Assassin’s Creed: The Ankh of Isis Trilogy

Assassin's Creed - The Ankh of Isis Trilogy A review by Ross Joseph

Let me get something off my chest right away, because this can’t wait. I cannot consider the stories told within this graphic novel canon (part of continuity). There are a few contradictions within the trilogy of books, which infuriated me. By the end though, I had come to the conclusion the story was too good to worry about contradictions and continuity errors. Oops, did I just give away my impressions on this already?

Having played each and every game in the Assassin’s Creed, yes even the PSP version, I was pleasantly surprised when I found The Ankh of Isis Trilogy sitting in my review pile of graphic novels.

Whether you’ve played the series of video games or not, The Ankh of Isis Trilogy does an extremely good job of bringing you up to speed on the Assassin’s Creed universe. The Trilogy is a fairly well written expansion of the first Assassin’s Creed video game. Desmond Miles, former bartender, is kidnapped by Abstergo and plugged into the Animus; a device capable of accessing the genetic memory of the user and showing them the memories of their ancestor. It’s here that Desmond learns of his past and history at large where Assassins and Templars have waged war against each other for as long as history goes. In the modern times, the Templars operate as the company Abstergo using kidnapped “subjects” to find artifacts they can use to win the war.

During the course of these books, Desmond uses the Animus to dive into the past of two different Assassins, Aquilus and Accipiter. While in the real world, Desmond’s journey continues as his own abilities continue to grow.

Coming with the knowledge from the video game series, I was well aware of the modern  events during this trilogy. However, things were told just a little differently or sometimes things were completely changed. As mentioned at the top, the continuity did get to me for a while, but the way The Ankh of Isis Trilogy was written, I couldn’t hold a grudge. My thinking was: with the way the story was written, how could I be upset?

What really grew on me was the art by Djillali Defali. From the first time we see Aquilus on horse back during the 3rd century to the very last panel, I was hooked on this art. It wasn’t quiet cartoonish nor was it the fully realistic approach I’ve come across. During Animus segments I felt the art took a muddy look and was completely appropriate to the time settings. It seemed that all the choices of framing scenes and action pieces were well thought out and was pleasantly surprised by the attention to detail.

Something that I’ve never really enjoyed while playing the video games were the modern day segments. While Desmond was walking around the story always came to a dead end. But here, in The Ankh of Isis Trilogy, Corbeyran seems to have solved that issue. I actually cared and enjoyed all the time spent with Desmond and, believe me, there is a fair bit of time.

One of two complaints came from the dialogue boxes. I know, call me crazy. I’ve been reading comics for over 20 years now and usually the dialogue is easy to match up with the characters. However, in The Ankh of Isis Trilogy, it was sometimes a little hard to match up. The second of my complaints falls back on the continuity issues. There are a few here and some people could find this bothersome. Don’t let that in anyway take away from your enjoyment of the book. I really enjoyed my time with the story and characters.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 out of 5 stars. Easily a highly recommended read.