Assassin’s Creed: Origins got off to a rocking start, with our protagonist Aya aiding Brutus and Cassius in their plot to assassinate Julius Caesar. Exciting story promise and some top-notch Assassins action promised a tie-in comic series well-worth checking out. Issue #2 follows Aya in the aftermath of Caesar’s assassination, dodging the subsequent chaos across Rome while second-guessing the killing.
This is a much less bombastic issue than its predecessor, concerned more with Aya’s self-doubt and sense of duty than with bloodlust. That means we get some nice sequences of her rooftop escapes that mirror the roof-running of the games, and only one real execution. Those running sequences though are more than enough to get the adrenaline pumping, and overshadow the issue’s couple of action moments.
During this escape from the scene of Caesar’s death to a safe house, Aya is once again confronted by the sinister Antony. Just like the previous issue, this one opens with a short scene of Cleopatra and her son before flashing back four years to the Rome narrative. It is clear that Antony, notoriously a lover of Cleopatra’s, is the connection between the two timelines, and his appearance in this issue highlights his role as an antagonist as he directs angry rioters towards Aya.
Halfway through this series, it is surprising that we still are a bit vague as to what, if any, master plan Antony and Cleopatra have. The framing story sees Cleopatra referring to chaos having spread throughout Rome after Caesar’s death, but simply watching Aya struggle with the consequences of the Caesar assassination is a rather passive role for antagonists.
When Aya does finally reach Brutus and Cassius at their safehouse, she tells them that she will not flee the city as they plan to, but will rather stay and fight to bring order to the city once more. While that’s a decent enough reason to keep Aya in Rome for the remainder of this four-issue series, one does hope that the writers will make things a bit more complex in the next installment. As fun as the chases and action of the series has been so far, the lack of DLC featuring her means that this comic is Aya’s lone opportunity to get a great standalone story. It is clear that those behind this comic are no slouches, so there is plenty of reason to remain optimistic on that front.
Again Origins impresses on a technical level, with attractive design and artwork that makes the Assassins Creed world come alive in ways that Uprising has struggled with. That it is able to make the chase scenes as exciting as the ones here are is a testament to its quality. As the stakes get raised going into the second half of the series, we can only assume that there will be plenty of eye candy provided if nothing else.
Overall, the second issue of Assassin’s Creed: Origins is a solid entry that provides ample excitement while dealing with the fallout of the previous issue’s assassination. The lack of an overarching villain plot at this point does raise questions about the overall narrative momentum for the series, but taken on its own merits it is another easy recommendation for both hardcore and casual fans of the franchise.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins #2 is now available from Titan Comics.