Silent War was a 2007 Marvel Comics limited series, about the war of The Inhumans against the United States.
Previously, with the Inhumans: At the end of the House of M crossover Quicksilver lost his powers, along with most of the mutants. In Son Of M he was rescued by Crystal of The Inhumans, his former wife, and taken to Attilan, where he stole the terrigen crystals, the source of the inhuman's powers, in a bid to restore his own. It didn't work well: he didn't recover his super-speed, but got instead the power to go forward in time and return. His daughter Luna, who didn't have powers, got the power to "see" the evil or emotions of others. The ex-mutants exposed to the mists mutated horribly. And before the Inhumans could recover the terrigen crystals, the US army secured them. Black Bolt then declared war to the US.
The story begins with Gorgon leading a small team to a theater play, trying to reveal to the public what was going on. The "Do Not Adjust Your Set" number soon turns into a terrorist attack when one of them, Jolen, kills a number of people; Gorgon and the others are defeated by the Fantastic Four and captured. A scientist tests the terrigen mists on Gorgon, exposing him to it a second time, making him look more bestial. He momentarily breaks free, exposing the scientists to the mists in the process. Meanwhile, things aren't going great in Attilan. Black Bolt and Medusa's marriage is getting increasingly strained, and the Inhumans are seeking revenge for their captives.
The Inhumans try to retrieve the Crystals, but Reed Richards had prepared a defense that takes them somewhere else, where the Sentry is waiting. He refuses to fight Black Bolt, explaining the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction, but tells him while the US might release Gorgon eventually, they'll never give up the crystals.
With the crystals at the Pentagon a no-go, they visit Quicksilver, only to find that the crystals he took have become embedded in his body. He warns them that in a jump forward he saw an explosion in the moon, at the location of Attilan. Appalled at what he's done, Medusa tells Pietro if they see him again, they'll kill him, and Crystal informs him they are officially annulled. Back in Attilan, Maximus gets a visitor in his cell - Medusa.
The queen of the Inhumans is baffled by her own acquiescence to Maximus, who should be powerless, as she thinks about the fate of Ahura, locked away by the genetics council of Attilan for apparently being too much like his uncle. Medusa and Maximus kiss... and Black Bolt sees. Back down on Earth, Professor Cartwright is approached by Maria Hill, who tells him the president wants to try the mists out on marines. Cartwright informs her there's a snag to using them on humans - exposure is certain death. He only has a day or two at most. A squad of marines, all with no families or loved ones to miss them, are recruited and exposed.
At Attilan, Black Bolt returns with a plan of action: The Inhumans attack. just the Inhumans teleport again, not to the Pentagon itself but near it, and proceed from there. Sentry holds back from fighting, as the Inhumans manage to free their captives and recover the crystals from Professor Cartwright, though not out of any mercy on his part. Meanwhile, under Attilan, Medusa brings Luna to Maximus' cell. Despite Luna's misgivings, she's forced to use her powers on Maximus, letting lose what was caged in his mind...
With the president's trust in the Avengers shaken, the empowered marines are sent to the moon, to attack Attilan, while elsewhere, Maximus is freed (actually, he'd managed to get his guards to let him out hours before). Restoring Ahura, Luna notes that he has the same thing in his head as Medusa. It's a mind-virus Maximus put there years ago, all his little fun. Then Maximus heads out to watch the fireworks. When the first marine dies, all the others surrender, but Luna sees one of them is different from the others. Maximus realises what's going on - she's been turned into a suicide bomb. Once the marines are inside Attilan's dome, she goes off.
With the Inhumans shocked and beaten, Maximus quickly seizes control, in all senses of the word. With Medusa by his side, he vows to his people that they will rebuild, and then... Earth is theirs. Elsewhere, Luna finds her uncle and apologises for causing everything.
Silent War contains examples of:
- Aura Vision: One of Luna's powers. Apparently, looking at Layla Miller makes her feel sick.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Maximus gets control of what's left of Attilan, and Medusa. Depend on how you view their actions, the American government might count as this.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Dr. Cartwright, who studies the crystals, determines one of the things they do is give the subject what they most wish for, if only in a limited sense. In his case, it was to be like Captain America (i.e. with a body bodybuilders would kill for). He certainly got it. For a few days.
- Blatant Lies: After Black Bolt and Sentry's talk in issue 2, Maria Hill comes along and sees the giant crevice Bob made as an example. She asks what caused it, and Bob replies "global warming".
- Body Horror: Quicksilver with all the crystal shards embedded in his chest. Also, the scientist who exposes himself to terrigenesis crystals.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Luna confesses Black Bolt that she had freed Maximus, and that she's a bit responsible for the destruction of Attilan. She asks Black Bolt what can she do, there is a view of Black Bolt's mouth... the end. Did he kill her, or not? Later series would show he didn't.
- The Bus Came Back: Ahura returns after having dropped off the face of the Ear-... er, moon. Turns out he got locked up, subject to Mind Rape and rendered an Unperson for being too much like uncle Maximus for comfort.
- Canon Discontinuity:
- The ending where Attilan gets blown up? By the Inhuman's next appearance, in their Secret Invasion mini-series, it's been completely rebuilt just fine, thanks for asking.
- Much, much later, terrigenesis, which is being initiated on a global scale by a rampant cloud of the mists, being toxic to all non-Inhumans is completely contradicted by Medusa who says its never been harmful to them.
- Continuity Nod: At Layla's introduction in issue 3, she mentions an attempt to kill Pietro, which happened in X-Factor issue 9.
- Creepy Child: Ahura. It's not his fault, he's just got a power far too much like uncle Max for his own good. Plus, being locked up in a cell and never allowed to see anyone. That, and Maximus framing him in the first place.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: A P.O.W. of America being told he has no rights, and that therefore his captors can do whatever they like to him? Doesn't ring a bell, nosiree...
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Gorgon begins the war with one of those. It doesn't end well.
- Engineered Public Confession: The president of the US will say that the terrigen mist are a massive destruction weapon. That it will be used to create monsters that will commit terrorist attacks against the US. That Black Bolt is a religious fundamentalist, who will not stop until he destroys the American way of life. Blatant Lies? Let's hear the recorded tape again, shall we, Lord Gorgon? "When Black Bolt comes for you, you will have no salvation. When he speaks, those walls will crumble, and your great civilization, your precious America, will fall".
- Everyone Has Standards:
- Lord Carthus is a warhawk, demanding fire and vengeance on America for taking the terrigen crystals, and then demanding select Inhumans be made to go through secondary terrigenesis even after seeing what it does to Gorgon. He's still horrified at the thought of letting Maximus out... until Maximus changes his mind for him.
- Maria Hill doesn't like the Inhumans, but she still makes it clear she's not gung-ho about setting off the suicide bomber in their midst. She's also horrified when all the marine volunteers step forward.
- Exact Words: Gorgon commands Jolen to silence some of the people his squad's holding hostage. Jolen takes this as an excuse to kill them.
- Fantastic Racism: Jolen hates humans, which is what turns a previously cold war hot.
- I Choose to Stay: As the destruction of Attilan is unavoidable, Quicksilver wants to keep Luna with him. If not him, then the Fantastic Four, Atlantis, Wakanda, anywhere except the doomed Attilan. She doesn't accept that: she's an inhuman, and must stay with her people.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Professor Cartwright starts suffering from one.
- Karma Houdini:
- Jolen, the Inhuman who actually kills all those people at the beginning? Vanishes from the narrative without a trace, and it's never said whether he's actually punished for, y'know, causing the whole problem.
- The US government steals a significant culture item, experiments on prisoners using it, and then tries to commit flat-out genocide by blowing them all up. No-one involved ever gets any sort of punishment.
- Manipulative Bastard: Maximus, even while imprisoned and supposedly incapable of using his powers, manages to get inside everybody's head.
- Me's a Crowd: Multiple Man appears in issue 3. Medusa threatens some of his aggressive dupes with Black Bolt causing every electron in his body to collide with every other electron in his body, and see what happens.Aggressive Dupe: She's bluffing. Imagine a bazillion dupes being creating instantaneously in a room this size.Aggressive Dupe 2: Wow. Yeah. That'd be, like... amazing... Let's take him!Madrox: Guys, seriously. Not a good idea.
- Neck Lift: When the Inhumans visit Quicksilver, Layla shows up with Jamie Madrox, tells them that nobody attacks them in their territory, and tell Jamie, a relatively normal guy (mutant powers aside) to attack Black Bolt. His poor throat does not need friends like Layla...
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Luna, since she was exposed to the terrigen mists has a big variety of powers.
- Somnus the Inhuman tries to use his power to knock out the Sentry. Bob deflects it with a wave of his hand.
- Maximus's powers work on everyone but Black Bolt and Luna.
- Not So Stoic: As Medusa rages at Black Bolt about what's become of Ahura, she asks if he even cares. His back is turned to her, but he's shown covering his face with shame.
- Oh, Crap!: Madrox, the Multiple Man, is taken by Layla to protect Quicksilver. He opens the door, and finds Quicksilver with the Inhumans. Yes, he's a bit outnumbered, duplicates included.
- Ominous Message from the Future: Sort of. Quicksilver visited the future and knows of the inevitable destruction of Attilan. This future can not be changed... and it isn't.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- In issue 1, Crystal notes she's never seen Black Bolt be indecisive before. Karnak notes he's never seen Medusa misinterpret one of her husband's commands before, and that worries him more.
- Later on, in issue 3, Crystal and Medusa both note Black Bolt's increasing aggressiveness.
- Prophecy Twist: Layla convinces Quicksilver to jump forward from a few days before the story, where he sees himself and Crystal talking. It's actually Crystal telling him he's dumped. Layla really hates Pietro.
- Shooting Superman: Jamie Madrox brings a baseball bat to meet with Quicksilver, and actually tries using it against Medusa. He gets his ass thrown into a wall for his troubles.
- Shout-Out: The story begins with Gorgon's team interrupting a theatre performance of The Tempest. Maximus quotes a verse from it in issue 3.
- Skyward Scream: Black Bolt catches a brainwashed Medusa kissing Maximus, who smirks at him. He... doesn't take it well, and rushes out onto the moon's surface to scream.
- Slasher Smile: Quicksilver, when Medusa asks for the terrigen crystals.
- Super Soldier: The US doesn't trust the regular superheroes to wage the war against the inhumans, as they are their friends, and instead uses the terrigen mist on marines to create superpowered soldiers.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: Luna, who isn't even in her teens, wants to take part in the fight against the empowered marines.
- Underestimating Badassery: Maximus, who normally despises humans, accuses Black Bolt of having done this when he declared war.Maximus: Two words, Blackagar: Hiroshima. Nagasaki. In war, humans are vicious, brutal, and without mercy.
- Unperson: Black Bolt and Medusa's son, Ahura, explaining the reason for why he hasn't been seen for years. Black Bolt actually gets angry with Medusa for saying his name.
- The War Has Just Begun: Reed Richards points this out when the military takes Gorgon prisoner. The Thing thought that things were over by then.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The scientist points out to Gorgon that Human Rights are, well, for humans
- What the Hell, Hero?: The reaction of the Fantastic Four to Gorgon after his terrorist attack.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Maximus didn't cause the situation with the U.S., but he did infect Medusa and Ahura with malicious thoughts years ago and waited to see what happened.
- You No Take Candle: Triton speaks like this
- Your Cheating Heart: Medusa visits Maximus down in his cell, and kisses him passionately. All completely against her will, with her wondering in her mind what's going on.
- Who's got the voice now, brother? Who's got the voice?!