I’ve been an unapologetic proponent of Cindy Moon and her once-rebooted solo title ever since she was taken from Dan Slott and given over to Robbie Thompson. He gave her a flawed, charismatic personality, toned down her oft-times borderline raunchy connection to Spider-Man, and made her a character that readers could really get behind. And one of the big motivations for her from that point was the mystery of where her family had gone, and how she could find them.
While readers can say what they will about the consistency of Cindy’s story for the last year or so, her pursuit of her family’s whereabouts has been one of the main drivers of why she does what she does. There have been other threads as well — from her stint undercover in Black Cat’s crime syndicate to her intermittent and at times strange encounters with her old boyfriend Hector — but the question of where her brother and parents had gone was a constant throughline for her. The first volume of her series ended with the finding of her brother, Albert, highlighting the importance of family to this character.
That emphasis is again given prominence in this issue, as Cindy and her mother–discovered to be the Red Knight in the Negative Zone last issue–fight and work together with her friends to rescue her father. Between those combat scenes we get brief, flashback character studies of her parents and how their bond as a family helped them conquer anything. It’s a continuation of the trippy randomness that tends to be adventures in the Negative Zone, but the impending resolution of this plotline is strong enough that it’s not very hard to ignore.
Clearly this isn’t a perfect issue, but I still found plenty to enjoy about it. There is undoubtedly some disappointment in the storytelling regarding the mystery that was built up around Cindy’s parents, as the reveal does feel a little hokey and ham-fisted. I am, however, happy that the adventure in the Negative Zone has been wrapped up, and that things have moved back to the more grounded world of New York City.
While their adventure was rather abruptly handled, it felt like an ultimately beneficial move to the overall narrative, to resolve Cindy’s family situation and return to the “real” world, where her adventures have their strongest grounding and where life can go on. Bobbi Morse temporarily lending her family a safehouse was a nice tie-in and callback to the S.H.I.E.L.D./Black Cat threads, while the uninspired reveal of a new foe at the very end of the issue was less compelling than the idea that her father could be involved with them.
It is nice to see a lot of Cindy’s narrative threads finally get resolved, in a number of ways, while still leaving a number of questions to continue her story. The most obvious one, the question of what’s next for her, is actually answered by Cindy in the most sensible way. Of course, whether or not she actually does get to figure out what “normal” actually is has yet to be determined, but Thompson has a few irons in the fire that suggest anything is possible.
Tana Ford’s artwork here is at its strongest and most consistent yet. It’s been nice to see her work quality grow, and I feel she’s really come into her own as the artist behind Silk. She struck a good balance this issue with action shots and illustrations of the characters that highlighted the interpersonal dynamics nicely. I especially enjoyed the scenes between Cindy and her mother as they just had coffee and talked about life together, and her two-page splash of the battle in the Negative Zone provided both detail and scale that really drew me into the action of the story. I’m glad her work has come so far, and I have high hopes for her going forward.
Overall, while this story was not perfect, it has a feel-good vibe that makes you cheer for Cindy. The resolution of one major plot arc gives way to the horizon for our heroine, and puts things in a good place for new readers to jump onboard in subsequent installments. I’m happy to say that this series is worth a look, glad to have come this far with it, and confident that new readers will enjoy it as well.