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THE BIG INTERVIEW: We chat to Anthony Del col, co-writer of Titan Comics’ assassin’s Creed title

January 13th, 2016 by Phil Robinson Comments

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Assassin’s Creed has become an institution. Witnessed by millions of gamers over the lifespan of as many modern consoles as you can dare to name, the characters and the mythology could’t simply be contained to a single medium. Momentum gained and a big screen adaptation of the series is on the way, starring Michael Fassbender.
To satisfy the seemingly endless hunger that fans have for it, developer Ubisoft have given the reigns to Titan Comics to create a brand new tale in the world of assassins, templars and diving off of buildings into carts of hay. With a story by Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery, featuring art by Neil Edwards, the tale makes the jump to Salem, opening up a brave new world, with brand new characters ready for a brand new adventure.
We had a chat with Anthony Del Col to find out a few Assassin’s Creed secrets, and what’s in store in the ongoing series.

FTN: So, both of you have collaborated before, on Kill Shakespeare. Did it just feel natural to you both to continue with writing as a team?

ADC: We’ve reunited the band! We had such a blast working on the Kill Shakespeare comics that we wouldn’t pass the opportunity to work on something else together! The key to a strong writer partnership is the ability to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which Conor and I do.

FTN: How was it that the two of you got the gig to write Assassin’s Creed – was the idea pitched to you or did you have to fight your way in kicking and screaming?

ADC: Actually, it involved quite a bit of parkour moves and espionage, Assassins-style…! The editor of the new series, Lizzie Kaye, was a fan of Kill Shakespeare so we were one of the first people she thought of when they looked for possible writers. I remember that she first contacted us saying that she was inquiring about a video game property she couldn’t discuss until we signed an NDA. As we were signing it I was saying, “Please let it be Assassin’s Creed… Please let it be Assassin’s Creed…”

“As we were signing it I was saying, “Please let it be Assassin’s Creed… Please let it be Assassin’s Creed…””

FTN: Was it yourselves who selected Neil Edwards to do the art, or how did his involvement come about?

ADC: The publisher Titan Comics have worked with Neil a number of times, most recently on some Doctor Who stories, so they’re the ones that brought him to the table. Conor and I, along with Ubisoft, immediately thought he was the perfect fit for the project!

FTN: In regards to the story, with all of history to play around with, what made you settle on the very cool Salem witch trials setting?

ADC: Why wouldn’t you want to go back to 1692 Salem? An amazing tourist spot! No, in all seriousness it’s a time period that’s fascinated me for quite some time – it’s an era in which lies and rumours would lead almost immediately to someone’s death. That, combined with the fact that it would be a modern-day young woman going back into her ancestor’s memories from the period and giving that updated viewpoint was very appetizing.

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FTN: Tell us a little about Charlotte de la Cruz as a character; what’s her background, and how does she find herself in the Assassin’s Creed mix?

ADC: Charlotte is overeducated, underemployed, and wanting to do something important but finding that it’s tough to do something like that in today’s world. That’s one of the reasons why she’s attracted to the online conspiracy theories about mysterious organizations like the Assassins and Templars – groups that could allow for some positive change. So it’s a lot of fun when she finds out that it’s actually true – and that she’s actually being recruited for a mission! Wish fulfilment, baby!

“Charlotte is young and idealistic, while Tom Stoddard is a veteran and slightly grizzled. It also allows for us to look at the Salem Witch Trials from different perspectives.”

FTN: Was there much debate when it came to making Charlotte’s assassin ancestor – Tom Stoddard – a man? I just find it interesting to have the Salem setting and a modern day female protagonist with the ancestor being male.

ADC: We did throw around a number of ideas but we ended up being attracted to the idea of having Charlotte going back into a male ancestor’s memories. We wanted to maximize the contrast between the two – Charlotte is young and idealistic, while Tom Stoddard is a veteran and slightly grizzled. It also allows for us to look at the Salem Witch Trials from different perspectives – both from a female and male one.

FTN: What’s always interesting about the franchise is seeing what historical figures will pop up; can you give us any hints if we’re going to see any familiar faces appear?

ADC: The Templars would kill me if they outed who they’re working with in 1692 Salem… But let’s just say that Reverend Samuel Parris, who oversaw all of the Salem Witch Trials will play a part in our pageant…

FTN: On a final note, in one sentence, what can we expect from this new run of Assassin’s Creed?

ADC: Assassin’s Creed will branch out the world into not only some amazing, visually-fascinating historical eras but different character directions to tell stories about identity and family. Oh, and it’s also going be a LOT of fun!

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