We are well and truly immersed in the second major story arc of the Titan Comics Assassin’s Creed comic series, with the penultimate issue arriving for us readers to cast our eyes over. Issue #9 doesn’t arrive with much of a buzz from the previous issue, but there are certainly a few questions needing to be answered. How will Charlotte and Galina rescue Kody from the hands of the Cartel, when they cannot get along for two seconds? What can Quila do to convince the Incas about the imminent murder plot?
Unlike the last issue which was heavily dominated by Quila and was on the verge of being boring, this one is more a comic of two halves, almost evenly split in focus between Quila and Charlotte de la Cruz.
In the present day, Charlotte and Galina are putting their differences aside in order to rescue Kody from the imminent danger of his captors. I like the fact that the writers kept true to the team dynamics, in the way that they were both still bickering whilst managing to get on with the common goal of saving someone they care about. Deep down they’re just stubborn but both realise to a degree that none of this would’ve happened if it wasn’t for their difference of opinions.
As enemies to our protagonists, the Cartel are bad enough to deal with, however now the Templars have caught up with the Brotherhood cell to lower the odds of survival even more, it sort of makes the situation a three way all out war, with no real allegiance between either of them. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much life in the multi-faction battle and I doubt we’ll be seeing one of these groups again.
With all these groups together at once, you don’t need me to tell you that it leads to an absolute bloodbath. I do enjoy a good bit of carnage and the action parts are drawn well enough to envisage the sequences. For some reason though, the bloodied sections look pretty silly and really don’t fit the rest of artistry. This silliness is only compounded by the onomatopoeic words slapped onto the panels which are more comical than those seen in the 1960s Batman TV show. There’s a whole load of large sized words like ‘BRAT’, ‘BUDDA’ and ‘SPANG’ splattered over the gun scenes, it’s ridiculous and don’t fit at all.
Where the artists won me over though was by featuring Estadio Azteca as the main location for the goings on. The stadium looks spot on and being a football fan I instantly recognized it as home of the Mexico national football team. Mixing a real life location with the fantasy world of Assassin’s Creed helped bridge the gap and engaged me further into the story, so that’s a job well done.
Moving onto the antics being relived through the Animus and memories of the seemingly all out of luck Quila. Oh poor Quila, she had me in the palm of her hand from the moment I first caught a glimpse of her in Peru and quickly realised how much of a strong character she could be. Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped it would, even with the occasionally funny Pardo by her side.
When the majority of Quila’s time in recent issues, and this one in particular, involves begging everyone she comes in contact with, and failing, to believe her about the message she was carrying about the Emperor being the target of an assassination plot, it becomes monotonous at best. At least it came to light about who’s actually behind the plot and we’ll see whether that person gets their come-uppance next time.
Although Issue #9 spread its focus quite fairly between the two, my interest has severely faltered and it’s gotten to the point where I’m not awfully bothered about the conclusion. As for Charlotte, she’s taken the reins on her life and shown growth in her character development by owning up to her mistakes. What’s next for Charlotte? I’m genuinely intrigued because the final issue of the arc is leading towards it being the demise of the hero too.
Whether it’s the final curtain for Charlotte or not, I just hope Quila doesn’t spoil it.