Comics book tie-ins to video games usually disappoint me, but I keep holding out for the one that breaks convention and is actually enjoyable to read. The Halo books were by and large pretty mediocre and the Mass Effect comics failed to catch my interest.
As staunch a supporter as I am of the Assassin’s Creed series, it might not surprise you to learn that I tracked down the deluxe edition of Assassin’s Creed: The Fall, a three-part comic series detailing the purge of the Assassin Order that occured in November of 2000. The comics follow Daniel Cross in 1998 and 2000 and his ancestor Nikolai Orelov in the late 1800s and the beginning of the Russian Revolution. Putting the historical sections of the books in the turn of the century was a really good idea, and the writers dip into some of the mysteries of that time like Rasputin and the Tunguska Event and work them into Assassin’s Creed mythology.
The story is actually quite good, and this probably stems from the fact that the creators were not forced into shoe-horning in an Ezio Auditore story like they had originally planned. Free from the canonical shackles of the game series, The Fall fills in some of the backstory that has been alluded to in the video games; namely how the globe-spanning Assassin Brotherhood has been reduced to three people operating out of a van and a handful of intelligence gathering cells.
There are some weird parts to the story as it is a fairly complicated tale compressed into three issues. Daniel Cross’ transformation from an asshole junkie to an almost messianic figure happens between issues two and three so seeing him as a clean-cut figure preaching to the Assassins is a little confusing until someone addresses him as Daniel. If his speech at the beginning of issue three had been over some pictures of him fixing his life and showing his progress it might have helped to lesson the shock. It’s nothing major, but it is a slight speedbump in an otherwise well crafted story.
Assassin’s Creed: The Chain is the follow up to The Fall, and I’m now eagerly awaiting the next installment of the lives of Daniel Cross and Nikolai Orelov. Has anyone else read The Fall, and what did you think? Do you want to track down a copy having read this? What are some of your favorite comic book tie-ins? Do transmedia efforts like these help breath new life into series that might be getting stale, like Anthony’s post talked about?