Sirk TV Graphic Graphic Novel Review: THE SILENCER VOL. 1: CODE OF HONOR [DC]
The aspect of leaving a vengeful life many moons ago was the realm of the male anti-hero. As with other recent novels, the tide is changing with the female leads taking on the reigns of vengeance in a more dynamic way. Like “John Wick” or “Atomic Blonde”, “Silencer” [Don Abnett/DC Comics/144pgs] has the underpinings of family with a sense of blood vengeance beneath. Honor Guest (her civilian name) left her life as an assassin to have a family but like “La Femme Nikita” or “Point Of No Return”, one is never really gone. What works here is the infusion of that dark DC mentality but with a hero who is not really a hero. In a way that perhaps “Venom” might work, Honor here is revolting against what she is taught. While the idealistic portrait of her beautiful family is a little bit too saccharine, her protection of it is not, especially in that involves the women who created her in Talia Al Ghul, reproduced with the visualistic cue of Marion Cotillard from Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”. Honor is mixed and goes from long blonde hair to spiked to buzz cut style which balances and mixes her identity as she slips into her Silencer costume which thereby allows her to control different micro-particles and sound. Some of the art is undeniably swift and beautiful while not harking back to the need for other superhero worlds like Batman and Superman. One aspect in the texture of “Deathstroke” is brought to play but as a plot point to add a level of action but also misdirection. The diner scene along in the way it works shows how these different ideas of family, betrayal and balls-out action can work including the sound bubble Silencer protects her son in. It is an immediately perception to a similar set piece in “Face Off” where the young son simply wears headphones which shields him from the carnage being wreaked around him. Even images when Honor comes out of a grocery store and has to take out a hitman without her son hearing sometimes strains credibility but is lyrical in that the ballet nature of the execution simply plays with undeniable smoothness. “Silencer” has its shortcomings but its aspect of being both diverse, kick ass and lean and efficient give it all it needs.
By Tim Wassberg