Graphic Novel Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Trilogy from Titan Books

Assassin's Creed - Desmond Cover Image

On Friday, The Flickcast announced a Twitter giveaway for a complete set of the Assassin’s Creed graphic novel trilogy. You still have time to enter before Friday the 21st. But we wanted to make sure to give a review on this trilogy before we gave them away of course.

Released as a trilogy, the three Assassin’s Creed graphic novels have come out simultaneously from Titan Books, most recently having worked on comics properties such as the Tank Girl collections as well as the WWE Heroes series. Partnered with Ubisoft, the team at Titan put together a three part story focusing on three characters in the Assassin’s Creed lore: Desmond, Aquilus and Accipiter.

Over the course of the trilogy, there are two distinct storylines happening. The first focuses on Desmond’s early time entering into the assassin’s. Pieces of what happened behind the scenes at Abstergo including many interactions with Lucy and the heads of the Templars that players of the game may not have been aware of are explored. Also in the modern day, Subject 16, the previous experiment in the Animus at Abstergo is explored more. Players will recognize him from the role he played inside the Animus during Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Finally, a new assassin is introduced, named Jonathan Hawk who is one of the ancestors of Accipiter.

Meanwhile, there is a separate story that Desmond is experiencing while in the Animus. Between his time exploring the life of Altair in the original Assassin’s Creed and the trilogy of Ezio titles, Desmond jumped back in to the memories of his ancestor Aquilus. He finds Aquilus as the victim of a sinister plot and crosses paths with Aquilus’s cousin Accipiter, who as mentioned earlier is an ancestor of current assassin, Jonathan Hawk.

Interestingly enough, while the ancestral story is wrapped up rather quickly, but the Desmond/modern day story is left with a cliffhanger ending. This could mean we can expect more from the Assassin’s Creed graphic novels in the future that could follow other members of the assassin guild rather than just Desmond and his own backstory.

The artwork in the Assassin’s Creed trilogy doesn’t quite live up to expectations. Especially after the awesome pieces seen in the recent released The Art of Assassin’s Creed III book from Titan, the pages in this Assassin’s Creed graphic novel trilogy have a very indy feel to them. I was unable to find any other significant work from Djillali Defali which makes it surprising that Ubisoft would let one of their principal franchises be left in the hands of an unknown. While there is nothing wrong with his art style, it just doesn’t do anything to really stand out and grab the reader in the way that the game worlds have. There are no epic landscapes or breathtaking story moments like the games have lead readers to expect.

The Assassin’s Creed graphic novel trilogy is something that will definitely have a larger appeal for fans of the game series. Without frame of reference from the games, the stories don’t hold much gravity. There isn’t a lot of explanation behind Desmond’s experiences through Altair which is the majority of his character being built in the first game. Even knowing the full Assassin’s Creed game mythos, the stories of past assassins Aquilus and Accipiter are fairly inconsequential, or at least that is the perception since they are never once referenced in any of the games. It is the story of Desmond, the ongoing connection for the entire series, shown in this trilogy that is the real hook for any reader. Finding out how things happened off screen to get Desmond where he was at the start of Altair’s campaign is what will drive Assassin’s Creed fans to check out this trilogy.

The Assassin’s Creed graphic novel trilogy is available now from Titan Books. Each of the three hardcover graphic novels is priced at $9.99.

 

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