The Silencer #9 is an excellent example of what can be done with a female-led action book.
The Silencer book so far has been a master course in how to write a woman-led action comic without all the trappings we have to suffer through nowadays. Silencer is presented as a competent butt-kicker without sacrificing her femininity or chewing up pages worth of panels talking down to her audience. Dan Abnett successfully portrays Honor as a deadly, skilled, world-class assassin without needing to tell the reader how dope she is on every other page. All this while not belittling her husband, marriage, or looking down on the idea of having a child in tow. Her family is used to enrich her character, not denigrate her; nor are they shown as something she’d need to avoid to maintain her warrior status.
If you’re not all that familiar with the series, here’s a quick rundown. Talia al Ghul is dead. Again. Any casual fan of Batman for the last 25-years should be familiar with the concept of the Lazarus Pit. So, they’d understand that for an al Ghul, death isn’t a permanent condition. Leviathan, the organization she once controlled, is amid a civil war. In true super-villainous form, there are three forces at work here; the ambitious lieutenants making plays for power in the vacuum. The loyal zealot keeping the throne warm for her mistress, and the prodigy on the outside that wants nothing to do with the whole mess and wouldn’t mind seeing it all burn. Silencer, of course, is the latter of the three options.
Issue #9 finds our kind-of-retired assassin/wife/mom, in a predicament that most cape-comics have seen before. The old body-switch trope. Wishbone (the loyal zealot) has used sorcery and swapped the bodies of Silencer and Quietus (one of those ambitious lieutenants and a hulking cyborg to boot) if for nothing else, to keep all the possible usurpers off balance. Of course, Quietus, in the body of an enemy, doesn’t cooperate. This forces Silencer to take matters in her own hands. The disembodied super-assassin must find a way to keep Quietus from running off with her body, without damaging it (too badly), while figuring out how to use her highly modified borrowed one.
Dan Abnett’s The Silencer #9 is a great action book in what is so far an impressive series. And that says something with what appears to be a revolving door when it comes to the book’s creative team. You don’t normally see this much change in a stable title, especially so early on in a run. Artist, Patrick Zircher impresses with expertly worked action scenes throughout the fast-paced issue. Overall, no real problems I care to harp on. The panels flow nicely. The Silencer has proven to be consistently good, despite its production challenges. While the inevitable #1 reboot or line reshuffle can’t be too far away, only being 9 issues and an annual in, it’s not too late to jump on and enjoy.
- Great story and action beats
- Artwork is consistent throughout
- Issue doesn't do much to help new readers catch up on the story