20th Nov2015

‘Assassin’s Creed #2’ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Anthony Del Col, Conor McCreery | Art by Neil Edwards | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp


Issue 1 of this series hit the ground running, and I’ve been looking forward to seeing where the creative team go from there. Assassin’s Creed, as a concept, is of course a creative gold mine as there is very little you cannot do, or very few places you cannot go. All times and places are open to you, by virtue of the protagonists being able to inhabit the bodies of their ancestors in the past. Del Col and McCreery used this to good effect last issue.

Speaking of last issue, a quick recap to get you up to speed. Our hero Charlotte (anti-hero?) has been contacted by The Brotherhood after excelling on their Helix training, although she only thought it was a video game. After surviving an assault by the Templar’s, she is taken to the Brotherhood’s base where she is asked to help by going into the body of her ancestor to try and locate an item back in time. This she does, through a machine called the animus, though barely survives her initial foray into the past.

I’m pleased to say the creative team push on from this promising start and deliver a really satisfying, authentic feeling Assassin’s Creed. Charlotte’s ancestor Tom Stoddard, operating in Salem in the days of the Witch Trials is no one-dimensional cypher, he is a well developed character, who’s first person narration gives us an excellent insight into his calling. Giving him a novice sidekick is a little bit cliché perhaps, but somehow the writers make it work without it feeling clichéd. Both characters and era are captured well, and no apologies are made for the violence that Stoddard inflicts. He is a master assassin after all, though that conflicts with Charlotte’s twentieth century attitudes as she struggles to maintain her link with him through the animus.

This is one of those times when story and art complement each other perfectly. The story moves along nicely, well plotted and dialogued, and Neil Edwards art is excellent. He captures the feel of 1690’s Salem extremely well, both in environment and in the way people look, and delivers some excellent action sequences. His figure work is also strong, giving all the main characters a proper look to differentiate them from one another. His layouts made the story flow so fast I read the issue twice, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Two issues in, and this series is exceeding expectations for me. Admittedly we tend to have a low quality expectation from tie-in books, but the creative team here have taken the core concept and added a genuinely exciting and interesting new wrinkle to it. They have stayed away from the characters that already exist in the games and prose novels, and the eras and times already played with, and created their own little corner of this world ,and it works. Perfectly.

**** 4/5

Assassin’s Creed #2 is out now from Titan Comics


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