Assassin’s Creed The Fall Review (Comics)

Title: Assassin’s Creed: The Fall
Writer: Cameron Stewart and Karl Kerschl
Art: Cameron Stewart and Karl Kerschl
Colors: Nadine Thomas
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: 11/10/2010
MSRP: $3.99

Assassin’s Creed has a fanatic universe to expand beyond the games. In the games we have only seen a handful of Assassins but there have been many throughout history. Comic books are a great medium to show and expand that long history. Assassin’s Creed: The Fall expands the Assassin’s Creed universe and introduces some new characters.

Nikolai is an Assassin living in Russia in 1888. Nikolai isn’t sure if he is cut out for a life serving the Order of Assassins. We get hints to a recent failure of his involving him and another person, but we don’t get any details as to what happened. Nikolai’s new mission is to assassinate the new Tsar of Russia. The new Tsar is not moving in the direction the Order of Assassin’s hoped when they killed the last one. Nikolai has to board the new Tsar’s train and kill him before he becomes more of a problem.

The other person we meet is named Daniel. He is a messed up young adult who you can tell has gone through a lot in his life. He has anger issues, drinks too much, and has to go to court appointed therapy. Daniel has been having random visions of Nikolai’s life. He says it’s like he is remembering how things used to be. His doctor prescribes him medicine but he refuses to take it. Daniel decides a night out clubbing is the right medicine for him. The comic follows both of these character’s stories and how they might intertwine.

One of Assassin’s Creed’s best hooks is its mystery. The Fall taps into the same sense of mystery the games do. What happened to the other person? How is Daniel seeing Nikolai’s life without an Animus? The book gives you clues but enough to put the whole picture together.

The book also goes into the disturbing nature of an Assassin’s job. You don’t really think much about it while playing the games, but it takes a lot of faith and trust for Assassins to blindly follow their orders. The Order of Assassins just killed Russia’s last Tsar and now they want to kill the new one. Nikolai is attacking his own country for what he believes is the greater good. The Fall makes you second guess if he should really be doing this. It is great to see such a fundamental question asked outside of the video games. It shows that Ubisoft is making the comic important and not just making another thing to sell.

The art in The Fall is great. The action is clear and intense. The colors make the past and the (almost) present feel different on the page, though I can’t put my finger on why. The panel layouts are interesting and add to the story. Little flashes of Daniel in between panels of Nikolai’s mission and Nikolai being drawn with the lighting that Daniel is in help show you how the two seem connected. The art helps tell the story and that is extremely important in comic books.

Assassin’s Creed: The Fall is a great book. It sets up what should be a very interesting story while having a lot of action and intrigue on its own. I wasn’t sure if I was going to pick up this book. Both video game fans and comic book fans know that licensed material can be half assed and awful. Ubisoft has proven to me that they want to make The Fall something that both fans will love. It looks like I will have to add another book to my pull list for issues 2 and 3.

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