Sunday, August 03, 2014

RE: ASM #4's Introduction of Silk

Unbeknownst to Peter Parker, the irradiated spider that gave him his Spidey powers was able to bite another one after it had bitten him.  This other recipient of spider powers was some girl named Cindy Moon, who has been locked down by Ezekiel (an important Amazing Spider-Man character back when J. Michael Straczynski was the writer for the book in the 2000’s) in a bunker all these years to prevent Morlun (another important character in Straczynski’s ASM run) from going after them.  Per the “Original Sin” event (wherein the supposed secrets of the Marvel Universe has been revealed in an attempt to introduce new characters and retcon old ones), this fact has finally been made known to Spider-Man.

Afterwards, Spider-Man proceeded to bust her out of her bunker. Hence, after getting glimpses of Cindy in the past issues, she has finally made her full appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #4.   

And the first characteristic we learned about the character is she can swear like a sailor.

We, through Spidey’s commentary, also get to evaluate her powers.  She’s faster than Spidey, but apparently less strong.  She also has a more potent spider-sense.

I like how Spidey describes it as “Matrix/bullet-time good,” made the whole initial-display-of-powers process interesting.  

Aside from the spider-speed and spider-sense, she can wield organic webs from her fingertips, which are more versatile than Spidey’s web formula.  At one point, Silk got to catch Spider-Man by making a web with a barbed tip, much to Spidey’s amazement.  She even used it to construct herself an impromptu costume.

Since the “Spider-Woman” and “Spider-Girl” names are both taken, this new Spider-character’s name is “Silk.”  Frankly, “Silk” doesn’t work for me.  It sounds boring, dumb, unremarkable, and lacked impact.  Also, I hope this improvised web costume of hers isn’t a permanent look, which I find unexciting and dull.

As mentioned earlier, Ezekiel hid Cindy Moon to keep Morlun away.  For mere moments after Spidey freed Cindy from her bunker…

So one of the purposes of this character’s creation is to put the epic “Spider-Verse” into motion, and she is, obviously, going to play an important role in it. 

And in the last page of ASM #4, we understand Morlun’s “Spider-Bride” remark a little bit better.    

Whoa.  Silk is going to be Spider-Man’s new love interest?  This development – their spider-senses giving them a special empathy for each other, compelling them to be drawn to one another – is the most intriguing thing about Silk’s addition to the Spider-Man mythos.    

So, overall, my first impression of Silk is… well, I’m not yet sure.  I would have definitely welcomed her warmly if there is no Spider-Woman character already, or that she was meant to become the new Spider-Woman or Spider-Girl character.  The “Spider-Bride” angle and the “Matrix/bullet-time good” powers show some promise for this character.  It is possible for something awesome to happen out of all of this. 

On the other hand, there are aspects I don’t like.  Again, I would have been excited if she was going to be a new Spider-Woman, but she isn’t.  At this point, to me, it feels like that this character’s conception has been gratuitous.  The Marvel Universe (Earth-616) is getting crowded with Spider-types already, and this present Spider-characters population kind of sips a little out of Spider-Man’s uniqueness as a character.  More so with Silk, since she shares the same origin as Spidey’s.  Furthermore, it feels like Spider-Man’s characterization has been cheapened with Silk receiving better spider powers from the same irradiated spider that bit Peter.  

I hope Dan Slott (current writer of ASM) would properly develop this character well and would have a brilliant justification for her inclusion in the Marvel Universe or, at least, in Spider-Man’s world.  I think I will be satisfied with, at least, significant character depth and smart plot purpose for Silk.  These would probably make me love this new character eventually.  But if she was created merely for the sake of having something shocking to reveal for “Original Sin” and as a catalyst to kick off “Spider-Verse,” then I would probably dislike her instead.   For now, it’s still too early to really tell.  

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