I’m a sucker for spy dramas focused on characters who have to hide their identity. Silencer has been that and more due to Silencer’s ability to freeze time, and also her lifestyle requiring she hide the fact she works for Talia al Ghul. In this annual issue we get an interesting flashback story all about her tangling with Batman when she had no family to hide her identity from.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Silencer visits Gotham City, but she’s not there to see the sights-she’s there to shut down Talia al Ghul’s latest secret weapons plant. Obviously, this brings her into conflict with Batman-but there’s a secret history to Bruce Wayne and the Silencer that complicates everything! Will Batman slap the cuffs on this metahuman hit woman-or will one of Batman’s rogues get the drop on them both for the mysterious Leviathan organization?
Why does this matter?
Jack Herbert draws the issue with Dan Abnett writing and this is an annual you can easily jump right into. It not only sets up Silencer in the now, but helps convey how her life has changed. This is a character-defining issue that shouldn’t be missed if you like Silencer in the slightest.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is bookended with Silencer’s husband asking why they never visit Gotham. Cut to, of course, Gotham, where we see Silencer fighting Batman midair. The beauty of this issue lies in how Abnett crafts Silencer’s backstory. She’s beholden to Talia because that’s her only family. Sent on a mission tied to family, Silencer learns Talia isn’t always so cruel, but has a soft spot for Batman. In the process she must fight crime, fight Batman, and fight her confusion over her relationship with Talia. It’s a good flashback issue if you’ve been reading the series because it helps flesh out her point of view of wanting to get out of the hitman business. It’s also refreshing to see her without her family and how cold she was at the time. Abnett is presenting some good character work here.
Herbert draws a great issue. The art is detailed and really nails the splash pages. There’s more than one and Batman looks as iconic as ever. This is one of those issues where Batman is having to tangle with characters who could snap him in half. He holds his own and the fighting is excellent. I’d argue there’s a lot of cheesecake when it comes to Talia, but it looks great and somewhat is suitable for the story since her youth is a factor in this flashback. The backgrounds are photorealistic and the art as a whole is very good.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a single full page spread that isn’t quite right with Silencer jumping and shooting huge bad guy. It looks awkward and her stance makes little sense. It’s a page that threw me off.
Another element that is strange is how Silencer kills a man and Batman is okay with it. This too threw me off since it goes against everything Batman believes. I suppose he’s injured and can’t do anything anyway, but nothing is made of it and Batman is casual about it.
Is it good?
A great issue that doesn’t waste any time developing the main character as well as backstory. A must read for Silencer fans.