Published February 7, 2017

Refined Silk

Robbie Thompson shares how Clone Conspiracy changed Cindy Moon!

Image for Refined Silk

Some people go west to realize their dreams. Others get their hopes dashed there. For Cindy Moon, her recent trip to California during The Clone Conspiracy gave her a taste of both.

We found writer Robbie Thompson unpacking his car after a long road trip to tell us how the hero we encounter in SILK #18 on March 1 has been changed by her experiences near the Pacific Ocean. As SILK #18 begins, it appears the Cindy is back in her Silk costume and most likely returned to the East Coast. However, does that mean she is the same ol’ Cindy at the start of this new arc?

Robbie Thompson: She is back in on the East Coast, back in her Silk costume and she is one hundred percent not the same ol’ Cindy at the beginning of this arc! The events of Clone Conspiracy have shaken Cindy Moon to her core. There are big, big changes coming for her starting with issue #18, specifically with the very last page, which illustrates the next step Cindy—and Silk—will be taking in the Marvel Universe. What is Silk’s state of mind after the events and ending of Clone Conspiracy?

Robbie Thompson: She’s rattled. And not just because of what went down out west. Cindy started Clone Conspiracy on the run—she finally got her family back, but something was missing. So, in classic Cindy fashion, she avoided the issue and went on a road trip and got involved in a crossover event!

But after the events of Clone Conspiracy she can’t run anymore, she can’t hide. Issue #18 really shows her running headlong into these issues and coming to grips with what’s going on in her head. Without spoilers, can you speak to how seeing a very different side of J. Jonah may have changed his and Cindy’s relationship?

Robbie Thompson: Jonah is actually able to let his guard down around Cindy in ways he doesn’t normally and that bond actually helps both of them as we’ll see in issue #18. Without giving too much away, they’re both really rocked by Clone Conspiracy and their lives are changed forever, but they still somehow find a way to have empathy for one another. I think in some ways, Jonah has been like a father-figure to Cindy, and even though her dad is back now—and being controlled by a villain!—that bond is still there. Clone Conspiracy also affected her relationship to Spectro. Again, avoiding outright spoilers, how would you describe the new challenges their connection to one another now faces?

Robbie Thompson: This road trip has definitely brought them closer, and Spectro being back in an actual human clone body, allowed them to express how they feel about each other in ways they couldn’t before—kissing!

Silk #18 cover

Silk #18 cover

You never forget your first love, especially when he is haunting [you]! But Hector, aka Spectro, also knows Cindy in a way all of her friends don’t—he can remind her of who she was before the bunker changed everything. Cindy often thinks the bunker defined her, but it only sharpened who she was before and Hector is able to remind her of that. What did Silk learn from becoming Silkworm? How did teaming up with Mattie Franklin change her experience of being one of the Spider-Women of the Marvel Universe?

Robbie Thompson: I think she learned that she should have a different costume for every city she visits! I loved Helen Chen’s design for Silkworm.

Without giving too much away, I think teaming up with Mattie was a real eye opener about what being a hero really means, and as you will see in issue #18, Cindy is directly confronting what it means to be a hero and trying to understand who she wants to be moving forward. Speaking specifically to issue #18, Cindy’s family seems to be creating increased complications in her life. Can you speak to how past choices they have made are now forcing her into doing things or acting in ways she might prefer not to?

Robbie Thompson: On a plot level, she doesn’t yet know her father is being manipulated by a villain named Fang. But it’s starting to creep into her life and we’ll be confronting that in issue #19 directly.

On a personal level, though, Cindy isn’t sure what to do now that her family is back. When she got out of the bunker, they were all she was looking for. Finding them defined her. She shaped her life around tracking them down: working at the Fact Channel, going undercover in Black Cat’s gang for S.H.I.E.L.D.

Now they’re back, and she wants life to be normal, but it just isn’t. Her external life is now suddenly normal, but with Cindy, it’s always been about her wrestling with her struggles with her internal life. Now that she has found them, hopefully she takes the time to find herself. When we last spoke about SILK, Irene Strychalski had not yet started drawing the book. How did her style change things? What’s next for the artistic direction of the book?

Robbie Thompson: Irene Strychalski came in for this Clone Conspiracy arc and absolutely killed it. I’m a big, big fan of hers and hope to work with her again and I’m grateful that editor Devin Lewis brought her onboard for this run. Irene has such a detailed and nuanced style to how she lays out and fills in a page, but what I love most from her is the performance work she puts into every single face and expression. This was a darker storyline for us, but Irene found the perfect tone and balance of emotions in every single issue. She also worked really well with our colorist Ian Herring, whose work has been instrumental in every single issue of this series.

Tana Ford is coming back with issue #18, and I think it’s the best work she’s done on the series—tons of emotions and performance throughout. I can’t wait for folks to see it!

Get your hands on SILK #18 coming March 1 from Robbie Thompson and Tana Ford!