Everybody knows how Spider-Man got his powers: Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider during a high school field trip, and its uniquely irradiated nature altered his DNA to give him the proportionate strength and speed of a spider, as well as the ability to stick to walls, and his famous Spider-Sense.
But did you know there was a second student bitten by a radioactive spider that same day, on that same trip, by the same spider?
That's right, Peter's classmate Cindy Moon was also bitten that day. And in addition to giving Cindy her own spider-powers, her spider bite also gave her a strange connection to Peter Parker - with ramifications that kept her hidden from the world for years, till she debuted as Korean American Spider-hero Silk.
With Silk about to be the subject of her own Amazon Prime streaming series, Silk: Spider Society, which was just picked up for a series order, we'll break down everything you need to know about the other friendly neighborhood wall-crawler who shares Peter Parker's origin.
Who is Silk?
Silk was created by writer Dan Slott and artist Humberto Ramos back in their 2014 relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man. After a cameo in Slott and Ramos' Amazing Spider-Man #1, Cindy Moon AKA Silk made her full debut a few months later in Amazing Spider-Man #4.
The origin of Cindy's powers basically lines up with Peter Parker's, just as we said up top. When the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker on his hand fell to the floor, it also happened to bite Cindy's ankle on its way down, before dying.
The next few weeks of Cindy's life played out a lot like Peter Parker's. She began developing spider-powers which in turn started complicating her life more and more. That's where things diverge from Peter's origin.
Rather than going on to become a superhero learning through her own mistakes, Cindy comes under the tutelage of the mysterious Ezekial, a so-called "Spider-Totem" with powers similar to those of Peter Parker and Cindy Moon, who believes all spider-heroes are connected through mystical origins.
First, Ezekiel tries to train Cindy (something he'd repeat years later with Peter Parker). But when he discovers the villainous Morlun, one of the villains of the later Spider-Verse story, is hunting Cindy well before she's prepared to take him on, Ezekiel locks Cindy away in a bunker where Morlun can't find her, with years worth of supplies as well as tapes to keep her informed about the outside world.
Cindy stays there for 13 long years, despite being able to leave at any time, thanks to her fear of Morlun finding her.
Silk in the Marvel Universe
After 13 years locked away, Peter learns the truth about Cindy's existence and life in the bunker, quickly tracking her down and freeing her. Cindy isn't pleased to be freed, however, as she's under the belief that Morlun is still a threat. She and Peter briefly fought, before Cindy learned that Peter had previously defeated Morlun.
Cindy took on the name Silk, with Peter promising to mentor her as a hero while also helping her find her parents, who had moved on in the 13 years since she disappeared.
Sure enough, Morlun actually returned when he sensed Silk was freed and began hunting her. In the course of fighting Morlun, Peter and Cindy realize that their complementary spider-powers actually cause a kind of resonance between their Spider-Sense, making them almost uncontrollably attracted to each other and sparking an intense romantic relationship that eventually burns out almost as quickly as it started.
But before breaking up, Peter and Cindy go through the trials and tribulations of the first Spider-Verse event together, which eventually led to Silk getting her own solo title which ran for several volumes.
Along with her solo adventures, Silk's time in the Marvel Universe also includes a stint as part of the so-called Order of the Web, a group of spider-heroes from around the Multiverse, organized around Peter Parker. And she's also been a member of both the predominately Asian superhero team the Agents of Atlas, and a reserve member of the teen team the Champions.
Most recently, she starred in a five-issue Silk limited series that ran through the first half of 2022.
Silk in movies and TV
Silk hasn't appeared in live-action yet, but Cindy Moon has actually been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years as one of Peter Parker's classmates, played by actor Tiffany Espensen.
Cindy first appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming, following that up with an appearance in Avengers: Infinity War. Her picture was later shown in Spider-Man: Far From Home as one of several students who had survived Thanos' snap, having gone on to graduate in the five years after many of her classmates disappeared. That was her final MCU appearance (so far).
Now, Silk will lead her own live-action Amazon Prime streaming series spinning out of Sony's Spider-Man-centric films, which may be just the first of several planned Spider-spin-off shows, judging by a 2020 report that first announced the Silk series was in development. Silk is also set to appear in animation in an all-female Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse spin-off film.
It's unclear if Tiffany Espensen will resume the role of Cindy Moon, or even if there will be any connection between the MCU version of the character and the show's version. What we can somewhat guess from the series title, Silk: Spider-Society, is that it may indeed include some version of the group she was once part of, the Order of the Web.
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