The Silencer #4 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Viktor Bogdanovic, Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Assassin Origin
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Viktor Bogdanovic steps on for John Romita Jr. with Silencer #4, and he’s a good match for the concept. His art has a realistic, somewhat stylized style that fits well with the assassin combat that plays out within. We start to find out a little bit more about Honor Guest’s past this issue, as the story plays out between two different timelines – the current day, when Honor is desperately trying to keep her old life from coming back to haunt her, and five years ago when she won her freedom from Leviathan with the help of Talia Al Ghul. As one of Leviathan’s most loyal and effective soldiers, she had Talia’s confidence, and as such was one of the few people who were able to breach the topic of leaving the world of assassins without being killed. And that, in fact, turns out to be how she earns her freedom – by taking on another man who is attempting to leave the organization. Although he’s no assassin, he poses a massive security risk.
Although Honor’s objections to life with Leviathan at this point have been mostly personal, the reveal that they take out people who are trying to leave the organization does disturb her – although not enough to spare him, even once it turns out he’s picked up Deathstroke for backup. In the present day, we see a bit more humor – even though Honor’s been living this quiet life for years, it’s still hasn’t entirely become natural to her. The little bit involving her nosy next-door neighbor amused me, but the story lags a bit when Honor’s dealing with her fellow agents in the Underlife. Most of them are fairly generic assassin characters, and even Honor seems vaguely bored dealing with them. The return of Deathstroke for revenge, teased on the opening cover, sets up a big fight next issue. Overall, this series is mostly a generic assassin thriller, but its main character is compelling and original enough to carry it through.
Corrina: I like Silencer far more than I should, given the story on the page. Which is to say, I’m fascinated by Honor’s double life but I’m not sure the story has done enough with it.
For instance, the flashbacks. We find out why Honor wanted to leave, that she was promised she could by Talia, and Honor craved to escape the violence. That’s all good but we have yet to discover is why she thought getting married and having a child was the way to start again. Why not, say, hang out on a beach in Aruba? Why not join the Peace Corps? Why not fund a high-flying lifestyle where she gets to indulge every whim?
The essential question, especially after this issue, is why she decided to start a family instead of something else. Did she want that first, and then found the right man? Or did falling in love happen when she didn’t expect and she went with it because it felt so right? These are questions that need answers because it goes to the core of who she is. Yes, killing the accountant was a step that severed her connection to Leviathan but, if anything, it should have made her more wary about having a family, not less. And she seems to have jumped into the family thing right away.
Answer those questions and this will become much more than a story about an assassin with a really cool skill.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.