Robbie Thompson Spins A Sinister New Thread For "Silk"

Despite being introduced just last summer, Marvel Comics' Silk has quite the legacy. The hero -- a.k.a. Cindy Moon -- received her powers from the same spider that transformed Peter Parker into Spider-Man. Unlike Peter in his early days as a wall-crawler, she's new to both super-heroics and civilian life as she was only recently freed after living in a bunker for almost a decade.

In the first volume of "Silk," writer Robbie Thompson and artist Stacey Lee have chronicled Cindy's quest to learn how to balance her dual lives. Recent issues have given her a sort of baptism of fire as she used her job with J. Jonah Jameson's program on the Fact Channel to pursue leads regarding her missing family and engaged in a series of escalating battles with the Black Cat, who has become a super-powered crime lord.

That's not the last time Black Cat will cross Cindy's path. This October, Thompson and Lee launch an all-new, all-different volume of "Silk" that finds their protagonist employed by Black Cat. Has Silk really gone over to the dark side? CBR News spoke with Thompson to get the answer to that question as well as further insight into how Silk's new job will affect her standing within the larger Spider family.

CBR News: Following "Secret War," Marvel's entire "All-New, All-Different" line -- including "Silk" -- will jump eight months into the future. The teaser image suggests that when you pick up with the title character's life, she'll be in a very different -- possibly felonious -- space. What can you tell us about the status quo when this new volume of "Silk" begins? Has Cindy Moon become a super villain?

Robbie Thompson: After the eight month gap we're going to pick up with Cindy Moon -- she still works at the Fact Channel, still has her work friends, still has a love-hate relationship with J Jonah Jameson, and is still reporting on Silk's activities for the Fact Channel. But what we're going to find out though, is that she has a new job... which is working for Black Cat. She's part of Black Cat's gang. The exact nature of that relationship and how she got into that is something we're going to reveal over the course of the first arc.

So Cindy's heel turn will be one of the initial mysteries in this new volume of "Silk," but will some of the mysteries from the last volume come into play as well? Will Cindy still be trying to find her family's whereabouts and what happened to them?

Absolutely; you're going to find out pretty quickly in both the last issue of the first volume and the first issue of this all-new, all-different series that part of what's behind her "new job" is tied directly to what she's found out about her family. I can't give anything away about what you'll see in issue #7, but that's the last issue of our first volume and there's a reveal in that issue that is part of the driving force behind what has her now on the wrong side of the law.

How does it feel to come back to the series and take it in this direction? How similar and how different will the feel of this new volume of "Silk" be compared to the first one?

Coming back to the book has been a lot of fun, but we want to keep the focus on what we started out with, which is more of a personal story. Cindy's juggling a few new things, but our book is still going to be based in and coming from the personal side of her life.

In our first issue we'll see her working with Black Cat, but J. Jonah Jameson, in a twist on your typical Spider-Man lore, is actually taking Silk's side. The Fact Channel is reporting on Silk as if she's a hero. So when we pick things back up eight months later, we're examining the hows and whys of Cindy going to the Dark Side of the Force, but still with that dynamic and feel we had in our first volume. It's her trying to balance a personal life, as well as a work life, and a costumed life of crime.

It's going to get really tricky for Cindy because not everybody knows she's gone to the dark side. That's something we're going to be playing with in the first couple of issues. It's going to be very interesting to see how Peter Parker feels about this turn of events in Cindy's life.

Can you talk at all about how Cindy's work with the Black Cat will affect her self-image and inner monologue? Will she see herself as a villain or will she have a more conflicted opinion?

One of the fun things about re-launching the book was editor Nick Lowe asking, "What's a place that would be unlikely to see Cindy when we catch back up with her?" In issue six of "Silk," Cindy gets into a pretty big fight with Black Cat, so it's pretty shocking to see her in league with Black Cat particularly because of what happens on a personal level in that issue.

This new life is going to be an enormous internal struggle for Cindy, and the book will still be from Cindy's point of view. So we'll get a lot of insight into what she's thinking from her captioned dialogue, which for me -- as a TV writer -- is one of the most fun things to write because I can literally tell people what she's thinking. And we can also contrast that to what she's actually doing, which is fun, too.

The way we started talking about this arc was that Cindy went bad for the right reasons. But even the best of intentions can get corrupted when you're around someone like Black Cat, who we're going to find -- not only in "Silk," but in the other Marvel books she's in -- is continuing to break further and further bad. So the question for Cindy is: can she balance out the good reasons for doing all this -- which will be revealed soon! -- or will she be corrupted by this venture? It's going to be a struggle for her.

The thing I keep telling people though is, "Cindy is still Cindy." It's been eight months since we've seen her, but she's still catching up on the world. She had 10 years of catching up to do and eight months is just not enough time. She's still catching up on not just her pop culture references, but how people in these kinds of situations, leading these multiple lives, have to balance it all out. It's not like she went to superhero graduate school in that time and got her degree. She's still at ground zero when it comes to living the costumed life.

Stacy Lee, your collaborator from the first volume of "Silk," is returning to illustrate this new chapter in Cindy Moon's life. It feels like her art really does give the series its personal feel, but it also keeps everything moving with some highly kinetic super heroics.

Yeah, to me the star of the book is Stacey Lee. She just gets better and better with each issue of the book, which is shocking because she was awesome to begin with! And Ian Herring, our colorist, brings such incredibly rich color to her work, really unifying it and making it pop.

Stacy just keeps raising the bar, and as a writer that's really empowering because there's nothing I can't throw her way that she can't do. She takes story elements, performance elements, or even a really small beat and depicts them all in a dynamic, action-packed, and yet very personal way.

There's a panel in issue #6 that's the last panel on the page and takes place in the rain -- you'll know it when you see it -- and it was just fantastic. When I saw how she rendered that moment and the connection between the two characters it depicts, I thought it was perfect. So it's just a dream to be teaming up with her again; she brings so much to the book. She and Ian Herring and everybody who put the art together are so talented. I'm really, really fortunate to be collaborating with them.

When you and Stacy pick up with Silk, Peter Parker will be operating on a global scale and will only be in New York occasionally. How big a role does Peter and the rest of the sort of Spider family play in "Silk"? Might we see Cindy interacting with characters like Miles Morales and Jessica Drew?

I can't speak to any of that from a spoilers standpoint, but Peter's absence will definitely be felt. He's a positive influence on her life despite their complicated relationship. As I was hinting at before, as busy as he is, though, when he gets wind of what's been going on with Cindy's alter ego and who she's in league with, he's going to have some pretty passionate feelings about that. That will lead to a showdown between the two of them, which I'm really looking forward to.

As far as Spider family villains, though, I can tease that Cindy's main obstacle -- and it's one that she shares with the Black Cat -- is going to be a rival gang. It's one that's very, very familiar to Spidey fans and a big part of the Spider-Man universe: the Goblin Nation. So you'll be seeing members of the Goblin Nation and what we've been calling the return of the Goblin King.

I'm really excited for people who have been supporting the book to see where we're taking it, but we're also new reader friendly. Hopefully you've heard good things about "Silk" and want to check it out. And while we're giving new readers a place to start with our all-new, all-different #1, it's also going to be rewarding for everyone who has been so kind and supportive of the book from the beginning.

"Silk" #7, the final issue of volume one, swings into stores on September 2. The all-new and all-different volume of "Silk" begins in November.

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