Traveling outside your normal environment can give you perspective on your problems, but if you're not careful, it can also make them worse. That's what happened to Cindy Moon, the star of Marvel's "Silk," in the recent "Spider-Women" crossover. Cindy, who has been desperately searching for family while working as an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. operative inside the burgeoning criminal empire of the Black Cat, traveled to the other-dimensional world of Earth-65. There, she met that world's version of her family, and confronted her Earth-65 counterpart, a Cindy Moon who had fully broken bad and become a master criminal.
Unfortunately for Cindy, her evil, inter-dimensional doppelganger found her way to the Marvel Universe's Earth Prime, where she assumed the Silk identity and embarked on a crime spree. So what does that mean for the real Silk's relationship with the Black Cat and her S.H.I.E.L.D. handler, Mockingbird? For the answers to that question and more, we spoke with writer Robbie Thompson about his post-"Spider-Women" plans for "Silk," which include big revelations, daring heists, dangerous moral decisions and a trip to the Negative Zone.
CBR News: The "Spider-Women" crossover was a very personal story for Cindy, in that she got to reunite with an alternate universe version of her family and confront her villainous Earth-65 counterpart. What do you think it meant for her to be given the chance to do those things during the crossover?
Robbie Thompson: On the one hand, just being near the Moon family and being able to say certain things meant the world to Cindy. But that Moon family is estranged from their Cindy, and with the exception of Albert, they weren't very warm to our Cindy. Understandable from their point of view, since Cindy-65 is such a jerk-store! But heartbreaking for our Cindy.
In the end, no matter how much they look and sound like her family, they aren't our Cindy's real family. So, like a lot of things in her life, it's a bittersweet moment for Cindy. But it left her with even more determination to find her family, and we're going to see her get closer to that goal very soon.
I have to give credit and thanks to Nick Lowe, Devin Lewis, Kathleen Wisnewski, Dennis Hopeless and Jason Latour for that moment in the crossover. It's a great example of what I love about working in comics -- collaboration. It came out of our story meeting for the crossover back during New York Comic Con. So much of that meeting was about trying to find ways to make the crossover character-driven, and that push led to that moment being brought up in the room. It's a moment we expanded in the script after seeing Helen Chen's amazing variant cover. Nick read the script and was like, let's slow this moment down even further, there's a lot to process here. We gave it an extra page, and Tana Ford really found some amazing moments to play within the scene.
How much story time passes between the end of "Spider-Women" and issue #9, and what's her status with both Black Cat and Mockingbird? How do these two characters view Cindy at this point?
There's not much of a time jump in between the "Spider-Women" event and issue 9 of "Silk," and you'll see right away that the crossover had a direct impact on all aspects of Cindy's life.
Silk is actually in great standing with Black Cat, who views Silk with a lot more appreciation now. Having seen Cindy-65 in action during the "Spider-Women" event, Black Cat now believes Silk is a master thief who has been holding back her true skill level. We pick it up with our Silk working a job with Black Cat -- Silk is in way over her head on this heist, because Earth-65 Cindy was an actual criminal mastermind, whereas our Cindy -- not so much. Black Cat's newfound respect for Silk makes them closer, with Black Cat trusting Silk even more -- and that trust allows Black Cat to reveal a bit about why she's broken so bad as of late.
Mockingbird, on the other hand, is deeply concerned about Silk and doesn't want her to stay undercover. She thinks Silk is not prepared for this at all -- something Mockingbird blames herself for, in the end.
Then there's the other sort of parental figure in Cindy's life, her boss at the Fact Channel, J. Jonah Jameson? How does he feel about Silk in light of the events of "Spider-Women,' and how do Cindy and Jonah feel about each other?
Jonah is super-bummed about Silk breaking bad, but part of him is in denial about it. He wants to believe!
As for Cindy and Jonah, there's a bit of a parent/child relationship between the two of them, and that's been fun to explore as the series has gone on. Cindy started out scared of Jonah, but he's grown on her, and he obviously fills a void in her life. It's been nice to show a "softer side" of Jonah.
And what's it like telling a heist story with Cindy post "Spider-Women?"
We'll be seeing Silk and Black Cat on a heist that takes place in a satellite office of the ever growing Parker Industries empire. It's fun to show Cindy on an actual heist. Truth is, Mockingbird is right -- Silk isn't prepared for this! But like always, Cindy's not giving up any time soon, even when things go horribly wrong on the job!
The next few months of "Silk" are going to have some especially big reveals with regards to the Black Cat story, as well as the mysterious character of Spectro. What can you tell us about these next few issues?
The events of "Spider-Women" have definitely painted Cindy into a corner -- a corner she's going to have great difficulty getting out of, not just because of her inexperience, but because she has some sympathy for Black Cat. They've become friends, which is always the danger of working undercover. You're going to see that relationship tested, and Cindy's going to have to make a choice -- is she really a good guy, or has she spent too much time in the dark and truly broken bad?
Spectro has been a guardian angel for Silk over the past arcs, but we'll be revealing his identity in Issue #10, and dig into his origin and motivations in Issue #11. We'll find out why he knows Silk's true identity, and how he's tied to her past.
Cindy's role in Black Cat's organization would appear to put her on a collision course with some of the other characters in the Spider-Man universe, like Miles Morales who is currently in the Cat's crosshairs over in his own series. Will the coming months find Silk running into any established heroic or villainous Spider-characters?
I would love to see Silk and Miles team up -- maybe that will be in the cards down the road! In the coming issues, we will be seeing a familiar place, as Silk's quest to find her parents takes an unexpected turn as she ends up in the Negative Zone. Cindy's going on a strange and incredibly dangerous adventure, but it's going to be a fun and emotional ride.
We will definitely be seeing some familiar faces in the upcoming tie-in with "Dead No More," though I can't say who we'll be seeing, dead or alive! What Dan Slott and the Spidey Office has cooked up for that is so much creepy fun, and I'm really excited Silk is going to be a small part of that ongoing story.
Will we see Cindy take a side in "Civil War II?"
Cindy will be off in the Negative Zone and will be missing out on "Civil War II." I think she would be somewhat conflicted about a person who could predict the future, but she would definitely take issue with acting on those visions. Having had part of her life taken away from her, Cindy Moon is a big fan of having free will and agency and control over her life. She's really living each day as it comes, and I think she'd come down on the side of wanting people to be able to be in charge of their own destiny.
Your work on "Silk" has primarily been brought to life by two great artists, Tana Ford, who you talked a little bit about earlier, and Stacy Lee. Who's drawing these next few issues of "Silk?"
Stacey Lee is back for Issue #9, and Tana is back for Issues #10-13. I am so lucky to work with both of these incredible storytellers. We've worked together long enough now that we have a great shorthand, and they couldn't be better storytelling partners. They are so talented. Their styles are different, but what I love about both of their work is how much emotion and personality they put into every single panel of every single issue. There's so much feeling and heart on each page. I had a great time talking with Stacey about Cindy and what's to come in the comic back at C2E2, and Tana and I just traded a bunch of emails about an upcoming arc. I love working with both of them, they're both rising stars, and I'll be able to say I knew them when! Hats off to Ellie Pyle for getting Stacey on the book, and to Nick and Devin for bringing on Tana.
And we also have the book's MVP Ian Herring on colors, and his work has been outstanding throughout this entire series. I just saw colored pages from both Stacey and Tana for issues 9 and 10, and I cannot wait for people to see what they've done, because they all crushed it!