The upcoming storyline Spider-Verse, debuting primarily in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man may be ostensibly about reducing the number of “Spiders” out in the multiverse, but you wouldn’t know it looking at the line. In fact, thanks to Spider-Verse there will be not one, not two, but three new ongoing Spider series, all of which will star female characters. Joining Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen is Silk a new series featuring Cindy Moon, the other person bit by the spider that imbued Peter Parker with powers.
To take on the series, Marvel Comics enlisted Robbie Thompson, writer on The CW’s Supernatural, and artist Stacey Lee.
We spoke with Thompson about the new series, what makes Silk unique in a suddenly crowded arena of Spider-Women, and what to expect from the February 2015 debuting series.
Newsarama: Robbie, this series is obviously coming straight out of both Amazing Spider-Man and the first arc of Spider-Woman – let’s keep away from spoiling out of those, but after having her first major adventures, where is Cindy Moon in her life?
Robbie Thompson: She’s catching up—on everything! She’s been gone for ten years, and like Steve Rogers, the world moved on without her. She’s on a journey to reconnect with her world, and most importantly: her family. She’s landed a job at Fact Channel, and she’s using their resources to track her parents and brother down. Unfortunately, Cindy’s family has completely disappeared. She’s finding nothing but dead ends. But Cindy never gives up—she never gave up in the bunker—and so she’s going to keep looking, uncovering the mystery of what happened to her family, all while balancing her growing new life as Silk.
Nrama: The idea of being essentially locked away for half a person’s life has to really change their character. What’s at the core of Silk, and what are some of the things she’s fighting internally?
Thompson: That’s a great point—and it’s something Ellie and I have talked about a lot in terms of where Cindy’s head is at in this book. Being locked away for so long—what does that do to a person? How does it affect their behavior, their relationships, the way they see the world? She’s definitely quirky, both in her sense of humor and attitude.
And on the flipside, what does it say about Cindy that she was able to make the decision to lock herself away when she was eighteen years old? To me, it speaks volumes about how strong she is, internally. And she’s going to need that strength, and a healthy sense of humor, to fight off any residual internal resentment or bitterness she may encounter as she explores the world that she’s missed out on for so long.
Nrama: Coming primarily from TV, What about the serial nature of both mediums helps you – are there specific things you see as parallels (or as disparate) in the storytelling of TV and Comics?
Thompson: There’s definitely an overlap, which has been very helpful for me, as this is my first time writing an on-going comic book. On Supernatural we break the season into two parts, using the mid-season finale as a turning point. And I relied on the model as we figured out Silk’s first arc, and how it pivots into the next arc. I’ve been looking at the first dozen or so issues as “Season One” of Silk. So, there are some parallels to working in TV—but there’s also a lot of differences, most of which, to be honest, are fantastic: no limit budget, being able to pace out character moments and really let scenes breath, and so on. It’s been fun to play in this universe!
Nrama: We’re living in an age where we’ll see a Spider-Woman ongoing series, a Spider-Gwen ongoing series, and a Silk ongoing series all at once (and heck, you’re even playing with the steampunk Spider-Woman in Spider-Verse first!). As awesome as that is, what makes Silk unique in this suddenly crowded sub-arena of the Spider Universe?
Thompson: It is awesome, right? I’m thrilled to see all these books coming out and can’t wait to read them. Spider-Gwen was such a great, perfectly executed idea, and my first thought was: please let this continue!
With regards to Silk, what makes her unique is that she has these amazing powers and this incredible origin story, tied to a mythic event in the Marvel Universe… but then, she disappeared. For ten years. Dealing with the fallout of that has allowed us to tell some much more personal stories with Cindy’s character. She’s active, she has a mission. But this isn’t going to be easy for her. She’s battling external and internal foes. To help bring that to light, we’re flashing back as we move forward, unpacking the events that led to her being bitten, and then entering that bunker.
Because of the brilliant way Dan Slott and the Spidey crew delivered her character, Cindy is tied to Marvel History, but she’s also a clean slate and fresh snow for us to play in and explore, and I’m really looking forward to people getting to know her more and see the corner of the Marvel Universe that she’s going to carve out for herself.
Nrama: Spinning off that (see what I did there?), what’s the biggest challenge in bringing a new character that is still somewhat derivative to life?
Thompson: I see what you did there!
There are of course similarities between Silk and Spider-Man as well as Cindy and Peter. They were both bitten by the same Spider and developed Spider-Like abilities. But while they share some qualities, they’re very much opposites. So, focusing on the differences helps.
From an abilities standpoint, Silk has similar powers to Spider-Man, and yet she’s faster, but not as stronger. That affects how she chooses to take on her opponents. From a personal standpoint, Peter has not been in isolation for ten years! He certainly doesn’t always play with others, but he’s used to doing it. Cindy? Not so much. She’s grown used to answering to one person: herself, so she’s going to have learn how to adapt. And since she’s used to making decisions on her own, she’s impulsive and will jump first ask questions later, which will get her into some trouble.
Nrama: Starting out as a guest star can be tough – will you be focusing primarily on fitting Silk into the existing Marvel Universe or even just the existing Spider-Man cast of characters (villains included), or on giving her a supporting cast and some villains of her own?
Thompson: I’m really excited for Cindy to find her place in the Marvel Universe, as well as where she fits in the world of Spider-Man and all of those books. She met and connected with Spider-Man’s world in Spider-Verse, and we’ll see her continue those relationships/rivalries in series. But we’re also going to be showing how Silk is finding her way as a hero, and that’s going to put her on collision courses with several other members of the Marvel Universe.
But really, the main focus of Cindy’s life is on her finding her family, and using her job to help her get to the bottom of what happened to them. She’s got ten years of living to catch up on—and that will include finding a job, rebuilding her people skills, reconnecting with old friends from high school who have moved on and “grown up.” So, we’re going to be populating her world with co-workers at the Fact Channel, old friends from her past, and of course, she’s also going to encounter villains that are unique to the book and her character.
Nrama: I like to end interviews with one big tease – what’s something you’re just really excited to get out there with Silk, that you can’t wait fans to see?
Thompson: I’m really excited for people to see Stacey Lee’s art. Ellie Pyle showed me her work when we were talking about this story and piecing it together, and I think Stacey’s art is just the perfect fit for the look and tone of the book.
Nrama: Oh and heck, since I have you (and I’m a big fan of the show) I’m going to cheat on the 7 questions thing a tiny bit – You guys kind of blew up the whole game in the season finale of Supernatural last year – now that you’ve taken such a huge leap, do you plan to keep up the pace with more twists and changes?
Thompson: Absolutely! Thanks so much for watching—I’m a big fan, too! I feel very, very lucky to be a part of this show and I’m always happy to talk about it.
One of the things I love about Supernatural is that the show is not afraid to take big swings. When I heard that the last shot of Season Nine was going to be Dean, dead, opening his eyes and revealing they are the black eyes of a demon – I was thrilled! And it’s been great to watch our cast really dig into that big change. Mixing up that dynamic keeps the show fresh and thankfully, this show has the best fans in the world, and their passion and dedication really allows – and pushes – the show to try to take such huge leaps. We’re also blessed with such an amazing cast, from Jared and Jensen to Mark and Misha, and as writers, they really empower us to keep trying to give them the best material to play with. I’m really excited to see what people think of Season 10 – and hopefully more seasons to come!