New Frontier, Same Creed: Assassin’s Creed Templars #1 Review

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Rejoice, people!

Just because Ubisoft has decided to take a year off from Assassin’s Creed doesn’t mean you can’t still get your fix! If you’ve already perfected Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and have nothing to tide you over until the Assassin’s Creed movie releases, keep your eyes peeled because on March 23rd, Titan Comic’s brand-new Assassin’s Creed: Templars #1 will make its debut!

assassin's creed templars

Titan was kind enough to send SheAttack an early review copy of the first issue, and I have to say, I’m super intrigued. I love a good story where people are forced to either abide by or reject a “code” and Assassin’s Creed has definitely always delivered on that. In Assassin’s Creed Templars #1, we see the continued story of Templars vs. Assassins in a new era and a new setting; all its own.

assassin's creed templars

Scene: London, 1927.

The world is smack-dab in the middle of the Roarin’ 20’s and tensions are high as a war the likes of which no one could predict approaches. The story follows Darius Gift, the descendant of a long bloodline of serving the Templars and the son of a disgraced man who left him drowning in debt and the family name in ruins. Now, with not a penny to his tarnished name, Darius must travel to Shanghai to strengthen the failing influence of The Order there.

First off, I love the setting. The 1920’s, for all its flaws, is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and charming eras to follow a story into. Besides that, the tension of the time frame is always so delicious and heavy. This, mixed with the tumultuous political atmosphere of China, creates a new and unique setting that allows the Templars’ story to unfold.

The Art in Assassin’s Creed Templars

assassin's creed templars

The art style is amazing. It’s very realistic, but also displays a bit of 50’s flair in the character’s expressions. Illustrated by Harvey Award-nominated artist Dennis Calero, who’s worked on series like X-men Noir and Masks, this issue captures the dark moral justice the Templars must take into their own hands, as well as the hopeful optimism of a world recovering from one war and preparing for another. The style is unique and charming and the covers are crisp and beautiful, drawn by Paul Pop, Mark Laming, Dennis Calero, Joe Corroney, and Mariano Laclaustra.

assassin's creed templars

Story Telling From Issue 1

In context of the Assassin’s Creed universe, the set-up provided in issue 1 shows us a unique and exciting new frontier for us to explore with the Templars and the Assassins. As the writer, Fred Van Lente (Cowboys & Aliens and Spider-Man), is given the none-too-easy job of setting the stage for everything’s that going to happen in the following issues, there were some predictable tropes such as the prodigal hero falling for a pair of pretty brown eyes at a bar in China and telling her a very unsubtle and very thin cover story of what he’s doing there. Spoiler: she doesn’t go for it.

However, these things are cliché for a reason and I don’t know about you, but I could watch a Chinese ingenue act unimpressed towards the arrogant white dude all day. And even though redemption stories are a dime a dozen, even in the Assassin’s Creed universe, I found myself genuinely wondering if Darius is able to trust the Templars and if he’s wiling to follow their orders. If you’re not into the Assassin’s Creed games just yet, that doesn’t mean this comic isn’t for you. At the end of the book, there’s a synopsis of the history of the rivalry between the Templars and the Assassins, so if this is the first arc of Assassin’s Creed lore you’re diving into, you won’t get too lost.

assassin's creed templars

Overall, Assassin’s Creed: Templars #1 is a worthwhile debut of the upcoming series. I’m excited to see what this new era and setting adds to the lore of the story and how the more approachable time period might attract some new fans.

If you’re into the Assassin’s Creed universe, or you’re just looking for a new comic to dive into, check out Assassin’s Creed: Templars #1 out March 23rd!