Publisher: DC Comics
Storytellers: Jack Herbert, Dan Abnett
Colours: Mike Spicer
Lettering: Tom Napolitano
Release Date: 28th November 2018
When was the last time a superhero comic really surprised you?
Don’t get me wrong. There’s some great things going on at DC right now. Wonder Woman is back on track, Superman is interesting under Bendis, Justice League Dark is all kinds of fun, The Green Lantern is a blast of pure 2000AD and Tom King can pretty much do no wrong.
But we’re out the other side of yet another event, both Justice League and its latest spin-off are a bit naff, we got yet another comedy Harley comic…
Good and bad, it’s somehow a bit samey. So how about something different ?
Silencer is part of DC’s new age of heroes. No, it doesn’t deserve capital letters, for many reasons. Let’s not talk about the sidelining of Rebirth, Mr Oz and Doomsday Clock. Let’s also not talk about Snyder breaking the DCU. And let’s certainly not talk about Damage and Sideways. I mean at least the New Challengers made it into Teen Titans Go To The Movies.
The fact is, The Silencer has almost certainly passed you by, despite being from the mind of John Romita Jr and Dan Abnett, and that’s a damn shame – but not a surprise.
She’s a retired hitman for Leviathan, Talia’s shadow organisation first introduced by Grant Morrison, with the power to create zones of total silence. It’s perhaps not the most original premise per se, but works well against the backdrop of the nebulous Evil Organisations of the DCU ™ which really seem to have lost relevance and currency in super comics (*ahemsecretmarvelhydracap*), to the point that we’ve even had a throwaway comment about “whatever happened to checkmate?” and Kobra being the comedy villains du jour?
Why am I telling you this? Is this some entitled nerdboy rant (well, maybe)? But for many reasons, The Silencer is EXACTLY the comic DC needs right now. Yes, Suicide Squad pricks the bubble of pomposity. Yes, Deathstroke gives us dark edgy Brubaker super noir.
But The Silencer is something different.
First, it’s totally accessible. Despite being mid-story, this is a perfect, logical jumping-on point. It weaves backstory big and small integrally into DC without any prior, or current, knowledge required. The grounding in the wider DCU – the aftermath of an attack on a Superman theme park – adds real pathos. It’s well-drawn, with great art that sells the action, and enhances the humour and grit alike. The colouring is striking without being garish, bold without being excessive.
As The Silencer, a giant purple hellhound and the cyborg head of a fellow Leviathan boss (yup) make their way to stop their former mistress’ inevitable resurrection, you’re in for a properly entertaining, Marvellous, 2000AD-inspired ride, that draws on threads from all across supercomicverse to give us something genuinely worthy of a New Age of Heroes. It’s the DC comic you never knew you needed, but absolutely do.