It’s been a few issues coming, but Silk is finally here.
After all these years, Peter Parker has finally met his match. I don’t say that lightly — that last statement could be as literal as you want to take it.
Amazing Spider-Man #1 gave us a glimpse of what’s to come when it was told that the spider that bit Parker had time, just enough time, to bite one other person. And while Parker accepted those great powers and the great responsibility that comes with them, web-slinging and swinging his way through New York, his counterpart was locked away in a room with no windows.
With the Original Sin crossover carving a path through Marvel’s various titles, one of the Watcher’s eyes detonates during a skirmish, catching Spider-Man in its explosion. After the secret of the other comes to Peter, he makes a beeline to discover who this woman is.
Along the way, he connects the dots. It was told by Madame Web that another Spider-Man existed, and now he knows her name: Cindy Moon. Locked away by Ezekiel in an underground bunker, she’s been kept safe in order to keep Morlun at bay.
And now that she’s freed, one of Spider-Man’s most vicious foes come back into play, though for all intents and purposes according to Parker, Morlun’s dead and gone.
Parker chases Moon — aka Silk — through New York as she searches for family. She’s been locked away for most of her life, and the rest of the world has moved on without her. Meanwhile, Felicia Hardy, who’s been scheming of ways to get revenge on Spider-Man, finds what she’s looking for and kidnaps disgruntled employee Sajani Jaffrey.
There’s a lot of plot points to cover this issue, and packing them all into one book definitely affected the overall pacing — it’s a marked change from the three previous issues. Amazing Spider-Man #4 hits its beats rapid-fire with characters rushing off to various places, creating costumes on the fly, and conveniently being in the right place at the right time. I think the issue would have been better taking a break and focusing on a singular approach for Silk, but Dan Slott gets an A for effort. With all of the various threads concurrently spooling out, he manages to place most of them here to keep momentum going.
Humberto Ramos’ pencils get a bit edgier this issue, especially in the cutaway to Morlun with its rough lines and shadows. Ramos has a lot to do this issue — Cindy’s face goes through a gamut of expressions from anger to joy, despair to animal attraction. Ramos’ Silk hardly ever sits still, and her dynamic and lithe movement is a great contrast to Spider-Man’s raw power.
I’m not sure if Silk will keep her hand-spun costume — it’s a little blah for me, though it fits the story. I doubt it’s Victor Olazaba’s favorite thing because of all the lines he’ll have to ink, and his work this issue is top-notch. Olazaba’s outlines are great at distinguishing the various pieces in each panel, and it gives the artwork a cel-shaded look.
Edgar Delgado’s colors seem a bit muted this issue, especially compared to the bright splash page when Spider-Man learns of Cindy’s existence. In context, it makes sense — much of the story takes place indoors or under a sunset sky which totally sets up a romantic mood that makes the ending of the issue more plausible. In this case, the ends justify the means, and the creative team as a cohesive unit is a capable one to take on Marvel’s flagship title.
I’m really interested in seeing where this goes. It was one thing to expect a Spider-Man counterpart who would either rival or complement him. I didn’t expect a mutual attraction, even with Parker’s relationship with Mary Jane Watson currently on hiatus. That could become a permanent thing now, and that spices things up considerably.
The Amazing Spider-Man #4 (2014)
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Words: Dan Slott
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colors: Edgar Delgado