Written by Anthony Del Col, Conor McCreery | Art by Neil Edwards | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp
Last issue was a little disappointing, as the great pace and progression of the first two issues gave way to an issue of essentially treading water, where very little actually happened. We still followed Charlotte in the present day, still on the run, and her ancestor Quila back in sixteenth century Peru, but the excitement came from what was on the horizon rather than what was happening in front of us right then and there. The theme of last issue seemed to be what happens when team work fails, as Quila and Pardo found in the past, and Charlotte and the Assassins cell find in the present.
The teamwork theme carries through to this issue, but with a more positive spin showing us what happens when teamwork works, when people put distrust and disagreement aside and focus on helping each other. Most notably, when Quila trusts Pardo, her Spanish ex-conquistador acquaintance, and he manages to free them from the band of Spaniards who had captured them both. In fact the majority of this issue focuses entirely on Quila, as we see her attempt to warn the Emperor his life is in danger struggle as no-one believes her. She reluctantly seeks out her former husband, who she left because marriage proved too constraining on such a free spirit as herself. He agrees to help.
Although I understand what the writers are trying to do here with Quila, impress upon us that she has to struggle for everything in the society she lives in, it does also end up portraying her as something of a victim. Although a strong woman, she is shown as always needing male help, first by Pardo, then by her former husband. She is also too frequently the victim, of both assault and male attitudes in general, and at the end of two men in particular. Despite the briefest of glimpses into her background here, the writers need to take care she does not just become a plot device and little more.
Charlotte, on the other hand, is at the other end of the spectrum. Strong and sassy, though still inexperienced, she makes her own way regardless of what people say or think, as she shows when she stares down Galina over what to do next. Charlotte’s situation in the present is little better than Quila’s in the past, as she (and Kody and Galina of course) has both mobsters and Templars on her tail in Mexico City. After some soul searching and a little vigilante justice she finds herself caught in something of a dilemma herself; Galina, with Kody’s sliced off ear, tells her they have to meet some people in 20 minutes or Kody gets it.
This was a reasonable issue, though dominated too much by Quila’s story which I find less interesting as the secondary story in this arc. My main interest is Charlotte and her team, and they got little more than an extended cameo in their own book, which was a shame. The best thing about Quila’s somewhat repetitive story is the artwork by Neil Edwards, who clearly enjoys drawing period Peru locales, people and buildings. As always a very professional job by him, plenty of large splash panels, great pacing, nice use of angles, all the things we pretty much expect. He does love a close up facial shot as well, to really convey the emotion in a scene. Nice stuff.
Although I didn’t dislike this issue, I found the focus on Quila not particularly to my liking, as it just reminded me how slight her story is. The meat on the bones is Charlotte’s story, and we got very little of that this time round.
Let’s hope that roles reverse for next issue.
Assassin’s Creed #8 is out now from Titan Comics