It appears to be Robbie Thompson week as over half of the reviews this past week are Thompson books. Spidey #9 (reviewed by the other Sean) had a C, Venom: Spaceknight #10 had a B, but can Mr. Thompson score himself an A on this book?
Silk #11: Doorways
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Tana Ford
Colorist: Ian Herring
C. Artist: Helen Chen
Editors: Nick Lowe & Devin Lewis
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
It’s Up To You To Figure Out Which Doors To Walk Through: Our issue opens with a beaten Cindy reconciling with her ex-boyfriend Hector, who happens to be the mysterious Espectro who has been following her lately. It turns out Hector was killed by a horrible demon summoning gone wrong, but somehow managed to maintain an ethereal presence on this dimension. He is only able to solidify when he is assaulting another person, so Cindy has him tackle-hug him. After catching up with Hector, she attends to the various ongoing plots in her life: she reconciles with her handler Bobbi Morse who offers her a job at SHIELD, is yelled into a promotion at the Fact Channel by J Jonah Jameson, confides her fears to her brother and therapist, and is caught suiting up by her co-workers. Rafferty and Lola embrace Cindy’s double life and Cindy fully opens up to them, grateful to not be alone anymore. They reveal they tracked down a lead on her parents through Mr. Kapoor, which leads them to a secret laboratory. In the laboratory is a secret door, which leads them to the Negative Zone.
And Which Doors To Close: Silk had been feeling pretty stagnant for the last few issues. It was never bad, but it had trouble finding its footing after the Spider-Women crossover. Thankfully the big overarching story with Black Cat seems to have come to at least a temporary close. This issue is dedicated to shifting gears from the Cat storyline back to Cindy’s hunt for her parents. And while the use of Cindy’s therapy sessions to bridge scenes of the story together is pretty much a staple of this comic by now, I do not think we have ever seen it used this well before. This issue flows incredibly well, touching in with pretty much every supporting cast member the book has and checking in on Cindy’s state of mind. After a volume full of despair, Cindy finally finds joy this issue. Who would have thought all it take to make the book feel fresh again was a little happiness?
This is a great month for Robbie Thompson’s supporting casts; they were the MVPS over in Venom: Spaceknight #10 and he does an even better job with Silk’s supporting cast. Hector’s backstory is a little out there, so part of me hopes that it is fictious and there is more to Espectro than meets the eye. But even if he was killed by a random happenstance, it is better than his story conveniently being linked to Cindy’s. It also leave the possibility for a future story about how the people in Cindy’s life are cursed/suffer (look at her family and Black Cat for proof of this.)
I was also growing tired of antagonistic Mockingbird, which thankfully seems to be behind us. I am curious what role S.H.I.E.L.D will play going forward, since Cindy does not seem to be heading towards a job with them currently; perhaps Thompson is playing the long game? Jonah is great, but that is no surprise; Jonah is a staple of greatness in this comic. But the big surprise of the issue is how much I enjoyed Lola and Rafferty. A lot of the joy in this issue comes from them and the relief Cindy has when she confides everything to them. They still have a lot of development to go through though. Robbie Thompson comes from television roots, so perhaps we will see something akin to the CW hero shows with support teams.
We also get to see two new powers this issue. The first, is a web swing that is perfectly realized by Tana Ford. The second is the ability to turn her webs into lock picks? (It is kind of unclear.) It is a weird development, but I am curious to see where it goes. It seems almost symbiote like.
I find one of the most crucial things in sequential storytelling is the ability to convey emotion. This issue is all about the joy in Cindy’s life, so if you can not convey emotion it would fall flat. Tana Ford has struggled with emotion in the past and thankfully she has improved a lot. It is not amazing, but for Tana Ford this is A game material and I appreciate the improvements she makes with each issue. Ian Herring’s obsession with blue in this issue helps. They do an excellent job with the Espectro scene in particular.
Verdict: This was a pretty great issue for the creative team. Everything moves forward a bit and intriguing things lay on the horizon. This issue really feels like a transitionary issue, almost as if into a new season. With a new villain, who is a mystery to me. This creative team grows together and that is an awesome thing to see.
- Emotional art style
- Interesting developments
- A change in mood
- Some things uncertain