Title: The Silencer.
Story-Arc: Code of Honor.
Writer(s): Dan Abnett.
Illustrator(s): John Romita Jr. & Viktor Bogdanovic.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: October 2nd 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
As part of DC Comics’ New Age of Heroes following the events of Dark Nights: Metal, whole new and old heroes surge out of into the world and seek to establish themselves as heroes, whether they want to or not. Out of the eight series that were announced so far, two have already been cancelled after their first story arcs (The Unexpected and The Immortal Men), leaving fans wondering if a future for these new characters and teams of heroes is even possible. The initiative still brings in a current of fresh air by establishing these series as an artist-centric project where writers come second. The real question however lies in the originality of these new heroes and in the efforts put into these initial story arcs to hook readers. Only time can tell.
Who is the Silencer? Essentially, she’s a retired hitwoman who goes by the name of Honor Guest and who lives a peaceful life with a husband and a child. Having left the criminal organization known as Leviathan where she worked alongside Talia al Ghul and where she learned to harness her deadly gunslinging skills, but also her special sound-dampening ability, she finds herself dragged back into the web of criminal activities that was once the core of her life. It is especially troublesome when she is the key to the current power struggle within the organization and that her past simply doesn’t wish to leave her alone despite Talia al Ghul’s warning that no one ever truly got out of the organization forever.
The premise behind this new character’s story is nothing new, but never gets old. How the past always finds ways to sneak back into your life and ruin any assurance of bliss established for the future is a situation that many can relate to, and some deeply fear. But how does The Silencer fair in this debut series under the hands of Dan Abnett, John Romita Jr. and Viktor Bogdanovic? The addition of a peculiar ability to create a bubble around things to eliminate sound does make this character quite interesting, but something about it still seems too underwhelming in the grand scheme of things. Throughout the story, she does make wise use of it, both as Honor Guest and as the Silencer. But her tendency to wreak havoc with her guns is where the focus is mostly at since she brings a level of sheer violence and high corpse tally like no other character before. As her brutality remains the center of attention throughout the action sequences, I did find that her dialogues while fighting a bit too odd in the sense that no one would talk to themselves like the way she does while dealing out so much violence.
Collecting issues #1-6, the artwork is also split in two with the first three issues done by John Romita Jr. and the second half being passed on to Viktor Bogdanovic. I have personally never been a fan of John Romita Jr. even if his reputation precedes him as a legend in the comic book industry. His character designs are truly hard to appreciate as they often have really unconvincing and uncharacteristic facial structures. The colour scheme however felt very psychedelic at times, exhibiting a very surreal experience riddled with violence and bloodshed. Viktor Bogdanovic’s style was a lot more appropriate for the story arc to my taste, and very reminiscent of Greg Cappullo’s style. The panel structures were also much more abstract and irregular, giving the story a very different flow and quality.
Impregnated with violence but also a desire for peace for her family, the Silencer turns out to be a violent and intriguing addition to the DC Universe and easily blends herself into the lore with the appearance of several well-established villains to get fans talking. What she plans on doing next to get what she desires deeply, that is to keep her dear family away from her past, will have to be the sales pitch that future arcs will have to play on to convince readers in the sustainability of this DC Comics series.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!