I’m a very big proponent of legacy characters. When Young Avengers was introduced to Marvel continuity my little heart nearly beat out of my chest. And characters like Miles Morales, Sam Alexander, and Kamala Khan are proof that a character can carry on the moniker and grow in interesting and engaging ways without stunting the name of the hero they are honoring. But there is a very definite line between carrying on the name and parroting the hero. If your hero is simply repeating the steps that the original did back in the sixties, why should I read your book when I can read the original run? That brings me to “Silk” #1.
Cindy Moon, aka Silk, as a character didn’t start off on a very good foot for me. Her origin was that she was bit by the same spider as Peter Parker before being locked in a bunker for a decade. Even though they’re mimicking Peter’s origin they at least go far enough with the powers to distinguish the two. But it’s a ham-fisted retcon at best. There’s a million ways Cindy could have been created and they chose the same spider that made Peter. What’s worse for me is that because of this “connection” they share, it made them both uncontrollably lustful for each other. So she was in continuity less than an arc before she was out of her mind sexually infatuated for Peter. This is Black Cat all over again, when she’s written well she is a tragic hero rising out of her unfortunate circumstances. When she’s written poorly she shows up just long enough to flirt with Peter and contort her body in impossible poses. But who knows? Out of terrible origins, Cindy could rise as a new star of the Spider-Universe.
One of the first obstacles “Silk” stumbles over is an inability to move out of Peter Parker’s shadow. Cindy retreads beats from Peter Parker’s life like she’s a greatest hits album. Not only did she originate from the same spider but now she’s working at the Daily Bugle, that same angry J. Jonah Jameson yelling at her to turn in a story and then twisting her story around to fit his narrative. And what is her story about? A new Spider-Hero named Silk. Marvel, if this keeps up the entire Daily Bugle will be staffed by Spider-Supporting cast and all the news will be different Spider-Articles—the Rest and Leisure section is gonna get a lot weirder. They even give her money problems, thankfully they only bring this up once but after following Peter Parker to a T, any similarity makes Cindy seem like a joke.
Let me be clear though, I want “Silk” to be good and for the most part it has strong potential. First off she does seem to have a distinct character that is uniquely Cindy Moon. Also? She’s Korean-American which raises the count of Asian Marvel heroes to three. And at the end of the day she could be an engaging character. She doesn’t have any of the baggage of Peter Parker and is free to chart her own path. The problem being is that thus far she hasn’t and if that doesn’t change then there is no reason to buy both “Amazing Spider-Man” and “Silk”. This book has to open up a new avenue to explore about being a Spider-Hero in New York. Cindy still wants to track down both her family and the man responsible for imprisoning her and that at least has potential for being a new branch to the Spider-Mythos but thus far she’s been nothing more than a carbon copy.
There are proper ways to introduce characters that represent a legacy or that will draw pretty immediate comparisons to other heroes. After all, in “Invincible” Mark found out he had a little brother, a little brother who turned out to have the same power grouping as Mark. They even dressed him up in similar garb and made him a sidekick. But Oliver was distinctly not Mark. He held none of the attachment or sentiment of his older brother and was a bit more loose with his violence. This allowed there to be a comparison, to see Mark for the compassionate hero that he had become as compared to the logical hero that Oliver was becoming. The book demonstrated that perhaps there were advantages to being a heartless juggernaut but that the consequence was being a monster. I truly want “Silk” to be good, she could bring a lot to unexplored corners of the Spider-Universe.