NYCC: Thompson Spins New Webs for Spider-Man's "Silk"

"With great power comes great responsibility" is a maxim most closely associated with Marvel Comics' Spider-Man, but it's a tenet other heroes live by as well. In fact, Peter Parker isn't the only character whose life was turned upside down following a bite from a radioactive spider many years ago.

During Dan Slott's recent "Amazing Spider-Man" relaunch, readers discovered Peter's "Original Sin" in the form of Cindy Moon, a classmate of Peter's who was bitten by the same irradiated spider. While their lives and heroic paths went in very different moments following that fateful incident, the woman now known as Silk is now making her presence felt in Peter's life and the Marvel Universe in a very big way -- and it's about to get bigger. In February, "Supernatural" writer Robbie Thompson and artist Stacey Lee kick off a new ongoing "Silk" series, announced yesterday at Marvel's "Spider-Verse" panel at New York Comic Con.

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CBR News spoke with Thompson about his plans for "Silk," fleshing out Cindy Moon's past and present, how it will affect Marvel's other spider-based heroes and much more.

CBR News: Robbie, last time we talked we chatted about your lifelong love of comics and how you told Marvel you'd be up for writing anything. How did it feel when they responded by giving you your first ongoing series?

Robbie Thompson: I constantly have to remind myself how lucky I am to be in this position. As we discussed last time, I'd write anything for them. I'd write the letters page or even a panel! So to be given an opportunity on this particular book with this particular character is just fantastic. I'm so excited about this character as a fan and to be part of bringing her more and more into the Marvel Universe is a dream come true. I'm a really lucky guy.

The character you're tackling is one of the newest spider character, Silk AKA Cindy Moon, who readers first met in the "Original Sin" tie-in issues of "Amazing Spider-Man." Considering there's been so much mystery surrounding her, what about the character makes her so interesting to write?

The real blessing for me as a writer on this book is the work that's already been done with her character by Dan Slott and the rest of the Spider-Man crew. Usually in this situation you've got a loose foundation and a general direction, but I really think that her debut in "Amazing Spider-Man" was such a great and dynamic introduction to a character. I really feel that Dan and the rest of the crew established her as a fully realized, three dimensional character in her debut.

So for me as a writer it's a real blessing to have a character that is so defined, yet has so much mystery behind her; both where she's been and where she's going. To have an opportunity to tell her story has been a lot of fun as a writer.

With regards to the aspects of her personality that I'm most intrigued by, I think it was [editor] Nick Lowe, when I met him at Comic-Con, that used this phrase that I saw as sort of my marching orders, "From bite to bunker." Her story of what happened from when she was bitten by the radioactive spider to when she entered the bunker that she was in when we first saw her in "Amazing," is something that we're actually going to explore in the first arc.

As you get to know Cindy both in "Amazing Spider-Man" and the "Spider-Verse" event you're really going to see a great, dynamic character. We're really going to explore her life leading up to those moments, and when I think about myself in that situation, given the consequences, would I lock myself away for 10 years? Would I have the inner strength to do that? When I think of myself as 18 years-old I think the answer would be a resounding no. [Laughs]

So I find a lot of inspiration in Cindy. She made this really complicated adult decision as a teenager. Getting a chance to explore that and its ramifications in terms of where she is now is a big part of the first arc that we have mapped out. We've basically mapped out 12 issues.

Thompson Traverses the "Spider-Verse" and the "Supernatural"

You're picking up Silk's adventures after the "Spider-Verse" crossover. I understand you can't really say a lot about that, but can you talk about the impact "Spider-Verse" will have on Cindy? Will her perspective, goals, or personality have changed at all when the "Silk" ongoing begins?

I can't speak to the specifics of "Spider-Verse," but it definitely has an enormous impact on her growth. One of the things that's most exciting about her character is that she's suddenly on this crash course of "how to be a grown up." How do you land a job? Or have a life? What's it like to have lost all that time?

That's what she's dealing with as Cindy Moon. Then on the Silk side she's on a crash course of how to be a super hero. She's been dipped into a pretty massive story with "Spider-Verse" and the adventures she has during it with Spider-Woman. So I think she's learned a lot and had to grow up pretty fast, but she's still on that growing curve. We're going to be exploring more of that in the ongoing book. It's about her growing up and really learning how to have both a personal life and a super hero life.

Let's talk a little bit about Cindy's personal life. Is she still an intern at the Fact Channel when "Silk" begins?

Yes, she has, I guess a job is a generous term for being an intern, but she's at the Fact Channel.

One of the things I loved that my editor Ellie Pyle wanted to emphasize early on was while this is definitely a super hero book and a journey for her to become a hero, it's also a really personal and character-driven story. Cindy's immediate goals coming out of "Spider-Verse" are the ones she pretty much stated in "Amazing Spider-Man." She really wants to find her family. She really wants to find out what happened to them, where they are, and what's going on in their lives. Without giving too much away, it's really going to be a difficult task for her to figure out where they are and what happened to them.

Working at the Fact Channel actually gives her a great opportunity to dig into where they might be and what's happened to them. Also, working at the Fact Channel will allow her to travel outside of New York City. She's going to find stories that will allow her to pursue her work at the Fact Channel, but also allow her to try and figure out where her family are. We're going to skip around to a couple other cities and as a result Cindy will run into a few other heroes that she wouldn't normally run into in New York City.

Is part of Cindy's personal story the journey of coming back from being missing for so long? Will you explore the legal repercussions of her time in the bunker and what the world believed happened to her?

Yeah, we're going to deal with all of that in the series. A lot of that stuff is going to get at least unpacked in this first run of issues. What was the story behind her time in the bunker? How did her parents feel about it? How did her brother feel about it? What sort of cover story did Ezekiel put out there? Also, what did her personal life look like before?

One of the things both Ellie and Nick brought up and I'm really excited about exploring is there's an aspect to her story that when you take away the fantastic elements of it and strip it down to the personal character driven narrative that's kind of like being from a small town, leaving when you're 18 years-old, and then coming back for your 10-year high school reunion. There's that culture clash of the town and your friends have moved on without you and you had this 10-year journey that's obviously, for her, been very insular.

All of her friends and contemporaries, as she interacts and reconnects with them, are at much different points in their lives. They're certainly not interns. Some of them are married and have moved on with their lives. Then obviously there are the people that she had really close personal relationships with that she's going to interact with as well.
So I think this is really about finding a way to tell that story and make it feel grounded and very relatable. I think we've all had those moments where we've reconnected with people from the past and you see your life in contrast. With Cindy it's a very unique situation. The story she's going to have put out there about where she's been for 10 years is something that she's going to really wrestle with.

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Relative newcomer Stacey Lee is providing art for "Silk." What's it like working with an artist who is also starting work on their first ongoing series?

I just adore Stacey's work. All credit to Ellie for making this find happen. Stacey is the perfect match for the tone of the book and particularly for Cindy as a character. She's such a great storyteller and I'm super thrilled to be working with her and telling this story.

It's funny. I was actually just joking with her in an e-mail about how in some ways it's great that both she, I, and Cindy are all kind of in the same position. We're brand new to the Marvel Universe. So there's a lot of excitement as well as fear, but mostly it's like, "Wow! How do we find our way? How do we tell our story in this world?" And, as I said, keep that story personal, grounded and relatable? So in some ways I think the fact that we're both a little green when it comes to this world makes us a great match for the character.

Let's chat a little more about what Cindy will be up to in the introductory arc of "Silk." What can you tell us about the villains set to cross her path in this first batch of stories?

Cindy is definitely a part of the Spider-Man universe. So she's going to run into some pretty classic Spider-Man villains. She'll also see Spidey and Peter Parker as parts of her world, but also, especially in our first and second arcs, we're going to meet some new villains unique to her that we're introducing to the Marvel Universe.

Plus, as I was saying before, Cindy has had this amazing introduction to the Marvel Universe and is about to go on this great, big adventure, but she's still sort of new to the Marvel Universe. So we're going to see her interact with some pretty classic and iconic Marvel characters in our first run as she learns to find her way in the super hero world.

This is someone who spent 10 years in a bunker and will not necessarily play well with others. So we're definitely going to see her run into not only some classic Spider-Man villains, but also some classic Spider-Man allies. We're really looking for ways to both reflect and contrast how she interacts with these characters versus how Spider-Man has in the past.

One character I would especially be interested in seeing her interact with is Steve Rogers, since they both have this person "out of time" quality to them.

It's really interesting that you mention Steve Rogers because I 100% agree. One of my favorite aspects of Steve is when they explore him as a man out of time. They've done it recently in the "The Ultimates" and in the Marvel movie franchises. I think that's such a unique way of telling that story again in terms of what it's like to go away from the world and then come back to it; what it's like to be a stranger in you home town when the rest of the people have moved on.

I think Steve is a great character for Cindy to interact with, and hopefully we'll find that story. Because obviously Steve was gone for a much longer amount of time, but when you've lost that period of time, and I use that word literally, when it's gone to you and it's not something you can reclaim, I think that really leaves an indelible mark on a character. It's definitely something we want to explore and hopefully we'll get to explore it with Steve Rogers as well.

I'm super excited to continue the great work that Dan Slott and the rest of the Spider-Man staff has done. They haven't built a foundation. They built an entire house and I'm happy to explore that house. I want to expand on it and find every single nook, cranny, and secret room. It's been an amazing opportunity and I'm really excited for people to see more of Cindy Moon.

"Silk" stalks the Marvel Universe starting in February.

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