Sybil Dvorak was born in Focşani, Romania. She was raised by Gypsies and spent much of her time alone gardening. She was born a mutant, with the ability to telekinetically manipulate and control materials with her mind. She especially liked manipulating fiber, as it felt pleasant to her mental touch while hard objects felt uncomfortable to her. A loner, she wove herself gossamer wings.
An American actor, named Jason Reed was starring in a remake of the movie Dracula being filmed on location in Romania and while there he met Sybil. Reed seduced her with promises of fame and flew her back to his home in
. They married, but as an actor Reed was constantly away from home, making Sybil suspicious that he was having affairs behind her back. Using her mutant ability, she wove herself a costume and began calling herself Gypsy Moth blazing a trail through Hollywood social gatherings looking for Reed.
Skein was created by
and first appeared in
#10 in January 1979.
Major Story Arcs
Jessica Drew ( Spider-Woman) encountered Gypsy Moth at a party she was attending. Accompanying Jessica to the party was her then-boyfriend, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Jerry Hunt, and her mentor Magnus. Jessica Drew changed into her Spider-Woman costume and tried to confront Gypsy Moth, but Gypsy Moth unwove Drew's costume, bound her in thread and tried to drown her in a swimming pool. Drew broke free, and at the same time her boyfriend, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Hunt realized that the fight was occurring. Hunt shot at Gypsy Moth, damaging her wing so that she could not fly. Jessica Drew knocked out Hunt to keep him from getting in the way as she confronted Gypsy Moth herself. However, instead of turning her over to the authorities, Spider-Woman allowed her to walk away, acknowledging that had some things in common.
Soon after her first encounter with Spider-Woman, Sybil managed to get her American citizenship and an inclusion into her husband Jason Reed’s will. When he died of a supposed obstructed blood vessel in his heart, she inherited his home and his wealth. She used these new assets to start her own cult of drugs and had followers that worshiped her as their queen.
Within her cult, Gypsy Moth took on the name of Sybarite and had her followers steal and scavenge for her. As Spider-Woman investigated these thefts, she overheard the name of Sybarite from a drug dealer. She recalled it as the name of a hostess who was throwing a party that her best friend Lindsay McCabe was attending. During a scuffle, Spider-Woman became injected with enough drugs to knock her out and when she came too she was before Gypsy Moth as Sybarite. Spider-Woman thought they were friends, but Gypsy Moth said she was mistaken. Gypsy Moth tried to drown Spider-Woman again, but Spider-Woman broke loose and tried to appeal to Gypsy Moth's conscience. Saying she had no conscience, Gypsy Moth attacked once more as Spider-Woman realized Lindsay was present in a drugged-induced haze. Rushing to help her, she turned around to realize Gypsy Moth was missing.
Soon after Gypsy Moth was kidnapped by Tick-Tock and Locksmith who used technological means to nullify her powers. Spider-Woman was also captured by Tick-Tock and Locksmith. Spider-Woman had fellow prisoner Tigra insult prisoner Poltergeist enough to start a fight, in which they shorted out their specially designed prisons. Spider-Woman then had Gypsy Moth use her powers to swap their costumes. Once placed in Gypsy Moth’s specific prison, Spider-Woman broke free and released everyone else. After everyone was free, Gypsy Moth entangled Locksmith and Tick-Tock in their own clothing, and left them out in the open for the police to find.
Moths later became a member of the Night Shift a band of Los Angeles-based villains brought together by the Shroud. Tick-Tock, her former captor was also a member of the Night Shift. She joined the Night Shift after rescuing the superhero Captain America from the mutated test subjects of Power Broker Incorporated, the company of the villain Power Broker. The Shroud made it seem like Dansen Macabre had hypnotized Captain America to serve the Night Shift, and thus convinced Gypsy Moth to join the Night Shift. The Night Shift and Gypsy Moth joined their powers in an assault upon the Power Broker, and Gypsy Moth used her powers to incapacitate the Power Broker's guards. Gypsy Moth was a member of the Night Shift for a number of other criminal capers. She fought the second Spider-Woman during a fight between the Night Shift and a team of the Avengers. Gypsy Moth asked Carpenter if she was related to the Spider-Woman she had encountered previously; Carpenter stated that she was not.
Skein and the Thunderbolts
Gypsy Moth later left the Night Shift, and joined the Crimson Cowl's Masters of Evil. Gypsy Moth aided the other Masters of Evil in their search for Justin Hammer's legacy, by helping them battle Plantman, Hawkeye and Songbird. Justin Hammer's Legacy was a bio-toxin which could kill thousands of superhumans. Hawkeye attempted to convince Gypsy Moth and most of her teammates to switch sides, and to aide him in preventing the Crimson Cowl from obtaining the toxin. Gypsy Moth sided with Hawkeye for fun, designed a new costume for herself and changed her name to Skein.
Sybil was a part of Hawkeye's team of Thunderbolts, helped thwart the Crimson Cowl by effectively unraveling the Crimson Cowl's costume, rendering her powerless. As a member of the Thunderbolts, Sybil fought a S.H.I.E.L.D. team and was present when the original team of Thunderbolts returned to Earth after having their own adventure on Counter-Earth. Afterwards, the two Thunderbolts teams came together for a celebration. Members of the two teams contemplated whether to stay with or leave the group; Sybil announced that she did not intend to stay. Part of the reason Sybil had stayed with the team was the challenge of seducing Songbird but once realized she had no reason to stay.
Dark Reign: The Initiative
When Norman Osborn took over running US national security in the aftermath of the Skrull Secret Invasion, Sybil joined the Initiative and was selected by Norman Osborn to join the Women Warriors, the state team of Delaware.
Following the collapse of the Initiative, Sybil returned to the Gypsy Moth identity as well as the world of costumed villainy. During Spider-Island, she was hired by an unknown party to kidnap Alicia Masters, which brought her back into conflict with Spider-Woman. Using her cocoon-like webbing, Sybil gagged Spider-Woman by sealing her mouth shut, and then altered her costume so that it resembled another Gypsy Moth suit.
This effectively framed the gagged heroine, who was soon attacked by the Thing after he mistook her for the real Gypsy Moth. After a blow from the Thing removed the webs from her mouth, Spider-Woman was able to track down and defeat Sybil.
Gypsy Moth, also known as Skein, is a telekinetic mutant. She prefers to, and almost exclusively manipulates different fabrics both organic and synthetic.
She can also levitate, and usually uses a pair of wings woven directly into the skin on her back, for help with flight.
She is one of the few mutants who retained their powers following M-Day.