Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Tana Ford and Ian Herring
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 16, 2016
Silk and Black Cat are a surprising team-up: a cautious ingenue who feels very little control over her life, paired with an extremely confident veteran who knows exactly what she’s doing. This current arc of Silk has been fun to read for this dynamic that echoes Regina George and Cady Heron in Mean Girls or Mama Morton and Velma Kelly in the musical Chicago. In this final chapter of the arc, Robbie Thompson unravels the story in two flashbacks Silk tells to her S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison/handler, Mockingbird.
I love the first flashback scene and wish it could have been extended. Cindy returns to her day job as an intern at the news station. Her coworker friends, Lola and Rafferty, were worried by her unexplained absence. Thompson writes Lola and Rafferty superbly, conveying their empathy and concern. I’m glad Thompson has given Cindy real friends — not just brusque coworkers — and I hope future issues continue to include them. Thompson shows Cindy’s anxiety at feeling confined in a closed room, which is a touching, seemingly small but crucial detail. I also appreciate that J. Jonah Jameson genuinely cares about Cindy.
The second flashback scene shows Silk and Black Cat infiltrating the underground hideout of the Goblin Nation, Green Goblin’s band of criminals. Black Cat is atypically patient and conversational. Unlike last issue’s quippy, snarky queen bee, Black Cat here listens to Silk reveal how she was locked in a bunker for a decade.
We see Silk sympathize with Black Cat, which Mockingbird strongly warns Silk not to do. Thompson captures Black Cat’s identity of inhabiting the moral grey zone perfectly. In one panel, Silk asks, “You were ‘good’ once. Why did you cross the street?” Black Cat replies, “I didn’t. I just realized there are no streets.” This issue is impressive in how it gives Cindy so many mentors: Mockingbird looking out for Cindy’s safety, J. Jonah Jameson valuing Cindy as a reporter, and Black Cat understanding Cindy’s pain and her dislike of restrictions.
Tana Ford and Ian Herring create a beautiful work of art. When Cindy walks with trepidation into her day job, we can feel the fear she betrays on her face. Cindy, Lola, and Rafferty are styled with distinctive details, like Lola’s purple hair and nose piercing. Has Black Cat’s costume ever looked this cool? Ford and Herring give it intimidating yellow cat eyes on the torso, as well as cat faces composing her belt buckle and brooch. Ford draws surroundings with painstaking care: look at the backgrounds of the room where Silk and Mockingbird talk.
Thompson creates some of the most distinctive and entertaining characters. Cindy Moon is a hero who’s as hesitant to face her struggles as we are, and that’s why we want to see her win. Silk is a triumph: meaningful story, complex characters, and a relatable hero.
The Verdict: 9.0/10