The Silencer #17 – Dan Abnett, Writer; V. Ken Marion, Penciller; Sandu Florea, Inker; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: C’mon Honor. Tell the Family
Ray: With only one issue till its finale, the last original hero left standing in the New Age of DC Heroes line wraps up most of her dangling plotlines in a dramatic, action-packed one-house thriller in Silencer #17. When we last left off, Silencer had snuck into the house where she used to live with her husband and son – only to be met by Blake, who is convinced she’s the one there to kill him. It’s all she can do to calm him down and get him to grab their son and leave before Smoke gets there – but Ben’s penchant for getting up in the middle of the night lands him directly in Smoke’s clutches, and what ensues is one of the best action scenes of the series. The entire thing takes place within the house, and Honor’s use of her cone of silence to disrupt Smoke’s powers is dramatic, brutal, and barely gets her and her family out of the line in fire long enough for her to literally throw Smoke out of the house.
There’s not all that much dialogue in this issue, partially because it’s silenced by our heroine’s powers. The emotion and stakes get across very well, though, and there’s some bits of levity worked in like Quietus delivering some one-liners as he tries to distract Talia. Honor’s decision to terminate Smoke to protect her family makes sense in context – she’s a killer by trade, not a superhero, and any threat to her family gets eliminated. Smoke went from zero to psycho-killer in five seconds, which makes it hard to feel too bad for her. What works in this issue is the emotion and family bond, especially in the last scene, but what doesn’t work particularly well is that Blake and Ben are mostly still blank slates. Blake, in particular, spends the entire issue right next to his wife and seems to have no idea. There’s a lot of potential in this series and this was one of the better issues, but it always feels about 3/4ths of the way to something great.
Corrina: I have loved the fight sequences in this comic, no matter the artist, and that’s true in this issue. Honor’s “cone of silence” has been one of the more fascinating concepts for a character in a long time. It’s probably part of why she’s lasted longer than the other in the “New Age of Heroes.”
Silencer #17 gives me hope that Honor might get a happy ending and retire? Maybe? Maybe not. I admit, I’d be more invested in the marriage if Blake seemed to have any depth to him at all. Instead, he’s as thinly drawn as most comic book wives would be in this situation, and as clueless. That’s too bad because I want to root for this couple. I just don’t know, even after all these issues, what brought them together in the first place.
Honor, however, shows what she’s capable of in protecting her family. But I don’t know why the story doesn’t pull the trigger on Honor revealing herself to Blake.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.