in this book, though, but Cindy even mentions that she’s got to work on her quips.

Screenshot_2015-02-24-16-04-50-picsayPop culture features prominently in this book. That can be a good or bad thing depending on your tastes. However, much like the pop culture Marvel has used in other newer titles, I find it chuckle-worthy and well-timed while being a tad more finely clever (if such a statement can be used with memes) in terms of wit with this book. We don’t get doge memes here, which many people don’t know, instead we get my personal favorite #AskingForAFriend, which is easily understood in the right context because we’ve all had those “asking for a friend” moments. Not that I’m downing the doge meme. Sure, some of it won’t stand the test of time when my kids read this 20 years later, but it adds a little fun to the book. Also, kudos  to this book for that Sleepy Hollow/Supernatural mash-up shout out.  Robbie Thompson writes for Supernatural, and Orlando Jones, one of the stars of Sleepy Hollow, is known to tweet avidly about Supernatural and mashing the two shows up.

Next up: I loved the art in this book. It’s fun. There’s an anime-ish quality about it while making me think of the Teen Titan cartoon (the 2003 show, not Teen Titans Go to be clear). Yes, I can accuse it of being a little “girly” at points, but it’s not done in a way that makes me feel like someone went heavy on the glitter because this is a girl (and all girls like pink and glitter, duh). It’s subtle, it’s pretty, and it fits the feel of the book. It manages to be both bright and dark, if that makes any sense, and it’s so busy. Okay, maybe “busy” isn’t what I meant. I mean, the panels feel like they move and flow with their actions. It feels active.

Now, to get the “bad” out of the way. One thing that sort of bothered me is that, while Peter definitely doesn’t overshadow Cindy in her book, I didn’t really like her following in Peter’ footsteps by working for JJ (okay, she’s technically not working for him, but you know), using her own secret identity for stories. I understand why they did it in context of the story, but it felt like they could’ve given her something more unique than that. It’s a small complaint really.

Next, I will concede that Silk might be a little confusing for newcomers because it does require some knowledge that you’ll likely have to Google for (or ask me!). It’s not nearly as new reader friendly as Squirrel Girl. It was a little disjointed for me, so I can only imagine how it might make someone new feel. However, I think this book is still worth the effort of reading after you have a grasp of her background. I just feel like they were just trying to cover a little too much ground this issue. I’m hoping subsequent issues will be less harried.

Overall, did Tiara love this book? I think one panel can sum it all up my feelings:


Okay, no… that doesn’t really sum things up. But she loves punching things, and I love her.

8 Comments on “Comic Review: Silk #1 by Robbie Thompson”

    • I have Spider-Gwen waiting for to read. I keep meaning to open the book, but I’m hesitant. I really like Gwen, and I want this to be excellent for her.


    • Hopefully, if you try it, you enjoy it. I’m hoping the next issues keep new readers in mind a bit more. I’d hate for people not to try it because they don’t know what has happened in Spiderverse.


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