Cindy Moon (Silk)

Among the many schoolmates of Peter‘s we meet in Spider-Man: Homecoming, one is quite a surprise: Cindy Moon, the Asian girl portrayed by Tiffany Espensen. She’s one of the members of the decathlon team of Midtown School of Science and Technology, and she’s the one who appears to be the more upset when Sally tells her Peter is not coming to the nationals in Washington D.C. Albeit being quite a young character in terms of publication history, Cindy has become pretty relevant in the comics in a very short time, mostly under her alias of Silk. The fact that she’s still attending school in Homecoming hints at a very different fate for her movie counterpart, as the original one was already leading a very different life by that point: let’s see together.

Cindy Moon was born in Washington HeightsNew York City, the daughter of employee Albert Moon and his scientist wife Nari. A very gifted child, Cindy developed an eidetic memory since she was a kid, and her mother took this as a sign she had to focus on her studies only; her father, on the other side, was very supportive of her, and he insisted she also engaged in other acitivities, such as sports (he perfectly knew Cindy played with her school hockey team just to be with Hector Cervantez, her “secret boyfriend”, and he was perfectly ok with it). Cindy grew up with a little brother, Albert Jr., and she always tried to live a normal social life balancing her mother’s tyrannical order to give priority to her studies over everything else. Unfortunately, Nari eventually found out about Hector and, enraged, she forced Cindy to abandon hockey, and she even signed her up for a school field trip she wasn’t interested in, but that she believed could widen her daughter’s scientific horizon. Along with her schoolmates from Midtown High School, consequently, Cindy went to visit the East labs of General Techtronics Corporation, full of grudge for her mother. The exhibition, actually, would have changed Cindy’s life forever: during a demonstration of how to handle safely nuclear wastes, a spider was hit by radiations and, before dying, bit her on the ankle (it was the same spider that had just bitten Peter Parker on the hand). Not paying much attention to it at first, Cindy realised she had been changed radically when, back home, during a fight with her parents she spontaneously emitted an organic web from her fingers that enveloped them. Scared by what she had become and not knowing how to control her powers, Cindy was quite shocked, and even her parents didn’t know what to do…that’s why the man who came knocking to her door looked like a blessing to the Moons, a man who offered to take the girl with him to train her in the use of her abilities. The man introduced himself as Ezekiel Sims.

Ezekiel had spider-like powers as well, and he told Cindy both their abilities came from different circumstances, but from the same Spider-Totem that made them alike. For six years, the man trained her and taught her what he could, until he discovered the Inheritors, a race of immortal vampires who hunted down people with totemic powers; one of them in particular, Morlun, was on Earth-616 looking for spider totems. In order to protect Cindy from Morlun (and possibly to use her as a trump card against the Inheritors), Ezekiel locked her in a special room that blocked the vampire’s detection, a hidden cell in his tower filled with food and water several years worth. Cindy also had books and tapes, and she used them to expand her knowledge and to do something in the endless hours she spent there. Albeit she knew the code to get out of the room, she never used it, as she knew Morlun would have killed her for sure. In fear and in boredom, thirteen years passed: Ezekiel had been killed in the meanwhile, so nobody knew about Cindy. The one who discovered her was Spider-Man, who was on the Moon investigatin Uatu the Watcher‘s death: as the eye of Uatu was retrieved, it released on the world knowledge of secrets long hidden or forgotten, and Spider-Man saw Cindy’s story. The hero arrived to Ezekiel’s tower and ignored Cindy’s plead not to open the door: he managed to convince her only when he told her Morlun was long dead. Free at last, Cindy created an improvised costume of webs and, naming herself Silk, she left to look for her parents…who had obviously moved, after almost twenty years. Speaking with Spider-Man, Silk realised that Morlun had come back from the dead twice already, and she immediately felt he had come back once again, this time accompanied by all the other Inheritors. She attacked Spider-Man, blaming him for wasting her sacrifice, but she agreed to stay with him to prepare for Morlun and the others. As Silk, he even help him against Electro and Black Cat, knowing that their greatest challenge ever was arriving at full speed, threatening a life she had just conquered back.

Cindy Moon is an extremely smart young woman, gifted with an eidetic memory and brilliant enough to have been accepted to Oxford University…in another life. As Silk, she possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability and reflexes; she can stick to any surface, crawling even on vertical walls, and she can release extremely strong organic webbing from her fingertips, which she uses for swinging around, for creating clothes, and even for creating artificial claws to augment her offensive abilities; she also possesses what she calls a Silk-Sense, an augmented variant of the Spider-Sense, which allows her to sense danger even if not immediate, bordering in clairvoyance. Disoriented in a world that moved over in her absence, Silk is still trying to put back together the pieces of her sacrificed existence, clashing with the fact that the time she has lost is indeed lost forever…

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