Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Stacey Lee and Ian Herring
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 10, 2015
It’s rare to find a comic book issue where every scene is the perfect length: not drawn out with excessive backstory, or too brief and glossing over plot elements. Silk #5 flows smoothly and tells a complete story like a well-paced TV episode. A child has been kidnapped, and Cindy has a lead on the case. Cindy is also searching for her missing family, and Robbie Thompson gives just enough flashback of Cindy’s life for us to sympathize with how badly she wants to find them.
Thompson does the amazing: he makes us like J. Jonah Jameson. Cindy is an intern at the TV news station where Jameson is the boss. A scene where Jameson listens to Cindy and insists on helping her is as surprising to the reader as it is to her. I like how Thompson balances Cindy’s dual life as an average twentysomething and a superhero. It would be easy to show her only struggling to fight villains and swing from buildings, but Thompson makes her relatable by showing her struggle to fit in at her workplace.
Stacey Lee draws the full range of Cindy’s emotions, and every facial expression hits us with its realism. A flashback scene between Cindy and a family member is heartbreaking: you see the yearning on Cindy’s face to connect with someone she loves. Lee and Ian Herring put a lot of visual fun into fight scenes. When Silk smashes a foe’s head into the floor, and Spider-Man sweeps a thug off his feet, the energetic purple motion lines pop against the light blue background. I also like the burst of pink across panels when Cindy is attacked by a vicious, high-tech weapon.
Silk has it all: deep character development, beautifully detailed art, and a hero we want to see win. Cindy is an especially earnest character. She’s not experienced at being a superhero like Jessica Drew, or a natural go-getter like Kate Bishop. Robbie Thompson uses this issue to show Cindy’s sympathy for those who’ve been traumatized like she was. If you’re looking for a story that is as thoughtful as it is entertaining, this is it.
The Verdict: 8.5/10