The opening issue of the Assassin’s Creed: Uprising comic series brought together the previous Templars and Assassins comic story arcs, to merge into a sort of all-star tale featuring their titular characters, as well as a few new ones thrown into the mix. Needless to say, it was a breath of fresh air. Now, the real test is whether the momentum carries over for AC: Uprising #2, or whether it’ll become monotonous.
As the aim of the series is a familiar one – that of the Phoenix Project – one would’ve expected the narrative to feel like it’s dragging on a bit. Being introduced to the likes of Juhani Otso Berg his night time antics as the Black Cross was brilliant, especially in terms of the artwork. Charlotte avoided a failed mission from becoming her last one, whilst her confrontation with a rogue, and clearly superior, Assassin led to characters with allegiances to both the Templars and the Brotherhood, to seek answers about the situation.
Master Templar Otso Berg is clearly a suspicious chap, but all investigations into the recent goings on have to be done under the radar. If he’s going to sniff out these double agents, they certainly can’t find out he’s resurrected the Black Cross mantle. This leads to a truly clever meeting between the Black Cross and the upper hierarchy of the Templars, where the Black Cross lays down the law and literally gives them the middle finger – a rare moment in which a comic has actually made me laugh out loud. As if the character couldn’t get any more badass, he did.
But it’s the way Otso Berg plans the whole situation which impressed me the most; he’s a clever guy and other panels suggest that he doesn’t suffer fools. Hell, even his own daughter isn’t safe from criticism and a no nonsense tongue-lashing, which tells you that whoever is betraying the Templars way is in for some real trouble.
Charlotte on the other hand, well, she’s in a real pickle. After coming a long way, from being a normal young woman to unleashing the inner assassin, it’s taken a toll on her mentally. The writers convey her mental anguish brilliantly as she describes, and we are shown, how she’d kill the people in the close vicinity whilst she’s supposed having a relaxing drink with My’Shell. It shows how Charlotte’s brain constantly works overtime to ensure she’s prepared for various scenarios.
The closing stages of Issue #2 introduce Heinrich Hart, a man who doesn’t particularly favour Templars or the members of the Brotherhood. A clash between him and Black Cross leads to a few revelations; he’s handy with designing state of the art tech and he answers only to a woman who remains nameless to this point. Who is it? And will either of them survive the climax of the well fought battle?
On a note about the artistry, by José Holder, I’m once again very pleased by the effort to depict different situations. Whether it’s the setting sun and the night sky of Berlin, or a truly drab and wet Abstergo HQ in Montreal, both environments are drawn wonderfully. Even the small things like the signage of the Thistle and Crown pub and its decor really deliver something worth looking at. Of course, the intimidating Black Cross once more shines in his awesome costume too.
The Uprising series is already shaping up to be one of the best so far, with delightful artwork and a fine balance of fighting and well written interactions. There’s a good mixture of interesting conversations and humorous moments, ensuring all panels are worth reading. Having a variety of great characters to switch to throughout certainly helps proceedings.
You really must give the second issue of Assassin’s Creed: Uprising a read, especially if you have any slight interest in the Assassin’s Creed world.