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NYCC 2014: Robbie Thompson Discuss Writing the SILK On-Going

Spinning out of ORIGINAL SIN, Silk has her own series and the writer chats it up with us

Cover by Dave Johnson
Cover by Dave Johnson

Marvel announced at New York Comic Con that Silk, who spins her way out of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and ORIGINAL SIN. The book is being written by Robbie Thompson and drawn by Stacey Lee. While this book won't hit store shelves until February 2015, Robbie Thompson chatted with us about this upcoming series.

COMIC VINE: How did you land this gig and is this your first venture into writing comics?

ROBBIE THOMPSON: I was introduced to Ellie Pyle by my friend Joe Henderson, a TV writer/producer and all around great guy. Ellie’s a fan of the show I work on, Supernatural, and heard I was a comic book fan, so we struck up a friendship. She offered me a chance to pitch some alternate universe Spider-Women for the Spider-Verse book event, and we ended up working together on Lady Spider. Off that, she introduced me to Nick Lowe, and then she asked if I was interested in writing Silk. By that point, I had heard about Silk joining the Marvel Universe and was very excited about the character, so I jumped at the chance to be a part of the book.

I’m a lifelong fan of comics, and have been trying to break into that industry for years. I worked on Human Target, an adaptation of the DC book for FOX, and when we did a comic adaptation of that, I was lucky enough to write half of the back-up stories for that series. I was instantly addicted! After that, I worked on The Cape for NBC, and the show’s creator, Tom Wheeler, and I worked on the comic that was in the show. We had so much fun working on that book, which was published on-line. Comics are such an incredible story-telling machine, and I’m thrilled to be working on an on-going book about Silk.

CV: What's the story for this new book?

RT: We’re going to be picking up Cindy’s life after the aftermath of Spider-Verse, and introduce her into the Marvel Universe. She’s working at Fact Channel, trying to connect with her old life and balance that with being a super-hero. While she’ll definitely be having run-ins with villains, and learning what it’s like to be a hero, her main focus in the first arc is trying to figure out what happened to her family.

They’ve completely disappeared, and she’s desperate to find them and connect with them after being locked away for ten years. We’re definitely going to have fun bringing Cindy and Silk into the Marvel Universe. I’m really excited that this first arc is a personal, character driven story, allowing us all to get to know Cindy—and Silk—better.

Cover by Stacey Lee
Cover by Stacey Lee

CV: How did it feel to work with a character that isn't as enveloped in years of continuity compared to other Marvel heroes and villains?

RT: It’s been fantastic. The brilliant thing Dan Slott and the Spidey Team did in creating Cindy is that they tied her to this enormous event in Marvel’s History. But by sealing her away for ten years, she’s got a clean slate to play with as a character. So, it’s great to see Cindy and Silk’s fresh perspective as she comes across friends and foes in the Marvel Universe and seeing how she becomes a hero herself. In many ways, I can relate to that part of her journey—we’re both brand new to the Marvel Universe and both excited to be a part of it.

CV: What do you like about this character?

RT: Her strength. Not her super-powers, but her inner strength. To have committed to what Ezekiel asked of her, to have walked away from her family, her life, her future, to make that sacrifice—that took an enormous amount of courage. And you can see in the early pages of her introduction, that decision was something she battled with, but she still kept going, kept her sense of humor. And she stayed. And would have stayed if Peter hadn’t found her. To have made that decision when she was only eighteen, and to have stuck with it for ten years shows what a tough customer she is, and that inner strength is going to be tested even further in the stories to come.

I also love her attitude. She’s lost 10 years of her life, but she’s so grateful to be out of that cage, and back in the real world. She faces enormous challenges and obstacles in both Spider-Verse and her own book, but she never gives up. She clearly knows she’s been given a second chance at life, and she wants to make it count.

CV: What villains can we expect in this new series?

RT: Well, she and Black Cat are already not BFFs, and they will be on a bit of a collision course over the first arc, especially after Silk starts to make a name for herself. We will also see her clash with some classic Spidey villains, and fight them in her own unique way, as she did when she squared off against Electro. And of course she’s going to run afoul of villains of her own, as we introduce some new bad guys in the first two arcs. We’ll also see her develop her own style in dealing with villains—she had a crash course in Spider-Verse, and now she’s going to learn about the day-to-day of fighting crime and balancing it all out with a personal life—which is something she hasn’t had in a decade.

CV: What challenges did you have in writing a character that's been locked in a room for years?

RT: I think the challenge has been trying to get into that headspace and learn about what it would be like to be so isolated. I’m a bit of an introvert. And I like my quiet time. But ten years? Alone? It’s astonishing when you think about it. I mean, her only friend for ten years was basically a series of automated video responses from Ezekiel. That sense of loneliness and isolation is in stark contrast to where she is now, building a life for herself in the bustling city of New York. That contrast affects her personally, but also as a hero. Her heightened Spider-Sense is tuned to everything—in the bunker, she had no idea how overwhelming that would be in the real world. And from a practical standpoint, she has to learn how to play with others all over again. Not an easy task after having nobody to answer to for ten years. She’s got an impatient, impulsive quality to her—she jumps in without thinking, which can help and can hurt her.

There’s also a lot of fun to be had with her being locked away for so long, though. She has a sense of humor about it all—she had to develop that in order to survive. And also, now that she’s out, she has so much catching up to do. She’s got no idea what Twitter is, she thinks video stores still exist—when she went into the bunker, Supernatural was just starting and now it’s on Season Ten! She missed out on college, post college, relationships. All of her contemporaries have moved on with their lives, and she’s frozen in time.

So, Cindy’s really going to have to tap into that inner strength and rely on that sense of humor to muscle through it all, all while establishing her own little corner in the Marvel Universe.

Thanks to Robbie Thompson for answering our questions and check out SILK next year!