The Silencer #16 – Dan Abnett, Writer; V. Ken Marion, Penciller; Sandu Florea, Inker; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: Finally. Addressing the Situation With the Family
Ray: The last new character from the New Age of DC Heroes line is seeing her book wrap up in a few months in time for Event Leviathan, which means it’s all hands on deck for the big finale. When we last left off, Honor had just seen her “brother” Raze get killed off by their twisted imprisoned target Smoke. When the shape-shifting woman discovers that Honor has a family, she comes up with the idea of stealing them and heads off to tack them down in suburbia. Much of Silencer #16 is an extended chase segment as Silencer and Smoke race to their destination via America’s backroads – stopping along the way for elaborate battles. It’s hard not to feel bad for Smoke given how horrible her life has been, but every opportunity Abnett gets he shows us just how little she cares for human life. She’s constantly sticking her intangible hand in people’s chests, threatening to rip their hearts out – an easy way to make sure we don’t sympathize too much with her.
We know that Honor’s brainwashing didn’t stick, but as the issue goes on it becomes clear to the people at Leviathan that she may know more than she’s letting on. Quietus is the first to figure it out but doesn’t blow her cover due to his tentative alliance with Honor, but it doesn’t take long before Talia clues in too. She calls Honor in from the cold to return to base, but Honor refuses and keeps pursuing Smoke. It’s clear there are two ugly battles coming – first with Smoke, and then with the head of Leviathan. The end of the issue delivers some serious tension as both Smoke and Honor bear down on Blake’s home and the last page of the issue is a great twist, but overall this series has flagged a bit since Honor was forced to leave home and become an assassin again. The title had one great strength – flipping between Honor’s normal life and her assassin life – and it feels like it’s lost that.
Corrina: Finally! It’s taken far too long to get to the meat of the essential conflict between Honor and her family: her deception and lying about her past life. While it makes sense that her son remains in blissful ignorance, how strong could the marriage have been when she’s hiding this kind of potent secret?
It seems we’re about to find out before the series ends. That’s good. What’s not good is that the husband hasn’t been given enough personality in sixteen issues that there’s any way to predict how he’ll react. Angrily, of course, but he’s been a stock, cardboard “supportive spouse” through most of this. Their confrontation would have been so much better if he’d become a fully-rounded character.
That’s the reason this comic is so frustrating. It had so many good elements at the start, and it added more as the series continued, but it’s remained so two-dimensional with characters and conflict that should have been the heart of the book.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.