Written by Anthony Del Col, Conor McCreery | Art by Neil Edwards | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp
After last issue’s hectic pace I was curious to see if we were going to draw some breathe with this one, or that pace was just indicative of how this arc will play out. Assassins Creed as a game of course requires you to jump from one set piece scenario to another, so it would be quite fitting. Last issue saw us essentially following two stories, that of Charlotte and her Assassins cell on the run in the modern day, and her sixteenth century ancestor Quila trying to prevent the assassination of the Incan Emperor (via the animus machine of course, which allows Charlotte to access and inhabit the memories of her ancestors). High stakes at play all round, and handled very well indeed by the creative team.
The issue starts by picking up the story of Quila, who after narrowly avoiding death finds herself partnered with a Spaniard, Don Gonzalo Pardo, even though she hates Spaniards. Is he genuinely helping, or is she being used? Back in the present, Galina and Charlotte are having some differences of opinion on how to best push on before it’s decided to kidnap and interrogate a Templar official, not knowing they also have the Mexico City underworld on their tail. The kidnapping is a disaster, reminding us yet again that for all her bravado, Charlotte is still something of a novice in this world of Assassins and Templars, and the Templar escapes.
Quila’s story picks up again, as her and Pardo continue their quest to reach the Emperor. Unfortunately, they are intercepted by a band of conquistadors en route, who clearly have some sort of axe to grind with Pardo as well as realising Quila may be of importance. And that’s it. This issue was very light in content, which proved very disappointing after a nice run of issues. We had some nice dialogue, and some exposition here and there, but it did feel by the end several pages of story had been expanded out to fill up an entire issue. Ground work was laid that will no doubt bear fruit later in the story arc, but as a single issue this was disappointing.
Objectively, this is the sort of issue that ongoing fans will read in a few minutes and file it away, happy enough with what there was but wishing it had a little more substance. The rub comes through with new readers. If I as a new reader picked this issue up, it would not only disappoint me as an individual issue, but also would not make me want to pick up previous issues or even continue with the next one. This contrasts with last issue, which did make me want to pick up the next one to see where the story was headed. I enjoyed what we did get, a little character interplay for example, there was just too little of it.
Neil Edwards, however, was as good as ever with the art as gorgeous as usual to look at, nicely laid out and perfectly paced. Art never lies, and the fact Edwards used a few more larger splash panels than normal also points to a script lacking enough detail to warrant smaller, more numerous panels. I would make a guess he enjoys being able in the same issue to switch between drawing contemporary Mexico City, and sixteenth century Peru. Both look great.
Let’s give Del Col/ McCreery the benefit of the doubt and say this was a one-off treading water type of issue, saving the real fireworks for issues to come.
A very slight issue in a so far engaging story line.
Assassin’s Creed #7 is out now from Titan Comics