For the second consecutive month, The Silencer has dipped in quality. The issue itself is still enjoyable enough, but I’m concerned about the future of this title based on this trend. Abnett appears to be losing his grasp on what made this book special and unique, and now it’s essentially turning into a generic action series. I mean… That can be fun, but it can also grow old very quickly.
Following the discovery that Talia is to blame for all of her current tribulations – both in starting the war within Leviathan and forcing Honor back into the underworld – Honor knew the only way to return to a normal life was to kill Talia… And she failed to do so. Now, she’s moving forward in a combination of fight and flight. Flight in respect to her family, by taking them on a trip to help protect them from the attacks of opposing assassins, and fight because she’s conveniently planned a trip knowing it will put her close to Talia. But this time, she’s not going to fail to kill her former employer.
The entirety of this issue takes place on a plane. This isn’t a new scenario. We’ve seen this idea play out in a number of films – Con Air, Red Eye, Snakes On a Plane, etc – but despite thinking that each of these films are either dumpster fires or just too much of a stretch to enjoy, I found myself curiously excited to see how this would play out in a comic. The answer, not very well.
This chapter of The Silencer is easily my least favorite of the run. I love the idea of intense action sequences on a plane, but the scenarios presented here are just too absurd and unbelievable. Yes, even for a comic book.
Basically, we have Honor and her family flying to their destination, and they’re being followed/ stalked by Cradle and Grave – the two assassins introduced in the previous issue. As you might expect, there will be a huge battle on the plane, but not in the way that you would expect. Yes, Silencer, Cradle, and Grave do come to blows, have seats fall through the fuselage floor, blow a hole in the side of the plane, and so on, but it fails to land because for everyone else on the plane, it’s just another plane ride. Yep, that’s right, they don’t even notice what’s going on around them! Wait… What?
Despite all of the crazy action, none of the passengers notice a damn thing! I call BS! First off, once Honor discovers she’s being tailed, she immediately goes into action by suiting up in the bathroom… and then somehow ends up in the lower luggage compartment of the plane. How? I don’t know, but this is the smallest of my complaints so we’ll just say she’s a professional. She then proceeds to sneak underneath the seats where Cradle and Grave are sitting, and cuts the floor around them forcing them to fall into the luggage compartment as well… AND STILL, NOBODY NOTICES A DAMN THING!
I know I’ve brought this up before, but just because Honor can silencer the area around her, that doesn’t mean that people are blind. Deaf people can still see crazy ass things like chairs falling through the floor of a plane. Granted, not everyone would see this, but the people on either side of seats and behind these seats sure as hell would… And would (hopefully) start screaming for help.
Alas, this doesn’t happen – which I guess we can say we’re thankful for because it leads to the fun part of the issue, the battle. Unfortunately, even the fight moves too far towards absurdity when a hole is blown in the side of the plane, and the aftermath of this (ie: the cabin losing pressure, the plane falling from the sky, etc) gets blamed on… turbulence… Umm… *sigh*… This will sound like a stupid question, but at this point, one must beg to question whether anyone from the creative team has actually been on a plane before… Because these sequences would suggest otherwise.
Despite my disappointment with the problematic nature of the action sequences in this issue, the action itself is quite entertaining. I enjoy watching Honor work and must admit that she’s damn good at her job! I also like Cradle and Grave – much in the way that I’ve enjoyed most of the featured assassins in this book to date. My problem is that I can’t move past the notion that the people surrounding Honor have to be completely incompetent and aloof for any of this to make sense. I mean, I know we’re a distracted generation, but what goes unnoticed in this issue is insulting for readers. Come on, Abnett. Try to make a little bit of effort here.
To make matters worse, this chapter doesn’t progress the narrative much at all, and barely touches on the best aspects of the title – Honor’s relationship with her family. The heart and relatability that encompassed the early issues are practically nonexistent here. Also, the lack of questions Honor’s husband has, especially at this point, is becoming a bit too convenient. Abnett either needs to work a little harder to showcase how well Honor keeps her work life away from her home life, or just let the cat out of the bag. Mainly, I’m just looking for some sort of progression, and the potential for The Silencer appears to be diminishing each and every month.
The Art: I’m a fan of Bogdanovic’s art, but there are certain aspects that I didn’t care for in this issue. As expected, the general look of his pencils are what we’ve come to expect. They’re consistent, strong, and help the script breathe. My problems fall more into the layout and depiction of the plane itself. There appear to be a lot of inconsistencies concerning the size of the plane from panel to panel. None of these instances ruin the book by any means, but I didn’t find them distracting. And let’s face it, if you’re going to create a conversation about the art in an issue, you don’t that conversation to start off with, “Is it just me, or did the plane seem to change sizes from panel to panel? And are the luggage compartments really that big?”
- You’re curious to see what comes out of the family’s trip.
- You’re on Cradle and Grave’s tail.
- It’s an action-romp on a plane! Why wouldn’t you pick up this issue?
Overall: The weakest issue of The Silencer to date, Dan Abnett fails to deliver a story that’s engaging, believable, or progresses the overall narrative. When all is said and done, I’m willing to bet that this issue will be skippable, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for choosing to move past this pit of mediocrity.