ac_13_cover_aThe Assassin’s Creed ‘Homecoming’ arc is nearing its end, with the penultimate comic, issue #13, arriving for our reading pleasure. After a vast improvement in the last outing, and a rather exciting cameo to boot, the stage is set for the newest issue to follow on the same exciting path. However, knowing how the Titan Comics series has gone already, I’m never quite sure what to expect. Can they buck the up and down trend?

Well, it has a lot to do in order to live up to the Ezio Auditore da Firenze cameo – perfectly timed for the recent Ezio Collection video game release, to cause intrigue for those unfamiliar with him and hype for those who remember him well. He may have been looking old, but it suited well as he was serving as a mentor to young Hiram and Giovanni. Peeking into their early days with the Brotherhood, it began to sow the seeds as to why problems may have arisen between the two vastly different personalities. One of those issues appears to be them falling for the same woman… typical.

ac13_preview-1Now, Hiram is given the lead in an important mission to acquire the Piece of Eden in Florence, joined by the talented Michelango – because why not? – and of course his sparring partner Giovanni, who’s less than happy playing second fiddle to the often cocky and reckless Hiram. Speaking of artists, the work by Neil Edwards to recreate the Florence Cathedral (or Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore to give it its native name) is simply exquisite and is quite possibly his finest work of this entire series so far. As much as I love creativity and fresh ideas, I adore it when recognisable places are recreated in such a fine manner.

Back to the action, which is pretty damn good, but let’s just say it doesn’t exactly all go to plan, giving Giovanni even more excuse to be bitter and embrace the green-eyed monster. We are finally exposed to the truth behind Hiram’s aggressive behaviour later in life and it’s quite sad really. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, but it certainly explains why his mental state turned him against Giovanni. It took a while to see the real reason though as our Animus user, Charlotte, has been having problems determining fact from fiction.

ac13_preview-2The majority of the goings on at Erudito HQ involve Charlotte experiencing adverse effects to prolonged usage of the intense memory simulator. I’m glad the writers decided to show that it isn’t all plain sailing when using the Animus, and it enabled Charlotte to remind us that she’s bloody strong willed – seemingly a trait she’s picked up from her grandmother being tough on her throughout life – to ensure contact was made with Consus. The relationships between our protagonist and those around her are furthered slightly, with the bond between herself and Kody being one of true friendship in a world of very little trust and loyalty.

In Somalia, a far darker set of panels are in place to set the scene for the night time stand-off involving the elusive Joseph and the team led by Galina. I’ve always said Joseph was a beast of a man, but holding his own against three well-trained combatants definitely confirmed it. There’s a sort of truce to take on the Templars, however that did baffle me given Joseph’s untrustworthy nature so far; this won’t end well.

Issue #13 may have lacked the Ezio factor, but that didn’t prevent the comic from being an enjoyable read, full of action and emotions, bringing to the table a heart wrenching demise or two. The artwork is truly something to be admired, especially in Florence. Both stories in the modern day time period are converging for what could be an explosive finale of not only the arc, but also the series as a whole.

Having gained pretty much all the answers we need, now is the time to wait for the final comic so we can sit back and watch the fireworks. Oh, it’s going to get messy.

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