The Silencer #9 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Patrick Zircher, Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ratings Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Body Swap!
Ray: The Silencer hops around a lot in terms of genre – sometimes it’s a hard-boiled suspense thriller! Sometimes it’s a family drama! – but in terms of things I never expected to see in this series, it’s a Freaky Friday homage. At the end of Silencer #8, Silencer finally confronted her former boss Quietus – only to find herself body-swapped with the ruthless robotically enhanced arms dealer. As Silencer #9 picks up, both Silencer and Quietus are in a panic and blame the other for their predicament. They soon figure out, though, that it’s actually the work of the witch Wishbone, the head of the Underlife’s magical division. She feels very out of place in this series, almost like she walked in from another story – but maybe that’s intentional. An organization like the Underlife has a lot of divisions, not all of them clicking together. But still, scenes like Wishbone turning a disobedient minion into a talking cat almost feel like parodies. Fortunately the rest of the issue is much stronger, as Silencer and Quietus are forced to team up.
Quietus seems to fit into Silencer’s body a lot better than she does into his – he’s leaping around in the assassin’s form soon, while she’s awkwardly trying to figure out how to fire her weapons. It soon becomes clear that they’re not the only ones looking to claim bounties in the Underlife’s territory, as the arms dealer Gunn enters the fray. He seems like some sort of gamer nerd turned crime boss, and adds some amusing levity to the issue – but he’s only a short-lived secondary enemy, as Wishbone makes her move. Turning her former-human-turned-cat henchman into a Kaiju, she sics the giant monster on the assassins – which is just around the corner from the theme park where Silencer’s husband and son are spending the day. I trust they’re going to be fine, since they’re too big a part of the series to get rid of for cheap tragedy, but the stakes in this issue are high enough to make for an effective thriller combined with a winningly absurd plot.
Corrina: First, I have to insert my obligatory complaint that in nine issues, I still have no sense of who the heck Silencer’s husband is. He might as well be cardboard, for all the dimension that he has. Until he is fleshed out, there will be a hole in this book. Pages devoted to the quick defeat of Gunn might have been given to the husband and his son, adding depth to Silencer’s family. :sigh: It’s not good when supporting characters are this thinly written.
Moving on from my continual complaint, I had fun reading the issue. The body swap shouldn’t work but it does, largely because it forces Silencer out of her usual “grim and determined” mindset and digs deeper into her personality. It’s amusing that it takes being swapped out of her body to do that but she’s an intense person and only something extreme would have taken her out of her usual work mode.
Ray trusts that the husband and son will be safe from the menace teased at the end. I don’t.
Over in Sideways, Derek’s mom was fridged, thus cutting off a ton of story potential. I suspect we’re going to see the same in Silencer, a death to “shake up things and show you can’t really escape who you were.” It might be one of them or both. But my bet is that neither husband or son survive this series, creating an embittered Silencer vowing to wreak vengeance on Talia and all of Leviathon.
Which is a shame because an ending where she reveals all to them, her husband still loves her, and they live happily ever after would be a nice change of pace from the current grim DC Comics storylines.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.