18th Sep2018

‘Assassin’s Creed Conspiracies #2′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Guillaume Dorison | Art by Patrick Pion | Published by Titan Comics

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At the beginning of last issues review I made the point that although many, like me, enjoy Assassin’s Creed and are happy to give anything that comes along a go, it can be incredibly confusing to readers just dipping their toes in the water. The games are relatively straightforward, but some of the novels and the various comic book series can be tricky to work out. As everything is fitted into a continuity of sorts, you need to know where to start, right? Titan have realised this, and at the back of this issue is a handy timeline, one that tells you where to start, and where we are up to. Nice touch.

This series, featuring all new characters and scenarios, was always going to have to overcome that initial ‘will this be any good?’ scepticism fans have of anything new. Well, good it was. We followed the story of Eddie Gorm during World War 2. Eddie was a London docks manager who, for various reasons, ends up taking up what he believes is spying work against the Germans, who he is told are developing an atomic bomb. Eddie is successful to the extent he gains the trust of the Germans, and works as a double agent. He doesn’t learn until later that his handlers are in fact Assassins, and his target is a Templar.

This only comes out when Eddie learns the bomb is a cover for a top secret project called Die Glocke, being run at a hydroelectric plant owned by the 1940′s version of Abstergo, and one of his handlers, Julia, is injured saving him dressed in her Assassin robes. Eddie wants in, and is duly trained and ordained as an Assassin, and in 1943 arrives in Norway to destroy the Die Glocke programme. Eddies confronts Kramer, the Templar, who puts him in a primitive Animus forerunner, and Eddie is slightly surprised when he comes to over 70 years later in the body of another man, in a modern Animus machine in Madrid. Yikes.

Seems the merging of two people connected through the Animus is called the Bleeding Effect, and is very dangerous. Maxime is the grandson of Eddie, and is being used to try and locate a Piece of Eden. Back we go to 1943 where Kramer is under attack by British forces, and Eddie and Nikola Tesla, who is a prisoner of Kramer and forced to work for him, are being put into the cells. Good timing then that Julia arrives to rescue them. Tesla reveals he has been a friend to the Brotherhood for many years, and has been deliberately slowing down the Die Glocke development. Die Glocke, we now know, is the original Animus, and Kramer has a very powerful Apple of Eden. Useful information, so Tesla probably doesn’t appreciate Julia knocking him out.

Cut to the modern day, and the two people using Maxime as their guinea pig seem to be looking for their daughter, and also seem to be in the Templar’s bad books. Back to 1943, and Eddie and Julia are part of an attack on a Polish castle where Kramer is. Kramer is killed, and the Apple retrieved, though Eddie is still uneasy about events, and with good reason. Tesla reveals that Boris Pash is actually working in alliance with the Templars, and the Brotherhood are also developing their own atomic bomb. Both Julia and Eddie feel betrayed, and in the confrontation Julia dies and Eddie is badly injured. Pash gets the Apple.

A lot happens in the last few pages so I won’t give the game completely away, but there are a lot of deaths, both back in 1943 and in the present. On both sides. Writer Guillaume Dorison delivers some devastating writing, and expertly weaves together real life events and people into an absorbing narrative. It’s a bit like The Bourne Conspiracy at times, and I love the revelation that Eddie was never really the hero here, he was the victim. Although the artist was different this time around, and not quite as polished as last issue, Patrick Pion still delivered some strong work, especially with such a dense script. Many panels were required, but it never felt too much.

Another great read, and at 52 pages it never outstayed its welcome. A solid story was told, and some threads were left open to progress future stories. For people not totally familiar with Assassin’s Creed I would definitely recommend this as a great gateway in to the world of the Assassins and the Templars.

They’ll never leave of course.

****½  4.5/5

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