By: Dan Slott (Writer), Humberto Ramos (Penciller), Victor Olazaba (Inker), Edgar Delgado (Color Artist), Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer)
The Story: The Amazing Spider-Silk: With great power comes great reclusiveness.
The Review: In this tie-in to the Original Sin event, Spider-Man learns of a great conspiracy, a never-before-seen story that ties another person to Peter Parker’s fateful day when a radioactive spider bit him. No, I’m not talking about The Thousand. That was a different never-before-seen/shared-origin character. I’m talking about the new character that’s been subplotted until now, and she makes her appearance as Silk.
Now, I usually don’t follow comicbook press releases, so perhaps I’m misunderstanding the premise of Original Sin, in that I thought it might have something to do with Peter Parker himself. Rather, he learns the “sin” of a completely different person– Ezekiel, a character who belonged to an era that flirted with making Spider-Man’s origin more “mystical.” And while Peter/Spidey certainly displays a bit of individual agency in this issue, overall it’s really a story about a totally different character.
We can celebrate a new person of color, too, as Cindy Moon appears of Chinese ethnicity, although I wonder if it’s a bit too on the nose to give her the codename Silk. Her costume consists of webbing generated from her fingertips, but the result is more like a mummy than a superhero. One with lacy upper arms. The costume is nicely rendered by Ramos, but I wonder if it’s one of those where it will only look best under the pencil of the original artist. Overall, I give it a pass, though. It’s a bit too generic and feels incomplete.
Silk allows us some bits of empathy, as we are curious as to how and why she needs to be shut away for the majority of her life, but it’s also difficult to get a real grasp on her character. She displays two extremes through the issue– one, an intense pushing away and the other, an intense embrace of life. They occur so suddenly and so intensely that the extremes are almost incompatible.
Spider-Man doesn’t come off too well here, either. There’s always been a bit of a streak of self-interest in Peter, and it’s in full display in this issue. His disregard for his company, his blind desire to be a part of the Avengers, his dismissal of Silk’s worry over Morlun… it borders on plot-induced stupidity just so that we can move the Original Sin story to the foreground. And speaking of sudden intensity, the cliffhanger is a genuine surprise, in that we would never have expected Silk and Spidey to share an immediate and passionate kiss. Does that make it a legitimate plot twist, or something for shock value? Does it hint at a mental influence so shortly after a mind-control/swap storyline?
Much of the suspense and intrigue from this issue is dependent on a storyline and characters from over twelve years ago. You can certainly read this issue without knowing about Ezekiel, Morlun, “the Other,” but it was a storyline that kind of turned me off Spider-Man at the time, and, frankly, I have to try hard to get interested in its revival.
The Bottom Line: The Original Sin event does not necessary hijack Spider-Man’s ongoing series, but it does seem to cause a swerve. Slott & Ramos are as good as ever, but there is a bit of narrative heavy-handedness to make things fit.