Over the past few months, I’ve commented on The Silencer’s slow decline in quality – especially as far as the script is concerned. The book has been far from bad, but I feared the trend would continue until the title fell from good, to average, to bad. Well, this month, that is definitely not the case! No, this month… The Silencer returns to form and delivers in every way that it did when it initially launched! This is one hell of an issue!

An aspect that’s been lacking in The Silencer lately is relatability. Early in the book’s run, we received this through Honor’s family, but their role has become less and less relevant over the past few issues. This chapter bucks that trend by putting her family front and center from the word go!

We kick off with the family arriving at Action Land, and in true fashion, it’s hard to tell who is more excited – Honor’s husband, Blake, or her Jellybean. I’m immediately captivated by the look, feel, and energy of Action Land, and I’d be lying if I didn’t fess up to thinking, “Why can’t this be real? I want to go to Action Land!” More importantly though, I connected to the relationship of the family.

Abnett’s ability to write a family that’s not only relatable, but enjoyable is a true asset to The Silencer. This aspect separates the title from most of the other DC books that are strictly focusing on the hero’s mission or journey. The simple fact that these three were having fun, allowed me to have fun! Granted, we know that Honor is here for business rather than pleasure, so she slips away to receive some pampering, but really, she’s preparing to confront Talia.

Silencer tracks down old Leviathan contacts in her area to gain information on Talia’s exact whereabouts, as well as how she will be able to gain access to her. I fully expected the story to maintain this single trajectory for the entirety of this chapter’s run, but, man, was I wrong. Abnett introduces one surprise and twist after another as we race to the book’s conclusion.

First, we discover that Silencer isn’t the only one who is in the area tracking Talia… Quietus, the head of one of the broken factions of Leviathan – and the man who ordered the bombing of Mall-Mart when Honor was there – is also there. The two discover each other’s presence and come to blows shortly after. Expecting to be followed or tracked, Silencer doesn’t slow down to think about the coincidence but Quietus does. He knows there’s more at play here than just circumstance.

That doesn’t stop the two from ending their fisticuffs though. They continue their onslaught with one another, and for the first time that I can remember, Silencer is clearly outmatched. After seven issues of watching Honor face-off against antagonists that were nothing more than cannon fodder, it’s refreshing to see her struggle against a single opponent. Quietus isn’t your ordinary, modified assassin. He’s better. Better skillset, better modifications. There’s not going to be an easy way out of this… Especially when Abnett throws his next reveal at us.

Much in the way that I was finding Honor’s altercations with expendable antagonists tiring, the concept that Leviathan only utilized assassins with technical enhancements is also growing old… So nothing made my happier to see a new side of Leviathan that could change the game in huge ways. This isn’t a reveal that comes out of left field either if you’re familiar with Talia, Ra’s, and the types of measures they’ve turned to in the past. I don’t want to give it away, but know that this reveal opens the door to new threats, new powersets, and unpredictable outcomes… Something that Abnett doesn’t shy away from as he ends the issue with a great cliffhanger!

Spoiler

This issue introduces Wishbone and reveals Leviathan’s use of magical entities. The magical forces have been biding their time, and now they’re making their presence felt in this war within Leviathan. While it’s clear that the future landscape of the book will change drastically, it’s unclear how much of an impact the magical community has already made in the war considering Quietus is convinced that it’s because of magic that he and Silencer are both in the same location.

And if that weren’t enough to leave you looking forward to the next chapter, Wishbone plays her hand yet again, casting a spell causing Silencer and Quietus to swap bodies. The spell disorients the two, and it isn’t until the two escape out of self-preservation that they realize what has transpired. Unlike Silencer, Quietus views this as an opportunity to gain information on who Silencer really is, and his next stop is… Action Land.

The Art:

Patrick Zircher delivers incredible art throughout the issue. In fact, this is probably some of the best work I’ve seen from him! From a technical aesthetic, his pencils are clean, crisp, and precise, but he does some great storytelling and world-building as well! From Action Land, to Quietus, to Wishbone  and her lair, everything is carefully thought out and executed. The action sequences are high energy, choreographed well, and a sheer pleasure to experience. But above all else, he capture emotions and family perfectly! I keep coming back to how natural Honor, Blake, and Jellybean are together, and while I praised the script for accomplishing this feat, Zircher deserves an equal amount of praise. The script and the art work hand in hand, resulting in one hell of an issue!

Recommended if:

  • You’re ready for a change in The Silencer.
  • You’ve been waiting for Honor to encounter an actual threat.
  • You’ve missed the great family interactions that were prominent in early issues.

Overall: Recently, I’ve found myself growing unsure of The Silencer’s future, but in this issue, Dan Abnett and Patrick Zircher tell an incredibly engaging and entertaining story that is full of twists, turns, and reveals that will leave you desperate for more!

SCORE: 8.5/10