REVIEW: Silk #14 – “Silk Takes on the West Coast”

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SILK #14
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Penciller: Irene Strychalski
Colorist: Ian Herring
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 11/16/16
Price: $3.99

Silk

Silk ties into the Clone Conspiracy, bringing familiar faces back to the spider books.

Plot

It took over a decade, but Cindy finally has everything she’s ever wanted in life. Her family is back, her high school sweetheart is back, she has a day job she loves, and she’s not pretending to be a bad guy anymore. But even with all these positive things in Cindy’s life she still feels alone. This feeling pushes her to travel with Hector to San Francisco to help J. Jonah Jameson with an assignment. During her trip Cindy finds out that Jonah has been hiding a secret. His wife has been resurrected and Cindy finds herself face-to-face with Mattie Franklin AKA Spider Woman and J. Jonah’s daughter.

Story

This issue slows things down to show readers how Cindy is coping with her new life. Cindy finally has everything she’s ever wanted, but this issue analyzes that Cindy doesn’t feel comfortable with her current situation of so called “perfection”. She takes a trip to San Francisco to escape the situations in her life. Hopefully her feelings of loneliness will be better analyzed in future issues of this story arc because in this issue Cindy’s reasons for escapism were only lightly touched upon, even though it feels like this portion of the story took up a lot of space.

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Cindy’s internal battle was a smaller aspect of the issue, allowing the story to have a chance to give more light to Cindy’s supporting characters. We have an opportunity to see a glimpse of how the Moon family is adjusting to “normal” life, and we received a major spotlight on Hector and J. Jonah Jameson.

It was great to see a full issue focusing on Hector and Cindy’s relationship. In previous issues other stories overshadowed their interactions giving limited panel time to explore their relationship. So I was glad to see Silk #14 give a chance for Hector and Cindy to interact more. They have great chemistry with each other, and their loving banter was one of the highlights of the issue for me. Especially when Hector was making fun of Silk’s new identity for her west coast super heroics.

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J. Jonah Jameson is one of my favorite aspects about Silk. In this series we get to see a different side of him compared to the The Amazing Spider-Man books. This issue highlights the friendly, but not out of character dynamic Cindy has with him. Since his first appearance in Silk, he’s always had a mentorship with Cindy. He’s taken Cindy under his wing, but of course he is still J. Jonah Jameson so he does it in a less obvious way. Cindy describes her relationship with J. Jonah perfectly in this issue, “Jonah’s okay. I mean, he’s always been nice to me. In a really mean, aggressive way.”

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But in this issue Jonah shows his loving side a bit more obviously here. Cindy tells him that she found her parents, and Jonah instinctively hugs Cindy out of happiness. Cindy stands there stunned that she was just hugged by J. Jonah Jameson. This scene shows how important family is to Jonah, and that Cindy is also an important person in his life, even if he doesn’t show this affection all the time. This ties into the Clone Conspiracy part of the story, which I actually expected more from.

The cover was a bit misleading for this issue. It made it seem like the story would focus on J. Jonah’s relationship with Mattie, something I always felt could have been explored more in past comics. Hopefully next issue we will see J. Jonah’s relationship with Mattie a bit more, especially with the highlighted theme of family in this issue.

Art

This story arc has a new artist on board, Irene Strychalski. I really liked her cartoony art style compared to Tana Ford’s pencils for the previous Silk story arcs. Ford’s pencils had some weird facial proportions compared to Strychalski’s art style, which has cleaner and bolder line work.

The colors by Ian Herring worked very well with Strychalski’s pencils. The coloring allowed the bold line work to really pop. My only complaint towards the coloring is the lighting. There is too much lighting on the characters’ hair, which was distracting for me in some panels. This happens frequently with Cindy’s character.

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In this issue we also saw a new look for Silk as she needed to make a new identity quickly for her west coast heroics. I liked the new design for the story arc, but I hope when Silk goes back to New York City she will return to her old costume.

Verdict

Silk #14 sets up it’s Clone Conspiracy tie-in for an interesting story arc about family, but I wish the story had a better scope on Cindy’s internal struggles.

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