The Untold Truth Of Marvel's Silk

Cindy Moon, AKA Silk, is one of the coolest Marvel heroines around. With Sony bringing her to television audiences in her very own series, there's never been a better time to meet the web-slinger in the red mask.

So, who is Silk, exactly? Well, she's a pretty new character, compared to all the other spider-people running around the Marvel universe: Cindy popped onto pages in 2014. This recent publication date is one of the reasons many aren't yet familiar with her character — though that's definitely about to change. Cindy is a strong character who has overcome immense struggles and trauma, and in the short time her stories have been in print, has evolved from one-dimensional and spontaneous to resilient and mature. She's a fighter, a dreamer, and set to make a splash as one of the first Korean-American superheroes around. Here's everything you need to know about Silk, the latest hero to join the ranks of Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, and all the rest of Marvel's wonderful web-spinners.

Peter Parker wasn't the only one bit by that radioactive spider

What if Peter Parker wasn't the only student bitten by a radioactive spider on his fateful class trip? Cindy Moon's origin story, explored in 2014's Amazing Spider-Man #1, answers that very question: Two super-heroes are created that day.

Like Peter, Cindy is a brilliant student, and in many of the same advanced classes and programs — which is how she finds herself at the same exhibit that gives him his powers. In the experiment's final moments, a radioactive spider bites her after biting Peter, infusing her with many of the same powers and abilities.

Instead of embracing her new identity like Peter, however, Cindy struggles to control her new powers. Once they manifest, she accidentally encases her parents in webs. In an effort to gain control of her "condition," she seeks the aid of Ezekiel Sims, a man well-learned in all things spider-powered. She ends up learning a lot more from her instructor than she bargained for.


Ezekiel becomes the equivalent of Obi-Wan Kenobi to young Cindy. Under his tutelage, she learns how to control her spider powers, as well as how to fight. Unfortunately, during their time training together, Ezekiel deduces that Cindy's powers put not only her, but all spider-folk in grave danger: The fiendish Morlun, Devourer of Totems, is tracking Cindy.

We're about to get neck-deep in Spidey lore here, so hold on tight. Basically, Morlun and his descendants, known as "The Inheritors," are ancient enemies of the Spider-Totems, supernatural spider-gods whose powers come from the mystical Web of Life and Destiny. There are different kinds of Totems, with different responsibilities of maintaining balance throughout the multiverse. If any of them get thrown out of whack, the entire multiverse can unravel.

When they want to, Spider-Totems can manifest their powers into avatars, which is how everyone from Spider-Man to Spider-Ham came to be. Ezekiel learns that Cindy is an avatar of the Bride Totem, who is responsible for ensuring Spider-Totems continuously emerge by weaving webs of fate utilizing chance, magic, curses, and unwanted luck. Should Morlun take control of the Bride, he could complete a ritual ending all Spider-Totems and their avatars throughout the multiverse — which Marvel aptly dubbed "Spider-Geddon."

Locked away for years

In an effort to prevent Spider-Geddon, Ezekiel comes to a heart-wrenching conclusion: Cindy has to be locked away where Morlun can't catch her scent. So he outfits an underground bunker with everything she might need to survive indefinitely, along with various forms of entertainment, like movies and books. Cindy even has recordings of a rookie Spider-Man on tape, which she avidly studies.

This isolation is devastating for the Moon family. Cindy's parents do all they can to make her last days outside the bunker memorable, and once locked inside, they spend their time collaborating with some of the best and brightest minds to find a cure for her condition. As Morlun is after her webbiness, they believe removing it might save her from a life of endless solitude.

As one might imagine, isolation is hard on Cindy. She almost breaks out of the bunker several times, after figuring out the key code to the main door — however, she can't bring herself to open it, out of fear of Morlun. After over a decade living alone in her bunker, Cindy is unexpectedly freed by Spider-Man, who has learned of her existence and been horrified by its loneliness.

Powers to rival Spidey's

Since they were bitten by the same radioactive spider, Silk shares Spider-Man's super-speed, agility, strength, and wall-clinging abilities. In fact, she's often faster than Spidey, and more agile, leaving him struggling to catch up while swinging throughout the city.

Silk even has a Spidey-Sense, nicknamed her "Silk Sense," which is uniquely sensitive and extensive. It's so strong, in fact, that she can identify her attackers before they're visible, and has to learn to tune it out or run the risk of being overwhelmed.

In addition to her training and superpowers, Cindy is naturally gifted with an eidetic memory, more commonly known as a "photographic" memory. This makes her quite a formidable student, as well as a fighter and foe, as she can recall opponents' moves and fighting styles in vivid detail. Unfortunately, Cindy's memory also causes her to struggle with guilt and anxiety, as she can replay specific moments over and over in her mind.

Web couture

Silk produces organic spiderwebs from her fingertips, which means she doesn't have to rely on mechanical web-shooters to do her thing. During the long years stuck alone in the bunker, Silk learns how to manipulate her organic webbing in some pretty nifty ways.

Most impressively, she can weave her own suit out of spiderwebs, a process Spider-Man marvels at the first time he sees it. At first, she fashions it from white webbing, but is inspired to update her look later on, resulting in one of the coolest looking spider-suits around. How Silk manages to manipulate colors into her webs remains a fashionable mystery.

On top of her suit-weaving abilities, Silk learns how to harden the ends of her webs into sharpened hooks. She fashions them into claws at the ends of her fingertips, and barbs on the ends of lines — a formidable way to ensnare enemies, as well as a highly practical skill for survival in the wild.

Tangled romantic webs

Since being released from life in isolation, Cindy Moon has had several relationships. She shares an incredibly primal and powerful connection with Peter Parker, to the point that she has to physically distance herself from him. Darn those spider pheromones! But seriously: Peter's roommate has to spray them with water from time to time, like misbehaving cats. In an effort to distract herself, Silk goes on a date with Johnny Storm, AKA the Human Torch, of Fantastic Four fame.

Silk also has a thing with Spectro, who was once her high-school sweetheart, Hector Cervantez. Before her isolation, Hector gave Cindy an anklet with a moon-shaped charm at the science fair that changed her life. Hector went on to suffer his own twisted fate, dying in a tragic accident ... and getting stuck between the worlds of the living and the dead, transforming him into the mysterious hero known as Spectro. It's complicated, but to keep things simple, he's Silk's electrical ghost-boyfriend, and occasional superhero sidekick. 

Epic team-ups

Although Silk is a relatively new Marvel character, she's already undergone some wild adventures with a myriad of characters across the Marvel multiverse. One of her most important partners is Spider-Man himself, within whose storyline she emerges, and with whom she's shared a series.

Silk also plays a pivotal role in the Spider-Verse event, an excellent storyline printed across multiple Marvel titles. Her time in the Spider-Verse brings Silk into contact with Spider-UK, Spider-Ham, Old Man Spider-Man, Kaine Parker (a clone of Peter Parker), Spider-Man Noir, and Inheritor-gone-good, Karn.

Silk also finds herself at the center of the Clone Conspiracy, another multi-title storyline following the antics of the villainous Jackal and his plot to take over the world with, you guessed it, clones. In addition, Silk teams up with other Asian-American heroes as the Protectors, in The Totally Awesome Hulk and The New Agents of Atlas series. She's even gotten to hang out with Deadpool a few times.

Girls' day out interrupted

One memorable Silk team-up plays out across a multi-title story-arc, spanning the pages of Silk, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Woman. After undergoing the life-altering and tragic changes wrought by the Spider-Verse event, most of the spider-family keeps in touch — particularly the spider-women. When you go to war together, you form a bond few other relationships can compare to.

Cindy Moon and Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman, make plans to go meet Gwen Stacy, AKA Spider-Gwen, for a badly needed girls' brunch. However, their plans are interrupted by an evil organization known as S.I.L.K., run by an alternate reality's Cindy Moon.

Although this Cindy doesn't have superpowers, she makes up for it by being a mad scientist. Luckily, heroic Cindy doesn't have to face her evil self alone. So much for a cathartic and relaxing girls' brunch — but then again, for this group of ladies, putting the hurt on a bad guy is almost as much fun as waffles.

The quest to find her family

During the decade Cindy spends in isolation, her family mysteriously goes missing. She knows her parents were obsessed with finding a cure for what they thought of as her "illness," and so Cindy is tortured by the idea something dire happened to them as they tried to help her. Silk's quest to find her missing family takes her down many paths, some darker than others. Most notably, she works as a villain under Black Cat and operates as an undercover agent for S.H.I.E.L.D., which brings her into some pretty wild, life-threatening encounters with bad guys. During her time with Black Cat, the two form a complex bond, pulled apart by their respective heroism and villainy.  This makes her relationship with the super-thief complicated at best.

Silk has seen some other pretty strange things on her adventures. One of the most memorable and bizarre finds her fighting demons alongside a band of dragon-riding medieval knights – the leader of which turns out to be her long-lost mom. What an epic way to start off a family reunion!

Working for J. Jonah Jameson

When she isn't busy with fighting crime as Silk, Cindy holds a day job as a journalist for the Fact Channel. Her boss is none other than J. Jonah Jameson, Peter Parker's cantankerous boss at the Daily Bugle. Funnily enough, Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel, also once worked for Jameson as the editor of a women's magazine. 

Unlike those characters, however, Cindy takes the job at the Fact Channel because it provides an opportunity to access massive information networks she can utilize to search for her missing family. Jameson takes an immediate liking to Cindy, granting her the nickname "Analog" for her preference for pen and paper over tablets and laptops. After starting off as an unpaid intern, Jameson promotes Cindy to a full-time journalist position. Unfortunately, Jameson gets caught up in a plot involving clones created by Doctor Octopus, bringing an end to her time at the Fact Channel. But for a brief, shining moment, J. Jonah Jameson actually had a positive relationship with a superhero.

Growing from trauma

Traumatic life experiences affect people in a variety of ways. Some become withdrawn and fearful, some try to escape reality, and some struggle with anger issues. Cindy is no exception: Being locked away in total isolation for years would be enough to break even the most stable mind. Despite the joy she feels at being freed from her prison, and eliminating threats like Morlun, Cindy still struggles with the trauma of being alone for all that time. She is able to put on a brave face and spout witty one-liners as Silk, but you can't solve all your problems by punching them in the face. When he learns how long she had been in isolation, Reed Richards suggests Cindy see a therapist. After some resistance, she does.

Her therapy sessions with Dr. Sinclair become a highlight of Silk's story, granting rare insight into the process of healing and maintaining true happiness. There is no instant, infinite bliss here — Cindy's acceptance of her trauma and her resolute willingness to continually work on it make her a true superhero. Acceptance is harder than denial, but Cindy Moon is more than up to the task.

Silk has already appeared in the MCU

You may not realize it, but you've already seen Cindy Moon in the MCU. Tiffany Espensen played the character in Spider-Man: Homecoming, where she's on the academic decathlon trip with Peter Parker. You might remember her as one of the students who sneaks out at night to use the hotel's pool. Cindy is also one of the students trapped in the Washington Monument when a Chitauri energy core in Ned Leeds' backpack explodes. Cindy has a further cameo in Avengers: Infinity War, as one of the students seen on the school bus when Peter asks Ned to "cause a distraction." Sharp eyes can even catch Cindy in Into the Spider-Verse, where her name shows up in Miles Morales' phone contacts list. The character might be best known for spending a decade in an isolated bunker, but the MCU's take on Cindy Moon is nothing if not well-connected.