Rounding out the triumvirate of Marvel's Spider-Lady comic books, "Silk" #2 is a fun read that hits all the playful, light-hearted notes that comic fans love in their wallcrawlers. Writer Robbie Thompson and artist Stacey Lee present a story that is topical (Hydra makes an appearance), informative (we get a quick rundown of Cindy Moon's formative days) and energetic (Lee mixes manga sensibilities with dynamic line work).
Thompson threads an underlying subplot through this issue that seasons "Silk" #2 with mystery, but the writer clearly makes a consolidated effort to serve up a complete story in twenty pages. In doing so, he relays a two-page summary of Silk's existence to this point, offers a glimpse into Silk's civilian life as Cindy Moon and tests the newest webslinger's battle skills against a robotic menace. Thompson drives the story through narrative captions fueled by Silk's point-of-view.
Silk's foe is essentially a cardboard cut-out, but the matchup of arachnid-powered human versus tentacle robot gives Thompson and Lee plenty of range to show readers everything they need to know in one issue. Lee's style is reminiscent of the art from Bryan Lee O'Malley's "Scott Pilgrim," which works nicely for the story. Silk's buoyant outlook, large eyes, sleek figure and speed lines fit the bill and put more than a little pep in the story. Lee experiments with page payout and panel style, using webbing as substrata to guide readers through spreads. In other scenes, the panels butt together, with characters or silhouettes spanning the gutters. With a limited cast in place, Lee keeps everyone distinct but, truly, Silk has the majority of the panel space in this issue.
Travis Lanham's lettering is solid, though it helps that Thompson's script is lean and Lee's artwork fills every single panel. For the robot, Lanham uses a saw-edged balloon that looks as though it would be very annoying (and not to mention loud) to hear as it screams out declarations like, "PREPARE FOR EXTERMINATION!" It's not a very subtle choice, but superhero fights with robots should be anything but subtle. Colorist Ian Herring contributes nicely to the robot as well. He adds grit and rust to the tentacles though doesn't overdo those effects, giving readers the impression that the metallic menace has certainly seen better days. Herring uses strong shades to show depth, chunking out shapes rather than using gradients. It's a bold choice that works well with Lee's manga-influenced drawing.
Still early in the run, "Silk" #2 is a fun, entertaining read that throws the story wide open for readers to come in and check out the latest member of the Spider-family. Thompson and Lee make it clear that "Silk" is an upbeat adventure comic starring a character who tries to find her path in superheroics. They also present plenty of evidence to distinguish this book from Cindy Moon's sister titles, "Spider-Woman" and "Spider-Gwen." The books aren't interchangeable nor are they inter-dependent, but they are all fun reads that offer a nice change-up from grim and gritty affairs.