Anyone who has read up to this point knows how much of a struggle it was through the early parts of the Assassin’s Creed: Awakening mini-series manga adaptation. Then we saw a change in fortune when the Templars were introduced, leading to fighting on ships and just generally more interesting conversations about taking over humanity. Will Issue #5 of Edward Kenway’s adventures ensure the series is still worth a read?

Although we never found out what this mysterious prisoner, whom Edward Kenway was supposed to interrogate on behalf of the Templars, knew about the ‘Observatory’, it became clear that he may be more in-tune with Brotherhood way of life. Edward was kicking ass and taking names when it all turned into chaos last time out, before he almost met his match against an Assassin and appeared to possess some form of Eagle Vision. But after reuniting with former quartermaster Adewale, it’s back to the pirate’s life for our Ed.

Or so he thinks.

Issue #5 of Titan Comics’ Assassin’s Creed Awakening series takes us to the pirate capital of the Caribbean, Nassau, where Edward and his crew hope to enhance their numbers in preparation for their next mission – to find the Observatory and bathe in the potential riches offered by the Templars. And there’s arguably no better place to recruit than one filled to the brim with drunken folk lacking morality, willing to do anything for a payday. Here we are introduced to the three founders of the Pirate Republic.

It’s all well and good reading numerous panels packed with typical pirate banter and jovial ribbing, showing off a high level of comradery between these wrong doers, but for those unfamiliar with the lore, there’s not enough depth to the introductions. I wouldn’t know that these people are the founders, or that one of them is better known as Blackbeard; although the artistry does provide a fairly decent visual portrayal of him to be fair. So whilst I appreciate fresh characters to bounce off of Edward, they could’ve been fleshed out more for newcomers to the world of Black Flag.

The majority of the issue is uneventful, consisting of pirates drinking and having a laugh, which although mildly amusing, doesn’t bring much to the narrative. That is until an Assassin dupes Edward into going on an adventure to seek out treasure and reveal his true nature. This is where an extremely menacing looking member of the Brotherhood enters, declaring that scores will be settled after what happened to Duncan Walpole. It evokes a genuine fear for the reader that Edward could really be in trouble now, especially as we see a blade piercing his flesh.

Interestingly, Masato, the young chap reliving all the action via the Animus, received a blade wound too. So not only is Edward Kenway in danger, but seemingly Masato is too. Will they both recover from the damage inflicted upon them? And more importantly, why is a woman looking like she’s pleased about the suffering of Masato? It’s a bit sadistic if you ask me!

As far as the artist work is concerned, the close-up depictions of certain characters are detailed to a high degree. The large bubbles are still a visual irritation; however, the overall layout was a tad easier to follow, with far less moments of confusion as to what’s going on and who’s speaking.

Awakening Issue #5 is a slow burner, focuses more on the happy-go-lucky life of pirates and the trust between such deviants. As the heat is turned up near the end, it really stokes the desire to find out what happens next and whether the finale can deliver a great triumph for Edward, or if we’ll actually see any more from Masato’s perspective should he survive his war wound.

Who knew VR gaming could be so dangerous!

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