Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Crawlspacers, I hope y’all have a great one this year. I’m putting this out on my birthday and I would love to hear your thoughts on Silk now that we are only three away from twenty-five collective issues; I do not know if anyone expecting Cindy Moon to get this far but Silk remains a highlight amongst Marvel’s lineup.
Silk #15: The Night Shift
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Irene Strychalski
Colorists: Ian Herring & Irma Kniivila
Letterer: Travis Lanham
C. Artist: Helen Chen
Title Page Design: Anthony Gambino
Editors: Nick Lowe & Devin Lewis & Allison Stock
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
I Knew You Were A Zombie: This issue ‘kicks’ off with a fight between Silkworm and the deceased Spider-Woman. Cindy and Mattie see kindred spirits in one another as they dig for information through quips. Mattie tells Silkworm that she was dead before New U brought her back. She promises that soon New U will explain everything and she could learn more if she came back for a tour without the costume. She also informs Silkworm that her partner fled when the alarms went off. Worried about Hector, Silkworm leaves but promises Mattie that things are far from over.
In reality, Espectro was attacked by Doctor Octopus who devises a way to capture his ghostly form with some help from the new Electro. Back in New York, Lola and Rafferty dig up some dirt on New U, passing it on to Cindy. Cindy brings it to Jonah, who seems conflicted but ultimately turns a blind eye to the information. Jonah brings her to New U, introducing her to the resurrected Marla Jameson and Mattie Franklin. The issue ends with Otto vowing to put Hector back to rest, against his will.
I Thought You Were Dead But I Guess That Wouldn’t Hold A Guy Like You Back: Things slow down considerably this issue, but much like the previous one, Robbie Thompson manages to keep his various plots moving forward. The biggest scene is the fight between Silkworm and Spider-Woman, but we also get some Lola/Rafferty sleuthing, a surprisingly insightful speech from Jonah, some sinister Otto Octavius plotting, and more of the Moon family adjustment period. Everything flows, the stream just feels like more of a trickle.
Mattie Franklin is an interesting quasi-antagonist for the series, for she represents a second chance at life while Cindy is running away from a second chance with her family. The best antagonists always reflect our heroes in some way and it makes sense that one of the most tragic members of the Spider-Family (read Alias) is resurrected for Cindy to deal with. And Irene Strychalski nails the fight between the two. There is a lot of dynamic angles, strong sense of motion, and best of all, she draws our heroines costumes skintight without turning them into bimbos. My only complaint is that Cindy has trained with Jessica Drew, so why is she so crap against venom blasts?
If you are looking for a more clear cut antagonist, look no further than Otto Octavius. His fight with Espectro is intercut with Cindy’s fight, highlighting the fact that both antagonists are resurrected, in a fun way. I like that we are beginning to see the uprise of Otto within New U, although the inclusion of Electro makes the timeline confusing; is she not rescuing the resurrected Gwen Stacy with Rhino currently? A single line of dialogue to indicate where this fits in The Clone Conspiracy would have been great. Another antagonistic force in the series is Cindy’s own father. Last issue we saw Albert Jr. comfort his mother, but this month we get an admittedly different scene between the two Albert Moons. Albert Sr. is your typical ‘parents-know-best’ archetype and it seems like Thompson is pushing a ‘wisdom of youth, futility of age’ agenda here with Albert Jr. trying to be the voice of reason for his parents. Conflict is slowly brewing between various members of the Moon household, with Cindy lying at the center, but it seems it will not be long before it reaches a boiling point.
After such a Hector heavy first issue, I am glad he is quickly taken out of action. It allows the other supporting cast members a chance to shine. Jonah opening up about how he sees himself in Cindy’s quick firing opinionated mind is nothing new, but then he goes further by admitting he has often struggled to do the right thing while believing Cindy will always make the right call. It is a touching moment, made only stronger by the conflict in his body posture when Cindy presents him with information he may not like on New U. I hope Thompson can quickly resolve the coming conflict between them, because their relationship remains one of the highlights of the series. Lola and Rafferty are also given a cute but quick chance to shine. This illuminates a key difference between Peter and Cindy in this event. While Peter is hurt by his friends acting in secret for his best interests, Cindy is grateful for her friends’ nosiness. Different situations sure, but when Cindy Moon is a more rational character than you, your head is most definitely not screwed on tight.
For the first time in the series, Ian Herring is assisted by another colorist, Irma Kniivila. I am guessing she does a lot of the panels that embrace a full black background, because Herring has never been one to embrace full black or white panels, opting to give Silk a more colorful look; he rarely goes darker than deep blue. Even in those panels though, there is a lot of color and it adds a nice new dimension to the series. The two work in tandem well, so I could be completely wrong with my guesswork.
Verdict: Even for a slower issue, this book is still enjoyable. Any fears I had that Irene Strychalski might struggle with the more action packed chapters is quickly put to rest within the first couple pages, and her art alongside Ian Herring and Irma Kniivila’s colors give Silk a wonderful visual aesthetic. Robbie Thompson keeps all his ships afloat and while the issue suffers a bit from an unclear timeline, the scenes flow in and out of one another in fun but connected ways.
- Excellent use of supporting cast
- Several plots working well together
- Visual aesthetic
- Slow brewing conflict
- Wise choice of antagonist
- Unsure where it fits in The Clone Conspiracy timeline
- Slow pace