Review: Assassin’s Creed – The Ankh of Isis Trilogy / Author: Eric Corybran / Artist: Djillali Defali / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now
Collecting together the first three volumes of the Assassin’s Creed comics, The Ankh of Isis Trilogy delves into new, unseen areas both in Desmond’s family history and in terms of his development. An interesting concept with a good deal of potential behind it, it’s disappointing then that the collection feels extremely superfluous and unnecessary.
The story here supposedly revolves around the titular artefact which is linked back to the mysterious First Civilisation, but vast chunks of the story go completely unrelated to this. Instead huge amounts of time are spent in simply recapping the events from previous games. The entire first third does this, skimming over the events of the first game and trying to justify this by giving more context to the lives of Subject 16 and Lucy. However, we learn little new about either character, and all this does is draw attention away from the ancient assassins to the modern day setting in a way already criticised as ultimately unnecessary by critics and players of the games.
Brief sections are devoted to Aquilus, an assassin within Rome, but they're so broken up and skimmed over that they fail to feel meaningful. Aquilus’ life and his efforts to destroy Rome’s corrupted leadership is the vastly more interesting story, but seems so squandered that its inclusion is more frustrating than enjoyable.
The sense of the comic just spinning its wheels isn’t helped by moments where panels feel as if they have been stretched out. Many take up much more page space than necessary, padding out the volume without providing more content. While not as bad as some examples in recent years (Marvel authors, you know who you are), it’s hard to shake the feeling the book could have comfortably lost a fifth of its pages. The dialogue is just as unremarkable as the art. Few characters truly stand out, and some even speak out of character, as when Desmond is angered about the lack of honour behind one killing. Not what you’d expect from an assassin who goes around stabbing people from the shadows.
Our advice – just skip it and buy the vastly better games instead. This one really isn’t worth your time.