If I had to comment on The Silencer with only one sentence, it would have to be, “It continues to surprise me.” As for this chapter, in particular, it’s clear the creative team had a ton of fun with this issue, and that fun is infectious. I mean, the moment I opened this book, I started laughing!
As we all know, Silencer is in a war with Leviathan, and it’s a war that her former boss, Talia al Ghul drug her into. Until recently, most of the opponents she’s encountered have been tech-modified assassins. But now, she’s having to deal with magical threats as well, specifically from Talia’s resident witch, Wishbone. As it just so happens, Wishbone has body swapped Honor with one of Leviathan’s leaders Quietus, and turned her servant, Michael, into a giant, dinosaur-type monster. Clearly, the monster vibe goes way beyond anything I ever expected for this title, but I guess if it’s going to happen, you might as well play with the idea around Halloween.
The issue itself is high-action, which results in a quick read, but as I said earlier, I found myself having quite a bit of fun with this chapter. While I questioned having a monster last month, I’ve settled in with the idea this month and quite enjoy it. There are a number of moments that pay homage to the likes of Jurassic Park, and as a fan of those films, I appreciate that. The “monster’s” presence also adds something fresh to the book. As I stated in a previous review, just having technically modified assassins as a threat was growing old. Every threat just felt like cannon fodder. Even here, Abnett could’ve easily made Michael (the monster) a one-trick pony for the sake of this arc, but instead, he wisely chooses a smarter, more satisfying direction for the character.
In addition to the “monster chaos,” Silencer and Quietus are still experiencing a Freaky Friday moment. Last month, I commented on the missed opportunity of having a suspenseful, thriller issue with Quietus going after Honor’s family, and while we don’t get that here, we do get a pseudo, buddy-cop team-up between the two. Similar to the opening pages, this is another example of the creative team simply having fun with the story they’re telling, and I responded well to the approach. Watching Silencer and Quietus banter while trying to figure out how to utilize their new bodies effectively is a nice twist. While some readers might find the sudden change in tone off-putting, I found the humor refreshing. Honestly, I like seeing The Silencer not take itself so seriously.
If there’s one definite moment of clarity that came out of this issue, it’s that Honor needs a supporting cast that is on her side. Yes, she has her family, and we even have Talia and Quietus who qualify as a supporting cast, but Honor needs someone on her side that knows her secrets. Watching Silencer work with someone opened this book up in new, interesting ways, and if Honor could consistently have a character to turn to like this, it would help give the book a boost of dynamic energy. I mean, think about it, some of the highlight issues of this title have been those of Honor working with someone (Talia, Deathstroke), and even seeing her work with Nightwing in his title ended up being a fun exchange despite the opportunities of that plot.
I’d love to see Blake eventually fill this role – if done well – but I’d also understand if the writers want to keep the family oblivious for a while longer. But there’s more than just a chance at banter or comradery that could come from having a supporting character on Silencer’s side. In another surprise turn of events, Silencer and Quietus discover common ground in this chapter, and it’s quite moving. In fact, it’s a deep enough connection that I hope Abnett has no plan to kill Quietus anytime soon. A single moment in this issue shifts these two from sworn enemies working together as a means of self-preservation, to two individuals who contain a fundamental understanding and respect for one another. It’s a great moment for the series, and an enjoyable read overall.
Silencer and Quietus win this issue! Between the banter between the two, to Silencer’s apology when she discovers she critically injured him, to the incredible exchange at the end… There’s so much good, understated writing here. I’m particularly drawn to the exchange about families. The moment Quietus learns that Honor is married with a kid and that that’s the reason she left the underworld, he confesses that the only reason he is Quietus, is because his family was taken from him and killed. It’s a small exchange, but one that fundamentally alters the relationship of these two characters, and I can’t wait to see where it leads the two of them in the future!
The Art: Patrick Zircher is an incredible artist! I don’t know how he’s remained under my radar for so long, but he’s one of those artists that I’d be overjoyed to have as a partner-in-crime when creating comics. His work perfectly balances the approach of providing enough detail for realism, and restrained use of detail to let the reader’s mind and imagination run with the concept. This may sound weird or confusing, but anyone who has studied art in comics will most likely understand what I’m saying. I’ve always viewed comics as an “efficient” medium, and Zircher manages this with precise execution.
- You’re a fan of Jurassic Park.
- It’s Halloween! Why not include a monster in your story?
- Silencer and Quietus.
Overall: Dan Abnett and Patrick Zircher infuse The Silencer #10 with so many subtle moments in this chapter that it would be easy to take them for granted. From the lighter, humorous tone infused in certain panels, to the revelation of a need for an ensemble, to the incredible character moment between Honor and Quietus, this book proves that it still has a lot of stories left in its arsenal, and I can only hope we are treated to a long, entertaining run as Silencer continues to expand in the DC Universe.