Review – The Silencer #12: Talia’s Gambit

Reading Time: 3 minutes
The Silencer #12 cover, via DC Comics.

The Silencer #12 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Jack Herbert, Artist; Tom Derenick, Breakdowns; Mike Spicer, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 7.5/10

Corrina: Expected But Still Emotional

Ray: The first year of The Silencer wraps up with an issue that delivers a big bang, but also sums up a lot of the series’ weak points. As the issue kicks off, Blake Guest and his son are meeting with an agent of the resort following the disaster that’s left Honor presumed dead. As he tries to wrap his mind around her disappearance and the fact that he knows a lot less about his wife than he thought, Honor is dealing with her own problems. Namely, an army of assassins that have all pledged their lives and loyalty to Talia Al Ghul, and are all waiting with weapons at the ready to see if Honor will join them. Talia’s master plan to seize control of Leviathan has been a slow-burn plot over the course of the issue, and it’s a great payoff – but the problem is it relies on a characterization of Talia that a lot of people aren’t fans of. This is easily the most villainous Talia we’ve gotten in a DC Comic since Grant Morrison’s run.

After Honor refuses to join, that leads into a huge fight scene that makes up the issue’s biggest set piece. Seeing Honor tear her way through an army of assassins is entertaining, and we still don’t know much about her mysterious counterpart Raze. After a lot of disposable assassins are dealt with, it’s time for Honor vs. Talia in a particularly brutal fight that only ends when Talia pulls her cruelest card – the “resort agent” is actually a Leviathan agent with a gun drawn on her family, and the only way to spare them is for Honor to abandon them and join Leviathan again. It’s yet another escalation by Abnett’s sadistic Talia, and basically confirms what Corrina was worried about – while Honor’s family can survive the series, her life with them really can’t. The cliffhanger is one more escalation in the issue, and while it’s certainly a dramatic ending, it doesn’t really bode well for the overall direction of the book. The doses of normalcy were what made it work.

Corrina: I expected all along for Honor to either have to give up her family or her family to be killed. The former is certainly preferable to the latter, but, still, I’d hoped for a plot swerve that would allow Honor something of a happy ending. But that would only happen if DC cancels the series, I suppose.

But, still, it’s emotional because we can see how much Honor values her family. But her anguish also points out the glaring weak spot in the whole series: I still have no idea why or how she fell in love with her husband.

If I’m going to care about his anguish, if I’m going to care about her bond to her family, I need to see it. And I haven’t seen anything but a surface depiction of a happy marriage. I have no idea why he was interested in Honor or why she looked at him and thought “this is the one.” I also haven’t seen enough of her being in her normal life to get a sense of why she enjoys it. Is it the regular routine? Is it that she’s good at it (but what is she good at besides the child-care that we’ve seen?) I’d have loved to have seen her normal life more, with Honor navigating motherhood with an assassin’s sensibility.

Note: If you want that, like me, you have to check out the brilliant Crosswind from Image, in which a Freaky Friday thing switches the psyches of a mob enforcer and a housewife.

Right now, Honor promises to be a loner forced into a job she hates going forward. And that’s disappointing because that takes away her uniqueness and gives her the background that can fit any number of assassins.

I do like this ruthless Talia, however.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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