This is first volume of the French comic/graphic novel series of Assassin’s Creed books. This volume starts off with Subject 16 and an ancestor named Aquilus, but it’s very much about Desmond and Altair. It tells how Desmond was kidnapped and came to be at Abstergo, and shows some key missions of Altair’s.
For the most part, this volume follows the events of the first game pretty well. Anyone who has played the first Assassin’s Creed will be able to easily follow along, although the book does a good enough job of standing on its own so that playing the game isn’t necessary to follow and enjoy the read. Near the end though, those of us who have played the game will definitely see where liberties are being taken and things that didn’t happen in the game start being presented.
The end seemingly sets up the next volume by saying Desmond, in the Animus, was in Venice in 1459 reliving the memories of Ezio, but it does so in a way that anyone who has played Assassin’s Creed II will be going “no, that’s not how it happened.” However, I’ll save my thoughts on that for tomorrow with a review of Volume 2.
Of the three volumes, this first one is much more in line with the first game. But because of the path the other two volumes go in, I don’t think it’s fair to judge these comics on the storyline of the game because they abandon the game near the end of this volume and have come up with their own original storyline based in the Assassin’s Creed universe using characters that we know (Desmond, Lucy, and the rest of the gang).
The story of the first one isn’t that good mostly because it is an extremely condensed story from the first game. However, it is worth reading for any Assassin’s Creed fan because it dives some into Subject 16’s background, shows how Desmond was captured by the Templars, and introduces us to the ancestor character of Aquilus.
The writing itself is good though, and the dialogue is much better than most encounters I’ve had with graphic novels (which isn’t a lot mind you). The art, done by Djillali Defali, and the coloring, done by Raphael Hedon, is top notch though. I think it captures the essence of the game series well enough, but does so in a way that allows the comic to stand on its own as something that can be enjoyed by non-gamers.
If you’re into the Assassin’s Creed games, or simply like quick comic reads, this is a volume that is easy to recommend.
Assassin’s Creed Desmond gets a three out of five: GOOD.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.