Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Stacey Lee and Ian Herring
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Silk is back and better than ever after a wild crossover event with Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen. Robbie Thompson continues the storyline that has kept us hooked for several issues: Cindy is pulling jobs for Black Cat, while undercover for S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Mockingbird. This issue focuses intensely on Cindy and Black Cat’s relationship. If you sympathized with Cindy’s unwillingness to treat Black Cat as a criminal before, get ready for those feelings to ascend a new level here.
This issue feels like an oversized issue, with Thompson masterfully interweaving scenes and giving each character unrushed development. Four major emotional beats all land perfectly. The first is Cindy and Black Cat confiding to each other in an elevator shaft. The second is Lola and Rafferty, Cindy’s colleagues at the Fact Channel, who are searching for Cindy while investigating a missing doctor. Next is Cindy opening up to her therapist about her ex-boyfriend, Hector, and what ensues. Lastly, Mockingbird and Cindy’s difficult conversation sets the stage for major shake-up.
It’s noteworthy that Cindy’s deeper relationship with Black Cat here happens immediately after the events of the Spider-Women crossover. No matter how welcoming Jessica Drew is and chummy Gwen Stacy can be, Cindy feels alone. While she’s close in age to Jessica, Jessica is in an entirely different life stage: she’s an experienced Avengers leader and a mom. Gwen has her own crowd and moreover her own Earth. Cindy and Black Cat fit together because both are unfortunately, tragically alone.
Stacey Lee returns to grace each page with her wizardry. With Ian Herring’s peerless eye for colors, Lee brings emotions and realness to every character’s body poses and face. I like the panel where Rafferty is trying to call Cindy, and Lola is by her side. Lee utilizes unique camera angles and captures perspective and motion to tell the story wordlessly, like when Cindy and Black Cat are hanging in the elevator shaft, and when they freefall down to the bottom.
Lee draws every type of panel with ease: close-ups of faces, still shots of objects in a room that set the tone, and action shots that make the reader feel the pain or alarm depicted. Herring’s gradient backgrounds that combine all shades of turquoise or purple in a marbled/watercolor effect look fitting, never distracting. Lee’s ability to tell a story entirely through visuals, and how she crystallizes each scene’s emotions with what she chooses to frame, is what sets Silk apart as an artistic triumph.
Cindy feels torn amidst her relationships. She has a strong bond with Black Cat, but has to answer to Mockingbird, and meanwhile Lola and Rafferty are worried about her. Thompson, Lee, and Herring create a story you can’t put down. Few comics achieve the perfect combo of emotional gut punches and nonstop fun like Silk.
The Verdict: 10/10