Written by Anthony Del Col, Conor McCreery | Art by Neil Edwards | Published by Titan Comics
The Assassin’s Creed seemingly ever expanding stable of books is of such strong quality that I wait to see every month if they can maintain that quality, or if one of the titles start to dip noticeably. So far none have, and that is because they have all managed to forge their own identities. Assassin’s Creed: Templars for example has a more mature readers feel to it, Assassin’s Creed: Locus emphasises the ancestors more. This book, the central Assassin’s Creed title is the more traditional AC book, in the sense that it focuses mainly on the central Assassins/Templar conflict in the present, and the ancestors stories are always secondary. In that sense, it is the glue that binds together all the other books.
Last issue had seen Charlotte jumping into the timeline of ancestor Hiram Stoddard, in the Sixteenth century. A notable jump as Hiram is being trained by famed Assassin Ezio. Ezio dispatches Hiram and friend (and later enemy, the time frame jumps around a bit) Giovanni to help Michelangelo defeat a Templar plot, which is where we pick up this issue. As Hiram fights the Templars something starts to go wrong as Charlotte, plugged into the Animus in the present, starts to feel extremely unwell, something that seems to also affect her ancestor bizarrely. Hiram narrowly defeats his foes as Kody pulls Charlotte out the Animus, worried about her vital signs.
Needs must, however, and Charlotte is pushed back in, this time jumping ahead to the end of 1515, where Hiram and Giovanni are having something of a heated exchange about the failed mission. Things flare up into an outright fight, and again Charlotte sees her memories start to fade in and out as it goes on, feeling physical pain. Turns out Charlotte has been sent back into a false memory, a very unstable thing to jump into, and it was hoped she could break through to the truth. The false memories escalate, causing Charlotte’s brain and heart to be put under serious pressure, right up to the point of death.
At the last possible moment, the truth wills out. Consus was inhabiting Giovanni’s body, and had altered people’s memories and recollections. Consus was the creator of the Pieces of Eden, and something of a heavy hitter in Assassins Creed world history. Hiram, startled, unfortunately sees Elena, the love of his life, slip and fall off the roof, blaming himself for the death. Back in the present, the Templars have discovered the base, and panic sets in as everything must be destroyed. As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, we cut to Somalia, where Charlotte’s colleague Galina has been trapped by renegade Assassin Joseph. However, when news reaches them of the breach of the base, Joseph offers to fly them there, in return for being allowed to speak with Charlotte. She is ‘special’, as we are becoming more and more aware.
Breathless stuff. This issue was packed with plenty of action, plots, and sub plots galore, and Del Col and McCreery do a stellar job of juggling all those balls in the air and making it seem easy. Threats abound in three different places, skillfully woven into the ongoing narrative following Charlotte’s progression from novice to master. Hugely enjoyable writing.
Neil Edwards seems to be having a ball on this book, as every issue he gets to draw a wide variety of characters, locations, times, costumes, buildings and interiors. There was so much to fit in this issue, we got quite a few pages filled with panels, sometimes as many as 12 a page. This can be a bad idea, as it can make a story hard work to follow, but here it is seamless. It reminds me of the ‘quick cut’ technique in filmmaking, to increase the tension and excitement. It works well here.
Top notch work by a great creative team.
Assassin’s Creed #13 is out now from Titan Comics