[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Viktor Bogdanovich
When you’re in the pressurized cabin of an airplane that’s 30,000 feet in the air, it’s a bad time to find out that a pair of freelance body-mod assassins named Cradle and Grave are on board. Cradle is the creepy one who made friends with Honor’s son back in issue #6. So, not only are they creepy they’ve been tracking Silencer and her family without her knowing it. A plane is a dangerous place to have a gunfight and the perfect place for a disaster.
Silencer has a really cool set of weaponry and we get to see her use it in this story. When she verifies what her son has told her about Cradle on the plane, she sees them for herself and goes into action. She slips into the bathroom and uses her nanode to weave her outfit. She then goes into the baggage compartment weaves a knife with the nanode and uses the zone of silence to quietly remove them from the cabin without anyone seeing her. Unfortunately, Cradle and Grave are not that smart and when Cradle gets angry enough to use a big gun it blows a hole in the side of the plane. After Cradle and Grave get sucked out, Silencer again uses the nanode to break down the luggage into raw materials and then weaves it into a patch to seal the hole. It’s an extremely impressive display of ingenuity.
Cradle and Grave are hilarious. It starts with their tacky tourist outfits when they are sitting in the back of the plane watching Honor and her family. The way Cradle sips on the Icee during a zoom-in panel is deliciously creepy while he is wearing a backward baseball cap and a lei of flowers around his neck. Later, when Silencer is fighting them in the baggage area beneath the main cabin, in the second and third panels of page 14, Cradle jumps to attack Silencer and the silhouette of this child monstrosity with a close up when he bites down on the flesh of Silencer is just nasty.
A separate moment, that also alludes to the humor of Cradle and Grave is when Silencer thinks that she has eliminated the only two problems on her way to her make sure Talia Al Ghul. Page 20 reveals the arrival of Mr. Quietus and his belief that he is the clear winner of the Leviathan when the body of Grave smashes into the ground at his feet.
It’s disappointing that Honor’s family are so completely distracted during the flight. The part about her son is understandable given his age. But, her husband is so distracted by the brochure for Action Land that I am disappointed that he is so completely unaware and that the story misses a chance to build tension by allowing him to be more inquisitive.
I was surprised and pleased that Silencer was extended beyond its original six-issue miniseries. There are a lot of great threads that weave the Silencer’s story and it is a pleasure to see that the writers will now receive the time and issues they need to follow these threads. Silencer has a lot of potential as a character and a player on the big stage. I want to see how long she can keep up a ruse that she thinks will be over soon, and we know better.