During the Original Sin storyline, Spider-Man would be exposed to the energies of the Watchers eye alongside his fellow heroes. As secrets began to flow into his head, Spider-Man saw that the radioactive spider that bit him managed to bite another before it dieda young female student named Cindy Moon.
After she was bitten by the spider, Cindys abilities manifested but she was unable to control them. Some time later, Ezekiel Sims would approach the Moon family to offer his help and guide Cindy in controlling her newfound abilities. After six years since getting bit and training to use her powers, Cindy is locked up inside a facility by Ezekiel to protect her and the other spiders from Morlun and his family: The Inheritors. But she was later freed by Peter Parker, kicking off Morlun's biggest hunt ever.
During Spider-Verse, she appeared in the first arc of Spider-Woman volume five, teaming up with Jessica Drew before spinning off into her own ongoing series in February 2015, written by Robbie Thompson (known for his work on Supernatural). Initially running for seven issues, Silk, like many other titles, was put on hold for the massive Secret Wars event, but returned with a new volume during the All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative later that year. In the second volume, Silk is working for Black Cat, or so it seems as she is actually a mole for SHIELD, but things start to get complicated, as Silk gains some anger issues as well as having a hard time remembering Black Cat isn't her friend. This volume ran for nineteen issues.
Cindy appears (in her unpowered, civilian form) as a classmate of Peter's in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming, played there by Tiffany Espensen, later reprising the role in Avengers: Infinity War. In June 2018, it was announced that Sony began developing a film based on the character, but whether or not it will be set in the MCU (with Espensen reprising the role) is unconfirmed. It was also reported in December 2018 that Silk would feature in a spinoff of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, alongside Spider-Gwen and Jessica Drew. Its tentatively titled Spider-Women.
Notable Comic Books
- Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 (2014)
- Silk (multiple runs):
- vol. 1 (2015)
- vol. 2 (2015-2017)
- vol. 3 (2020-)
- Amazing Spider-Man & Silk: The Spider(fly) Effect (2016)
- Spider-Women (2016)
- Spider-Geddon (2018)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe, (2017 — present), played by Tiffany Espensen
- Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters
- Silk (TBA)
- Untitled Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse spinoff (TBD), voiced by TBA
- All Therapists Are Muggles: Averted. At Mister Fantastic's recommendation, Cindy begins seeing Dr. Marie Porter, a shrink who specializes in helping people with secret identities. Marie is one of the few people Cindy genuinely trusts, and is on a very short list of characters who believe that Cindy can get her life in order.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Spiders, being the avatar of a powerful Spider Totem.
- Arachnid Appearance and Attire: Her first costume was made entirely out of plain, old spider-silk. Just look◊.
- Ascended Fanboy: When her first Agents of Atlas mission sends her to Korea, to help fight in the War of the Realms, she becomes rather excited to work alongside crimefighting K-Pop singer Luna Snow. A later Agents of Atlas comic also has Luna Snow recruit Silk as a dancer in her next music video.Silk: I saw you at MSG during your "Cool" World Tour and you were amazing.
Luna Snow: Oh, wow. Thank you.
- Badass Boast:Ringer III: H-how're you—? Nobody's that fast!Silk: I am. Fast, tough, and smooth... as Silk! Yeah, that'll work.
- Bandaged Face: She's covered the lower half of her face with her spider-silk in her first costume.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
- Averted after Cindy gets a beating at the hands of Black Cat and ends up with a black eye.
- Averted again when Cindy gets some bruises on her cheek after fighting Mattie Franklin.
- Becoming the Mask: Mockingbird worried that Silk's infiltration of Black Cat's organization would put her in serious risk of this, as did a few others, and not without reason. She almost killed a person under Black Cat's orders, and when asked about it, she stated she felt good after beating the man and throwing him off a roof (but claims that she knew he'd survive). The main thing that seemed to be pushing her into this trope is that she genuinely likes Cat and sees her as a friend, a feeling that Cat would mutually return. She ultimately doesn't go rogue, and Mockingbird apologizes for thinking she would.
- Berserker Rage: Silk was already someone not completely in control of her emotions, and being exposed to goblin serum didn't help. Even after Cat cured her, she still flies into a yellow-eyed rage on occasion.
- Beta Outfit: In the earliest comics, Cindy's "costume" is just some webs that she's generated wrapped tightly around her body, almost Bandage Mummy-style. Later on, as she figures out how to make proper clothing with her webs, she creates the costume that she's worn ever since.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Has a red "S" in the middle of her costume's chest.
- Butch Lesbian/Lipstick Lesbian: Two of Cindy's co-workers◊, Lola and Rafferty, are lesbian couple and perhaps one of the most blatant examples of these. Lola is short-haired, tomboyish, and slightly masculine-looking. Rafferty is long-haired, cute, blonde, nerd-looking, and Meganekko.
- Cat Fight: Against Black Cat. Lampshaded in this very cover◊.
- Cheap Costume: For her first costume, Silk quickly slapped together a costume using her webbing. Spidey laments having never thought of doing that himself, although considering his webbing only lasts couple of hours that might be a good thing. She later makes herself a proper costume after hearing her job supervisor Natalie Long call Silk's original one "tacky".
- Combat Clairvoyance: To a greater degree than Spider-Man. She can track people quicker and easier and by her description see further along the threads of fate that power their Spider-Sense.
- Cool Big Sis: Aside from the usual sibling bickering, she was this towards her little brother, as seen in a flashback in Silk #1 here◊. The final arc of the first volume is about how Cindy searches for him and finally reunites with him again.
- Distaff Counterpart: She is this to Peter to a greater extent than any of the Spider-Women or Spider-Girls, thanks to being bitten by the same spider. Morlun even calls her "Spider-Bride".
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: In her solo series by Robbie Thompson, her spider powers and the circumstances surrounding how she got them are written like an extended metaphor for a social or learning disability. Cindy was raised by two deeply loving parents, but when she got her powers, she and they were horrified and wanted nothing more than for her to go back to being a normal girl. Their fear allowed Ezekiel Sims to persuade them to lock away their teenage daughter in a bunker for over a decade. She isn't very adept at social cues, and at first cannot understand why Peter Parker doesn't want to lean into their Fantastic Arousal. Most other superheroes treat her as younger than she is and find her either endearing or aggravating, which translates to Cindy as condescension or fuel for her own self-loathing. She regularly worries that she'll never be a properly functioning adult on behalf of her circumstances, and in most issues, the only person she can confide in is her therapist. At the end of Thompson's run on the character, she accepts that these things will always be a part of her, but she owes it to herself to be comfortable in her own skin, in the company of people who care about her, such as Lola, Rafferty, Albert, and her parents, found at last, who apologize profusely for letting Ezekiel put her in that bunker.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Cindy finally finds and rescues her parents, who were trapped in the Negative Zone. As thanks for everything Cindy did in dealing with the Black Cat, Mockingbird sets her family up with a new house/safehouse.
- Evil Counterpart: The villain of the Spider-Women crossover is the Cindy Moon of Spider-Gwen's dimension. On Earth-65, the radioactive spider never bit Cindy, but since their daughter was nearly bit by a glowing spider, the Moon family called for an investigation into the lab. When it was discovered that the spider bite would have either killed Cindy or given her spider-powers, Cindy grew bitter and spent the next decade stewing on what might have been. In present day, she has completely cut her loving family out of her life to become a Mad Scientist and CEO of the evil organization S.I.L.K., as she tries to recreate the spider and cause all sorts of trouble for Earth-65's superheroes.
- Evil Mentor: Black Cat becomes this for Silk in Volume 2. It doesn't help that Cat is the only person besides Silk's therapist that isn't convinced Silk is a failure of some kind.
- FaceHeel Turn: In the All New, All Different universe, Silk has gone rogue and is working for Black Cat under the moniker of "Sinister Silk", lamenting that her brief stint as a hero has made it difficult for her to accrue any Villain Cred... but it's revealed she's actually The Mole for S.H.I.E.L.D. But, then, after the events of Spider-Women, Cindy decides to back Black Cat full-time after S.H.I.E.L.D. refuses to listen to the fact that her Earth-65 counterpart was causing trouble, not her. Then it turns out she went back to S.H.I.E.L.D. to continue busting Black Cat after they finally believed her story.
- Fantastic Arousal: She used to emit pheromones that cause Peter Parker to want to get intimate with her, and vice versa. It got to the point where they couldn't be around each other for more than a few minutes before they started making out. Thanks to the events of Spider-Verse causing the strength of her pheromones to diminish in exchange for an even better Silk-Sense, this is no longer an issue.
- Femme Fatalons: The fingers on her costume can be converted into these on the fly.
- Finger Firearms: Like Ultimate Marvel's Jessica Drew, she shoots her webbing from her fingertips instead of her wrists. She can spin different kinds too: Insulated strands to use against Electro and porous ones for more cushioned barriers. They also have barbed hook tips giving a stronger catch on things she hits. Very similar to the way the Great Weaver has been depicted spinning its webs given her purported stronger connection to the Web of Life.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Not as bad as Captain America, per se, but when she hits the Internet to search for her parents, she's stopped by the fact that Peter doesn't have Netscape Navigator. Her being a spider-person, and thus fond of quips, means that a lot of her references are seen as out-of-date by the other web heads.
- Gilded Cage: The bunker Ezekiel placed her in, and intended to place Peter inside as well. Cindy was well cared for, continued to learn about the world and has a much better grasp on her powers than she would otherwise, but she never got the chance to socialize and, practically speaking, is still an emotionally addled teen in a grown woman's body.
- I Have This Friend...: In Issue #1, Cindy says Dragonclaw sounds like a Pokémon, prompting her to ask "Is Pokémon still a thing... asking for a friend."
- Important Haircut: Near the end of her first character arc in her solo comic, Cindy is in a fight with Black Cat that ends with the theif dangling her by her hair over a long drop. After a moment of existential anguish over the source of the fight itself, she cuts off her own hair to escape. From this moment forward, she begins to move past her reliance on Spider-Man & make her own decisions about her life, including later working with Black Cat in order to find information on her family.
- Meta Origin: She got her powers from the same spider that Peter did. Unlike him, she is able to produce her own webbing rather than requiring web cartridges. This is part of her role as the Bride in the Cosmic Chess Game between the Inheritors and the Spiders. She represents every totem empowered by chance.
- Morality Pet: Silk appointed herself as Black Cat's, and the two end up having a heart-to-heart where Silk tells her that she clearly isn't the full-fledged villain that everyone is making her out to be. Knowing that her sidekick earnestly views her in this way leads to Black Cat sparing Silk's life when she learns Silk is working for S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Naïve Newcomer: Jessica Drew outright admits during Spider-Verse that Silk's naivety and enthusiasm for heroics would normally make her endearing, but this quality also has a tendency to make her more aggravating to deal with in more serious situations... like the multiverse genocide of Spider-Totems they were trying to stop at the time.
- Never My Fault: Occasionally attempts to shift the blame off herself whenever she screws up and things go FUBAR. Spider-Woman eventually gets fed up with this and chews her out on it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: She ends up getting Spider-Man: Noir laid up after she accidentally attracts Brix and Bora to their location during Spider-Verse. And then gets Spider-Woman trapped on Loomworld. And then wrecks the second teleporter when she returns to Loomworld to save Spider-Woman, even though she should be staying away from Loomworld. Frankly, it happens a lot in Spider-Verse, and is specifically the reason why few heroes enjoy her presence come her solo series.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: After finding out Silk has betrayed her by working with S.H.I.E.L.D., Black Cat teleports the two of them to an abandoned warehouse and proceeds to beat Cindy to a bloody pulp in front of her goons, to show them what happens to people who double-cross her. The beatdown is interrupted by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents storming the building, and Cindy uses the last of her strength to leap through a skylight after being aided by an uppercut, landing on the roof. Black Cat simply teleports to the roof and continues beating her up. She stops when Silk reaffirms her faith in Black Cat not being a true villain, though.
- Not Quite Back to Normal: The Goblin King (Phil Urich) infects Silk with his knock-off Goblin Serum in an attempt to get her on his side, but she's saved by Black Cat, who had cooked up a cure. However, Silk's eyes briefly turn yellow when she gets angry for a while after, implying that Felicia's vaccine wasn't perfect or took time to work fully.
- Older Than She Looks: Looks like a teenager (and often acts like one too), but is actually in her late twenties like Peter. Played for Laughs as both Jessica Drew and Mockingbird, who mentor Silk, refer to her as a kid despite the fact that she's actually around the same age as them.Mockingbird: That's good to hear, young lady.
Silk: Dude, we're practically the same age.
- One-Word Title: Doubles as Protagonist Title, being Cindy Moon's codename as a superhero.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Spider-People are a crowded market in the world of Marvel Comics, and her solo launching at the same time as Spider-Gwen's did her no favours.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Unlike every other webbed hero, who wear complete masks, Silk just covers the lower half of her face with a somewhat loose-fitting scarf. The scarf has fallen away enough times during fights that her identity never being revealed (well, never being revealed because of this trope, anyway) is pure luck.
- Parental Abandonment: Invoked, as Cindy herself signed off on the decision to lock herself up in the bunker away from her family. But after spending ten years in the bunker, she has no idea where they might have gone, with virtually all information about them being wiped from public record. Figuring out what happened to them was her main driving force and reason for being Silk. Thanks to her coworkers, she finds out they disappeared into the Negative Zone in search of a cure for her Spider-Powers to protect her from the Inheritors and ended up trapped there. Cindy rescues them, brings them home, and slowly rebuilds her relationship with them.
- Parental Substitute: When Cindy gets a job at Fact Channel News, J. Jonah Jameson (who actually likes Silk, barring the period where she was impersonated◊ by her Evil Counterpart from Earth-65) ends up taking her under his wing, even giving her the nickname "Analog" after seeing her use a pen and notepad instead of a phone or tablet. He becomes somewhat father-y towards her, helps her find her missing brother, and screams raises at her. Jameson's kindness and presence is arguably the other reason besides the hunt for her family that kept her at the network, as she immediately quits when he's fired following the events of Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy.
- Pheromones: She and Spider-Man both have them, and they work exponentially well on each other. When Peter and Cindy are anywhere near each other, they are compelled to start making out on the spot, and can only resist for so long.
- Photographic Memory: Silk #1 reveals that she has this, and has her dismayed that the most vivid of these memories include telling her mother than she hated her.
- Power Incontinence: A positive example. The events of Spider-Verse has caused her Spider-Sense to amplify but lowered her pheromonal attraction. However, she initially can't stand the new information overload, and mixed with her social anxiety, decides to live in the bunker once more to deal with it... until she learns that someone has been constantly surveying her there, forcing her to rent an apartment.
- Protagonist Title: The protagonist's codename, as she's a superhero.
- Red String of Fate: She and Peter were bitten by the same radioactive/supernatural spider. Until the end of Spider-Verse, they couldn't be close to each other too long before their "pheromones" started making them go in for a makeout. Though even once it's no longer an issue, Cindy continues avoiding Peter, now out of embarrassment for that entire scenario having even been a thing.
- Remember the New Guy?: She was one of Peter's classmates thirteen years ago In-Universe. Subverted in that he's just as clueless as the reader about who she is.
- The Rival: Had a one-sided one with Peter for a while. When their pheromonal attraction starts interfering with their daily lives, Cindy suggests Peter take a hike and leave New York to her. Peter takes this as a challenge and tries to maintain a good friendship with her, while Cindy usually tries to avoid interacting with him, even after the pheremones are no longer a problem. The Thompson run is even bookended by phone calls between the two that basically sum up their relationship.Peter (after Cindy abruptly hangs up): "Good talk, Cindy. Good talk."
- Shout-Out: A lot of Cindy's quips as Silk pertain to 1990s and early 2000s pop culture, in addition to her owning a lot of Disney, Sailor Moon, and Nintendo memorabilia at home and on her work desk. One of the first jokes she makes in her solo series falls directly into this.Silk: "Seriously? [Dragonclaw] sounds like a Pokémon."
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Her relationship with Peter has been very intimate, to the point where Anna Maria is uncomfortable around them and must resort to using a spray bottle to keep them focused on tasks. Both of them find their Fantastic Arousal inhibits their ability to fight crime, and Cindy is extremely uncomfortable with the situation. As of Silk Volume 0, they're apparently no longer romantically involved, and Cindy seems eager to forget it. Her high school boyfriend & herself also qualify, both in flashback and after they get back together, as do the friends that she helped set up in Issue #1, Lola & Rafferty.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Literally, as the second fight that breaks out between her and Peter ends with them making out due to their Spider-Senses freaking out when Morlun resurfaces.
- So What Do We Do Now?: In the penultimate issue of Vol. 2, Cindy finds herself at a lost of what do after rescuing her parents, as reuniting her family was her only goal after leaving the bunker. The idea of continuing to be Silk doesn't even seem enticing for a while. It's only after talking with Jameson, her brother, and her therapist, as well as helping a kid get their kite out of a tree, that she decides to take Mockingbird's offer to join S.H.I.E.L.D. as a full-time hero.
- Spoiled Brat: She is severely stunted both socially and emotionally, and can act like a whiny teenager whenever others question her abilities, with one example being running away after overhearing Jessica Drew's assertion during Spider-Verse that Silk's Wide-Eyed Idealism will get them killed if they aren't careful.
- Socially Awkward Hero: In her defense, she recently spent a decade in a bunker, putting her somewhat behind the times in terms of popular culture, and her people skills in general are rather rusty. She is also strongly implied to have an anxiety disorder, which doesn't help matters much.
- Super Reflexes: Much more agile than Spider-Man, being capable of dodging his webbing in what the man himself describes as Matrix Bullet Time.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Cindy is more than aware that many of her "friends" in the hero community see her as a nuisance or inevitable screw-up, and has a very short list of people who she actually trusts outside her therapist in return. It's this aspect of Silk that makes her handler Mockingbird worried about her pulling a FaceHeel Turn, believing she'd quickly go rogue should Black Cat become one of the few people not to treat her as an irresponsible rookie.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Peter mentions that he's killed Morlun, she's relieved and comfortably leaves the bunker, ready to see the outside world. After swinging around for a bit, she asks for some elaboration on how he did it. When Peter mentioned that he's done it twice, she flips out, pointing out that if Morlun is capable of coming back from the dead for a second time (he does), everyone is screwed.
- Wide-Eyed Idealism: She's a newcomer to the superhero scene, with Jessica Drew directly stating that her naivety and enthusiasm would normally make her endearing to veterans like her. The problem is that her first taste of action was a war where the fate of the multiverse was at stake, with this war making Silk The Load in the worst possible ways. Her uselessness during the event continued to color all her interactions with other heroes even as she improved afterwards, with everyone constantly excepting her to mess up any given situation in some manner.
- Womanchild: Mainly manifests in her solo series, where her acting like an emotionally stunted and impulsive teenager is shown as the result of spending ten years in solitary confinement. As Jessica points out later in Spider-Women, that this and her anxiety issues are the only things Cindy has from being locked in solitary confinement for so long is a miracle.