Since page one of issue one, we’ve waited for the encounter at the diner… And it’s finally here!
As many of you know, I have a tendency to be a little long-winded with my reviews. This will not be one of those instances. And it’s not that I don’t have much to say, it’s that there’s not much to discuss, because this issue is all action.
We pick up where the last issue left off. Honor, Ben, and Talia are sitting in a booth in a diner, and they just noticed dozens of assassins closing in on them. Talia thinks Honor sold her out, and Honor – rightfully – blames Talia for making a power play, breaking code, and starting this entire war… She’s also a little pissed that Talia forced her back into this lifestyle. That’s when all hell breaks loose. Bullets are flying everywhere, bodies are dropping, blood is spraying. Things escalate quickly.
Now, if you’re a responsible person like me, you’re probably wondering about Ben. Honor does her best to protect and shelter him by hiding him behind a table in her zone of silence… and… yeah, that’s about it. That’s all she does. I don’t want to call her a bad parent, but if you know you have an entire assassin organization hunting you down, then perhaps you should give your child to your husband and just come clean. Right?
That’s not the case though, so little Ben is sitting behind an overturned table in his zone of silence, and I can’t help but wonder what is wrong with this kid? I’ve never seen a child this aloof. Children are curious individuals. If something remotely out of the ordinary happens, they want to see what’s going on. Ben? He just keeps playing with his toys like everything is normal.
At first, I thought the complete and utter lack of sound would confuse him, but then I remembered that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Honor put him in a zone of silence. That instance (issue #1) probably wasn’t the first she used her powers on him either. In fact, he probably thinks being in the zone of silence is normal. Then the other elements of the fight came into play. Bottom line, something should have grabbed his attention. The overturned table, the bullets hitting the wall, table, and seats around him, bodies flying through the air… I mean, yeah he can’t hear anything, but the kid still has his eyes.
I’m focusing on this scenario because it’s the one thing that really bothered me about this issue. Outside of thinking, “Why are you letting your kid get into this situation?” Ben’s entire lack of awareness really bothered me. It bothered me to the point that I kept verbally saying, “How has he not noticed that this isn’t normal?” For me, it was poor storytelling. Abnett could have and should have done something better than this.
As for the action itself, it’s ok. There’s not much choreography to it, and despite panels that featured a move or scenario that was cool, this book is really just a bunch of people getting killed. I never felt like Honor or Talia were in danger, and I knew all of the assassins were disposable. I wish I could be more positive about the battle, but it is what it is. You can only get so interested/ invested when your title character is wiping out nameless adversaries. Had fewer assassins been involved, and had it been more of a level fight, I’d have enjoyed this issue much more!
In the end there are only three parts of the story that I found interesting. The first is the back and forth between Talia and Honor. They have an interesting conversation during the fight, and it ends in a way that I didn’t expect! There’s also something that happens with Ben that I kept finding myself wanting to see more of during the issue. Trust me, it’ll be the one moment that really grabs your attention because it’s the only moment that creates suspense and makes you anxious. And finally, there’s the introduction of some new players in this war. That’s about it.
While this issue doesn’t offer much, I know it’s a product of a larger story, and that it will work well once collected for trade. For the issue itself though, the plot and characterization are below the mark of what we’re used to seeing. I don’t think The Silencer is slipping in quality, it’s just that this was an action issue. In my opinion, The Silencer is still the best title under the New Age of Heroes imprint, and I look forward to it’s return to quality writing next month.
The Art: Viktor Bogdanovic continues his art duties for The Silencer, and I’ve made it no secret that I’m a fan. In fact, I’ve stated that I wish he’d started the series. Since this issue is nearly all action, Bogdanovic does most of the work here. There are many elements that I enjoyed about the action, but some that bothered me. Anything that was up close and framed tightly within the panel looked great! There are panels of Honor and Talia using dead assassins of shields, them stabbing people in the neck, etc, and it all looks incredible. Then there are wider panels where you see assassins completely surrounding Honor and Talia, and they’re all shooting at their two targets, yet none of them make contact. It’s a huge stretch. I know the intention was to make the action look bigger, cooler, and direr, but it does the opposite. It also makes me wonder (for the second time in six issues, mind you) what assassin school these assassins went to. I could do their job better then they can. They’re a joke, and that, unfortunately, makes Leviathan look like a joke.
In fact, I didn’t really care for the action much until Honor and Talia started fighting each other. That’s when the book got interesting for me, and that’s when Bogdanovic’s art got really good because he was able to infuse some personality into his work. The action and attacks were purposeful rather than random glimpses. The facial expressions Bogdanovic captured during this fight were also great. It’s clear the guy has the chops to carry the run of a book, so I wish DC would put him on a major title! As for now, enjoy his work on The Silencer while you can, because issue #7 is his last issue with the title.
- You like rough and tumble action.
- It’s Silencer and Talia vs an army of assassins.
- Where exactly did these assassins learn how to assassin?… Cause they’re not great at it.
Overall: The Silencer #6 is easily the weakest installment of the series because this issue is nothing more than an action romp. That’s not to say that the series is in a downward spiral, or that the issue itself is bad, there’s just nothing to sink your teeth into. Where plot and characterization are lacking here though, there is enough set-up towards the end of the issue to maintain your interest.