It’s been a while since I’ve done a review of a comic volume, hasn’t it? Well let’s start of the month April with a bang shall we? Ladies and Gentlemen today I will be reviewing Assassin’s Creed Volume 1 by Titan Comics. Lets kick it with a leap of faith.
In Assassin’s Creed Volume 1: Trial By Fire readers follow a newbie assassin named Charlotte De La Cruz as she aids Xavier & Galinda, members of the Brotherhood, by going back in time to prove Joseph’s innocence. (Joseph is a fellow member of the Brotherhood). Joseph has walked into a Templar HQ and is going to tell them where a piece of Eden is. Using the Animus, Charlotte travels back in time to 1692 Salem Village and enters the mind of her ancestor, Tom Stoddard.
Much like Charlotte, Tom is also on a mission: a mission to find and receive a Piece of Eden that has been causing strange ordeals in the town of Salem. When the source of the power is found to be coming from a little girl named Dorothy, Tom must adjust his mission. The only octal standing in Tom’s way to completing his mission is Justice William Stoughton who is also looking for the source of the Power.
Back in present day Xavier Chen and Galina Voronia have only two options for dealing with Joseph: Option 1, Use the Animus and discover if Joseph knows were Dorothy’s body is buried; Option 2, they kill an assassin turned traitor. In Assassin’s Creed Volume 1: Trial By Fire friendships will be broken, assassins will die, and readers will be left with questions after reading this volume. This extended plot synopsis was brought to you by Golden Oliver.
Assassin’s Creed Volume 1: Trial By Fire tells a good story that expands the Assassin’s Creed Universe and captures awesome elements of the video game, but like the video game franchise it also has flaws as well. Let’s discuss what makes this story worth reading.
The story is entertaining. Throughout this book I never got bored of the story. I always wanted to see how the story progressed and how it was to end. I really liked most of the characters in this book. One of the saving graces is it’s cast of characters. Charotte, Kody, Joseph, Tom, and Dorothy are all very interesting characters. They each have there own personality and are not just plot devices to advance the story forward. Another thing that it did well was leaving me with questions that will keep me looking towards the upcoming issue. Important questions like, “did the Templers kill Joseph” “What is the Brotherhood hiding from Charotte” and “what happens after Dorothy died?”
Surprisingly I’ve yet to mention who actually wrote Assassin’s Creed Volume 1: Anthony Del Col & Conor Mccreery. Now I’m not saying that these gentleman are bad writers, I’m just saying that they failed to fully explain key plot points of their story. This leads the reader to conjure up questions about that poorly explained plot points. Is Charotte controlling Tom in the Animus or is she just watching the memory unfold ? What was Dorothy? Did she have a gift or was she a god trapped in a child’s body? Joseph describes Charotte ability (being able to tell when someone is telling the truth) as a “ticking in your head.” Does that mean she can read people’s minds. Ultimately this method of writing is what holds this book back from becoming great.
The artwork in Assassin’s Creed Volume 1: Trial By Fire were done by Neil Edwards (Artist) & Ivan Nunes ( Colorist). Now let’s look at the best and the worst of the artwork for both artists.
Out of the 129 pages of this volume I think the one above is the best one out of the lot to show off Neil’s spectacular artwork. This page shows Dorothy taking her life to stop Justice’s bloodshed as Tom and James stare in shock. You can see the orange tint of light from the flames reflecting of Tom and James faces. As you may have notice Neil is good a applying detail to characters and certain backgrounds.
There’s a reason I said certain backgrounds in the last paragraph is because the top panel lacks detail in certain areas. The houses run together, the trees are inconsistent, and the birds barely look like birds. Even though there are areas of this panel that lack detail, this still is a good piece of artwork overall. It’s very ambitious and bold; it paints a complete picture. A colonial settlement slightly lit by the sunset with the sound of a churchbell ringing throughout the land. You can see birds migrating west which tells you that this story takes place in the northwest hemisphere. My point is Neil’s worst panel is still pretty decent. He is a very talented artist!
In all my years of reading comics I’ve never seen such colorful artwork like seen I’m Assassin’s Creed Vol. 1 as crafted by Ivan Nunes. The coloring is always so vibrant, lively, and astonishing to look at. One thing Ivan is great at creating is the lighting in panels. Look at the top panel on the image above. It depicts light shining through the tree branches onto Tom and Dorothy while they are walking through a wooded area. The light looks realistic, so much so that I actually thought it was a CGI image put in a comic (but nope it’s all natural).
I tried to find a panel that was colored poorly and I couldn’t find one. Ivan did a solid job at the Colorist.
Charlotte De La Cruz – Charlotte is the star of the comic and the present day assassin. Xavier and Galina recruited her because she possesses genetic memories of her ancestors that can help the Brotherhood find an ancient power. As she progresses into her ancestor’s memories she experiences the bleeding effect and learns a few tricks like Eagle Vision and hand to hand combat skills. Overall she has a very kind personality, she always does the right thing even if she has to risk her life to save the day. There is something “special” about her according to Joseph and that has me extremely curious.
Kody – This is the man with the plan, he’s the tech guy. The one who controls the Animus and sorts through Charlotte’s genetic memories. He makes sure she’s physically and mentally in good health before she uses the Animus. As far as his personality goes he’s is a lovable goofball, always ready with the comedic relief and helping to try cheering up people when they are down.
Galina Voronina – The only thing Galina does in this volume is help save Charlotte and argue with people. I think the reason she angry is because Joseph betrayed them and she might have been close to him like Xavier was.
Xavier Chen – like Galina, Xavier doesn’t contribute that much to the story. Galina and Xavier have to figure out if Joseph is going to tell the Templars secrets from the Brotherhood. He is the type of guy who gets the job done no matter the cost.
Joseph – This volume is based on whether or not Joseph will betray the Brotherhood and spoiler alert he does. Apparently while Joseph and Xavier were on a previous mission Joseph’s boyfriend, Christian was killed. Xavier knew Christian was in danger before he was killed and did not tell Joseph because Xavier was afraid it might distract Joseph from their mission. So needless to say Joseph was furious. He says some interesting about the Brotherhood!
Tom Stoddard – Tom Stoddard is regarded as one of the most ruthless Assassins in Brotherhood history. The reason Tom came to Salem was to get a powerful object before the Templars could. It’s true he is ruthless but he also cares about people like Jennifer, David, and Dorothy. So much so that he tries to save them. He manages to save David and raises the boy as if he was his own.
Jennifer Querry – Jennifer was sent to infiltrate the town of Salem by the Brotherhood. She did as she was told and became a nurse that treated the “sick”, but secretly she was scouting the city trying to locate the source of the power so Tom can make his move. Jennifer is very much like Charlotte in the sense that she always does and stands up for what is right.
Dorothy & David – Dorothy is the source of power that everyone is looking for. The writers don’t really explain Dorothy well, because she has powers of a god but burns like a witch. She knows Tom’s secrets and she can speak to Charlotte while in the Animus. She a sweet girl; she tries to protect David from harm at the cost of her own life. David is just present and doesn’t do much.
Where you can get this ?
Physically – You can get Assassin’s Creed Volume 1 at your local comic book store for 19.99, the price has more than likely decreased to 11.99 considering how old the product is. You can click this link and purchase volume 1 from Amazon.com for 10.10. That is the paperback version shipping and handling mot included in that figure.
Digitally – You can get Assassin’s Creed Volume 1 for 10.99 on Comixology.
Assassin’s Creed Volume 1 has a good story. From the cast of characters most of them are likable and interesting. The art is amazingly well done; Ivan and Neil make a good team. The story has some major plot points that are poorly explained. I would recommend this for hardcore AC fans who are thirsty for more of the franchise.