The Silencer Annual #1 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Jack Herbert, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The Silencer has always done a good job of balancing Honor Guest’s life as an assassin with her distinctly more human parallel existence as a mother and wife. This flashback annual turns back the clock to the beginning of her career, much the way the recent Damage Annual showed us Ethan Avery’s first day on the job. This one is much more successful at filling in blanks and humanizing its main character, as always. The issue opens with Honor and her husband Paul talking about his childhood in Gotham, and wondering why they never go there anymore. When he strikes up the topic of possibly taking a family vacation, a flashback shows us exactly why Honor likes to stay out of Gotham – she’s on Batman’s list. Eight years ago, Talia Al Ghul was beginning to set up her own criminal empire – what would become known as Leviathan – and Honor was working as her personal bodyguard. When some of Ra’s Al Ghul’s assassins came calling, Talia sent Honor on a secret mission into Gotham.
In Gotham, Honor lays low – renting an apartment from a familiar-looking gentleman, and waiting for Talia’s word. She gets called into action – but along the way spots a family being assaulted in a gang robbery, and can’t help going off-mission to take out the gang members. We know how much Batman likes unaffiliated vigilantes in Gotham, so it’s no surprise when he shows up to take her into custody. After she fends him off, it’s clear to him that she’s part of the League of Assassins – but before he can move against her, they’re attacked by another agent of Ra’s, a giant hulk-like monster-man. It seems that the actual target Talia sent Honor to protect is Batman, who is being targeted by Ra’s to punish Talia. Abnett does a good job of balancing Talia the criminal mastermind with a more human touch, and the action is top-notch. Guest artist Jack Herbert fits in perfectly with the style of the series, and the issue works as an exciting, breezy hero-vs-hero tie-in issue. Looking forward to more adventures in this series.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.