Review/ The Silencer #1

Written by Fabian Wood

February 28, 2018

Writer: Dan Abnett

Pencils: John Romita Jr.

Inks: Sandra Hope

Colors: Dean V. White

Letters: Tom Napolitano

Publisher: DC Comics

Rating: 12+ Only

Remember that scene in Kill Bill Vol 1 where the Bride confronts the former assassin now happy soccer mom Vernita Green? Well The Silencer is essentially Vernita Green (aka Copperhead) in everything but name. The deadliest assassin you’ve never heard of is the tag-line for this all-new series in DC’s “New Age of Heroes” line that seems to want to ape established Marvel brands; like DC’s new interpretation of Damage as an unapologetic Hulk rip-off, the Terrifics, a shameless palette swap of the Fantastic Four, and Sideways, DC’s new teleporting Spiderman.

Former arch-assassin for Leviathan (an off-shoot of the League of Assassins run by Talia Al’Ghul), Honor Guest (aka Silencer) has retired and has a family, until political in-fighting within Leviathan causes old acquaintances to spill into her sheltered, normal and happy life.

What gives our protagonist the edge is her unique meta-human power known as the “zone of silence”, a spherical area of effect that cancels all sound – ergo the name and…why you’ve never heard of her.

Romita Jr’s art is clean and crisp, with attention to details and backgrounds that give the world a rich depth, even in the smallest of panels. His unique interpretations on character physique make everyone feel distinctive. The exaggerated costumes of the cannon-fodder may be a bit too much, contrasting Silencer’s very minimalistic, uninspired one. It becomes even more generic without her mask on.

The problem with Silencer is really living up to its own hype. When you’ve had the more bombastic exploits of Deathstroke and Deadshot, issue #1 seems to be very pedestrian by comparison. Also, Honor Guest’s one-dimensional family unit being so oblivious to all the shenanigans happening around that – barring her super-power – come off as embarrassingly comical.

Dan will have to raise the stakes if we’re to believe this relative newcomer is on par with or even surpasses DC’s plethora of established super-assassins and meta-mercenaries. And if her unaware family being put in harm’s way is to be taken with any grain of salt, more needs to be done to make readers care. Alternatively, the flash and bang with little substance may just be the kind of tone it’s going for. If so, it may be best if it went silent.

On a side note, this month, John Romita Jr has also tag-teamed with Mark Miller to do a re-take of Kick-Ass #1 that also sees a wife/mother don a costume for some crime fighting hi jinks.

Hailing from the eastern-most Caribbean island of Barbados, Fabian Wood has long since been fascinated by the power of storytelling to inspire and invoke emotions – whether in film, comics or video games. No longer content to be just an avid comic book reader and video gamer, he’s eager to exercise his literary acumen as an aspiring writer and reviewer.

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