Written by Alex Paknadel, Dan Watters | Art by Jose Holder | Published by Titan Comics
The first issue of this new series last month gave me very mixed feelings if truth be told. I like Assassin’s Creed as a brand, as a concept, and I like the fact it allows you to branch out in all different places and times. The comic book series so far have really embraced this, jumping into various historical periods and allowing us to enjoy those adventures. Two good books were discontinued to make way for Assassin’s Creed: Uprising, Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed: Templars, and the new title’s approach left me a little cold. Instead of the Animus and the philosophical differences of the Assassins and Templars, we got mainly an action book, all shoot outs and explosions. Entertaining in its own way, but I’m going to need more to fully buy in to this new title.
Essentially the first issue saw the previously separate storylines of trainee Assassin Charlotte de la Cruz and her group of Assassins, and Master Templar Juhani Otso Berg and his Templar organisation, merge. Charlotte has been revealed to be an Assassin with particular powerful natural abilities, and Otso has taken up the mantle of the Templar enforcer The Black Cross. Why have their stories merged? It seems a group has appeared on the scene showing characteristics of both Templars and Assassins, and may be made up of renegades on both sides using Assassin skills with Abstergo (Templar) weapons and armour. Neither side is happy about that and both are investigating, currently without the others knowledge.
The new Black Cross has made waves in the Templar organisation, most notably as the Grand Masters Council appoint every Black Cross and they have no idea who this person is. Summoned to a meeting, Black Cross informs them they have been compromised, and he is going to root out the traitor. As Berg is a Grand Master and has to be present, he has someone else play the role of Black Cross (a good one though, the original’s last living descendent) so as to deflect any suspicion. That being established, he starts his hunt for the traitor(s) by heading off to Berlin.
Charlotte, meanwhile, is having a crisis of conscience. She is worried that being an Assassin is consuming her. She cannot even sit in a pub without thinking of ways to kill everyone in it if she has to. She also worries that, having experienced her ancestors in the Animus, could she just be a character in the Animus herself? She keeps looking for Matrix-like glitches in reality to confirm this. I think it’s safe to say she has hit a low point in her Assassins career.
On to Berlin, and both groups are after the same man, an Abstergo engineer called Heinrich Hart. The Assassins reach him first, where the grovelling man promises he knew nothing about the Hong Kong ambush and promises better intel next time. They leave him alive, and not too long after Black Cross arrives, getting into a pitched battle with Hart, who it seems wasn’t the cowardly no-nothing he tried to pretend he was. He admits that there is a group, neither Assassins nor Templar, following ‘her’, and they will dictate the future, not Assassins or Templar. As Black Cross gets blown out of a window at this point, we’ll need to wait a month to find out more. Darn.
Not bad at all, a better issue than the first, especially with some nice character insight with Charlotte. I do think the dialogue needs improving though, a little too generic for me. Jose Holder’s art was better than the first issue, but still too busy, too much going on with most pages and distracting from the characters and story.
Assassin’s Creed as an out and out action film? Not for everyone, and I still have my own doubts, but enough there to make me come back next time. And that’s what it’s all about after all.
Assassin’s Creed: Uprising #2 is released today by Titan Comics.