Silencer #2, by Dan Abnett, John Romita Jr, Sandra Hope, Dean White, and Arif Prianto, continues the debut storyline in a fun manner, giving us more insight into the Underlife of the DCU’s assassins and Silencer’s desperate quest to leave that life behind.
The issue begins with Silencer and her old boss in Leviathan, Talia Al Ghul, under attack by two of their former compatriots, Breacher and Bloodvessel. Silencer makes quick work of them and gets in contact with an old associate, Operator, to order a clean-up crew, more old friends named Detail and Aftermarket, and a cover story for all the destruction. The next day, she gets her husband to take their child to work so she can meet up with another old associate, Robespur, to reiterate the fact that, even though she helped Talia get away out of friendship, she is most definitely out of the assassin game. Robespur doesn’t like this and the issue ends with Silencer surrounded by enemies, but still defiant.
To begin with, the opening action scene is perfect. Romita Jr has long been one of the premier action pencillers in the business, and this scene is just another example of that. It’s perfectly choreographed, kinetic, and just plain look cool. In fact, the whole book looks cool. Since coming to DC, it’s felt like Romita Jr’s art has reached a new level. His acting and figure work have gotten clearer and more defined and his eye for detail has only improved. DC’s New Age of Heroes books are dependent on good artists and with Romita Jr, this book is in very good hands.
The writing on the book isn’t as great as the art, but it works and gets the point across. Abnett sells Silencer as both a confidant, fearless assassin and a woman who is afraid of what will happen to her family. The book gets a little bogged down in the minutiae of the Underlife in its second half, but this is sort of necessary for the reader. That said, most of it is cliche spy agency stuff. It doesn’t take away from the book, but it doesn’t really add very much.
The book does shine when it comes to Silencer and her interaction with her family. Silencer is a believable character, her fearlessness and bravado backed up by her actions, but she still comes off as a real person and not some kind of action movie caricature when she’s with her family. Even though we know very little of her, she feels like a fully developed, three dimensional character. She never seems vulnerable, but the book still sells her concern for her family in a very believable way. Her family, though, is rather stereotypical. Her husband is cheerful and oblivious and her son is mostly a plot device. Besides that, Breacher and Bloodvessel sound like 90s Image Comics rejects.
Silencer #2 isn’t a perfect book by any means, but it’s fun and keeps things moving. The art is its biggest strength, but the plot has potential and Silencer is an intriguing character. It’s not the best ride at the theme park, but it’s still worth your time.