The Fall (Assassin’s Creed)

Graphic novel review: Assassin’s Creed: The Fall (Deluxe Edition)

By Cameron Stewart, Karl Kerschl, and Nadine Thomas.

The story

This tells some of the backstory of Daniel Cross, who appeared in a couple of the original video game trilogy’s “modern era” portions.  The story is rather short, and very grim, but it is interesting in that it also brings in some “animus” bits.  The setting for the historical bits is Russia, during the Bolshevik Revolution, which is very interesting.

One of the most interesting parts of Assassin’s Creed (besides the fun of the gameplay) is the scifi lens it puts over history.  The lore gives its own reasons behind certain historical events and why certain people were in power at certain times.  It’s interesting and cool.  The Assassin’s Creed base concept really opens up a lot of very interesting things they can do with history, and the comics take advantage of that.  The setting for The Fall was well chosen, though the Russia story was a little disappointingly short; the comic’s purpose was really to explain Daniel Cross more than to tell Nikolai’s story.

The biggest gripe I have is the stupid inclusion of two background characters essentially discussing rape near the beginning of the story.  Just… really?  They could have been talking about literally anything else and the scene would not have changed.  But no, they have to be talking about getting women drunk so they’ll have sex with them.  Oh wow, would you look at that rape culture perpetuation right there.  Great.  Fantastic.  TOTALLY NOT NECESSARY STOP IT.

In the Deluxe Edition, there are a couple bits of additional info in the back, sort of ‘behind the scenes’ things about the history of revolutionary Russia, stuff about the games.  It’s kind of cool.

The art

I have to admit that I’m rarely a fan of comic book art.  At least a lot of the art that’s out there.  It feels blunt and unpolished to me, which tends to affect my enjoyment of comics.  I like how styles have been branching more and more in recent years.  The art for The Fall isn’t bad, but it’s nothing really special either.  It’s easy to look at and parse, though some of the action feels awkward.  I would have liked a more ‘pretty’ cover for the Deluxe Edition (though the minimalist Russian Assassin’s Creed ‘A’ is aesthetic), something with a more detailed rendition of Nikolai.  All the main characters from the games have pretty and detailed outfits with lots of interesting things going on.  The comic is very simplistic, which makes me a little sad.

Rating

4/7 stars

Warnings

Violence.  Background implied consent issues.

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