Audiences who saw Spider-Man: Far From Home were surprised that, in this post-Endgame MCU, seemingly all of Peter Parker’s friends had been “blipped” away for five years. Since Thanos killed half of all life at random, it seems strange that Ned Leeds, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, and M.J. all got snapped away and stayed teenagers upon returning while their other classmates grew to adulthood.
However, there is one friend of Peter’s who is absent from this lineup. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, we meet Cindy Moon, one of the girls on Peter’s academic decathlon team. While Cindy (played by Chinese-American actress Tiffany Espensen) later appears with Peter on the bus in Avengers: Infinity War, she hasn’t been seen since. Marvel comic fans, however, know Cindy Moon is the spider powered hero Silk, whom Sony Pictures has announced will be getting her own movie. Considering this – could Cindy have survived the Snap and become an adult superhero?
Given Silk’s cinematic future, now is a good time to revisit her comic book origins and see how Spider-Man: Far From Home may have set up her future in the MCU and Sony movies.
Who is Silk?
In the comics, the same spider that bit Peter Parker also bit Korean-American student Cindy Moon before it died. This granted Cindy spider-like powers, but also made her a target for the Inheritors, vampire-like creatures who traveled the multiverse looking for spider-powered people to devour. Because of this, Spider-Man ally Ezekiel Sims convinced Cindy to hide for years in a bunker designed to shield her from the Inheritors.
Eventually, Peter Parker learned of Cindy and freed her. Using her powers, Cindy became the superhero Silk. Like Spider-Man, she possesses super strength, incredible speed, a spider-sense (or “Silk Sense”), and the ability to crawl on walls. Unlike Spidey, she can spin organic webs from her fingers, which she uses to weave her own costume. Since Peter and Cindy were bitten by the same spider, they produce pheromones that give them an overpowering physical attraction to each other. This proves awkward for both of them, particularly during their superhero team-up battles.
Cindy battles the Inheritors alongside Spider-Man and other alternate spider-heroes during Marvel Comics’ Spider-Verse event. She then goes off on her own adventures, getting a job as a fact checker intern and joining superhero teams including the Agents of Atlas. Silk also spends much of her time searching for her family, who went missing during her time in the bunker. Despite her capable nature, she suffers from both anxiety and trauma, having been locked away from the world for a decade.
How Could Silk Appear in MCU and Sony Films?
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Cindy doesn’t appear to have spider-powers. During the scene where Ned Leeds inadvertently sets off an alien Chitauri explosive that destabilizes the elevator in the Washington Monument, Cindy is trapped with the other students and needs to be evacuated by the authorities. If she acquired powers from the same spider that bit Peter (as she did in the comics) she either chose not to use them or helped her classmates in a very subtle way.
Spider-Man: Far From Home, however, suggests a different avenue the movies could go with Silk. If Cindy survived the Snap while all of her friends turned to dust, she had to live through the next five years in a dangerous and depressing world without many active heroes. This offers an interesting inversion to her comic book origin – instead of being the one locked away from the world for years, Cindy would be the one surviving in a post-Snap society while Spider-Man was effectively dead to the world. Cindy could acquire her Silk powers during this time through any number of means (another spider bite, alien tech, random mutation etc.) and “fill in” for Spider-Man during these years.
What’s interesting about this angle is that it offers a chance to explore a period of MCU history largely glossed over – the five-year gap between Thanos and Bruce Banner’s snaps. Audiences only got to see this world very briefly in Endgame. Getting to see it through Cindy’s eyes as she struggles to be a hero in a world where people believe all the heroes are gone offers a wealth of dramatic possibilities. Cindy might also lose her entire family in the Snap (a nod to her comic book origin), letting audiences see how a teenager copes with such loss. Perhaps she could even befriend Ant-Man’s daughter Cassie Lang, who appears to have gone through similar trauma in Endgame.
It’s also worth noting that Tiffany Espensen is now twenty-years-old – the age Cindy would now be if she had survived the Snap, meaning she could return to play an older Cindy in the third Spider-Man MCU movie. Since Peter Parker will be feeling pretty isolated now that his identity is outed and Iron Man is dead, it might be helpful for him to find an ally in another spider-powered hero who happens to also be one of his friends.
That being said, while it’s possible Cindy may return in a Spider-Man movie, her own solo film will likely follow a different route. Sony Pictures is producing their own Silk movie that will probably not reference MCU movies. Silk is also slated to appear in a female-centered spin off to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse alongside other Spider-Women, including Spider-Gwen (and possibly Peni Parker). That’s not to say there won’t be any link between MCU’s Cindy and Sony’s – Espensen could return to play and/or voice Cindy Moon, and the films could indirectly reference her history in the MCU. Into the Spider-Verse offers the best chance at this, as it could hint (if not outright state) that their Silk is a denizen of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, transported into Sony’s universe via dimensional portal.
Regardless, Cindy’s absence in Spider-Man: Far From Home offers a rich source of speculation. Thus far, the MCU movies have been treating Endgame’s aftermath with a light touch – Far From Home highlights the comedy of Peter having to compete for MJ with kids who grew to their late teens during the five year jump. However, there’s also a potentially tragic aspect to the time jump, as students like Cindy may have to adjust to radically new relationships thanks to the sudden sharp age gaps in this post-Endgame world – as well as finding her place as Silk among all the other returning heroes.