Assassin's Creed: Templars, otherwise simply known as Templars, is an ongoing comic book series from Titan Comics. Written by Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Dennis Calero, the series debuted its first issue in March 2016.
The series focuses on the Templar Order, with its modern day story set in November 2013 while the historical story takes place in Shanghai in the year 1927 featuring a Templar known as Black Cross.
Titan Comics is thrilled to announce their second ongoing Assassin's Creed comic series, Assassin's Creed: Templars.
Assassin's Creed is one of the most popular franchises in the video game industry, winning numerous accolades and acclaim since it first debuted in 2007. Over time, its reach has broadened into numerous media beyond games, enriching the Assassin's Creed lore for the joy of many fans.
Writer Fred Van Lente (Marvel Zombies, Iron Man) and artist Dennis Calero (Cowboys & Aliens, X-Men Noir) made a special appearance at official Assassin's Creed comic panel at NYCC, announcing Titan's brand new ongoing comic series, Assassin's Creed: Templars.
23/03/2016 - All-new adventures from the world of Assassin’s Creed. In 1927 Darius Gift arrived in Shanghai on his first assignment for the Templar Order. A minor misstep means he soon finds himself mixed up in the shadowy underworld of the International Settlement, and mixed up with the mysterious, enigmatic, Black Cross...
1927: London, England. At a musical performance, Thaddeus Gift is extorting a man indebted to him. Whilst using his influence as a Templar, it turns out that he has been actively stealing from the Order.
He is passed a card denoting a black Templar Cross. In a panic, he flees the theater and tries to escape via his personal carriage. A chain dart pierces the roof, and Thaddeus is pulled toward a masked individual. He goes by the title of Black Cross, and reads aloud the crimes that Thaddeus has made against the Order before killing him for his indiscretions.
At Thaddeus's funeral, his son Darius, now finds himself penniless. At the behest of Ferris, another Templar, Darius is promised a formal education in exchange for a task. Darius accepts, and is instructed to take a package to China to try and reinforce the Rite present there.
Upon arriving in China, Darius takes to a bar where he strikes up a conversation with a female dancer called Roo. After he briefly turns away, she escapes with his unattended package. Running out into the street, he is set upon by a small group of men who believe him to be the Black Cross. At this point, the actual Black Cross appears and Darius is seemingly saved.
27/04/2016 - In the bustling streets of Shanghai, Darius Gift has come unstuck, his head turned by a pretty girl and a stunning smile. His tenuous position as a newly initiated member of the Templar Order is under threat, until he is rescued by the mysterious figure that is Black Cross...
1927: Having rescued Darius, the Black Cross discovers that the men were actually French police. After exchanging pleasantries, the Black Cross promises to retrieve the absent package for Darius as he was ordered to offer aid directly by the Nine.
The local Templar rite meet to discuss the struggles of holding Shanghai amidst gangsters and warlords. Word has reached them of the Black Cross's arrival, and that they are instructed to assist him in any way. One Templar, Joffre, hails a taxi upon leaving the meeting, only to be lead to a quiet location to discover that the "driver" is the Black Cross himself. They discuss the Hop Wo Society, the name found upon one of the French police. Joffre points out that they are communists, and that the address is an amusement palace. The Black Cross infiltrates the building where one remaining Frenchman is under duress - and seemingly is part of an ambush trap.
Meanwhile, Darius amuses himself with drink. Walking past a theatre he spots the same woman, Roo, in a movie poster. She's an actress!
15/06/2016 - In the infamous pleasure tower that dominates the Shanghai nightlife, the Great World, Black Cross battles with the triads that have pursued him through the city night. With time running out, Black Cross has to find the missing information that will reveal what is about to happen in China...
1927: Releasing smoke bombs, the Black Cross escapes the ambush. Running through the amusement park, he adeptly uses environmental opportunities to take down his pursuers. That is until he comes across 'Fiery Crow', a large brute of a man. Cross manages to stab him with his pin, before being rendered unconscious. When he awakes he finds himself face to face with Du Yuesheng, leader of the Green Gang Triad. Du mocks the activities of the Templar Order thus far in China, whilst Cross attempts to discover the whereabouts of the box. The conversation turns to the poison that is inside the pin, at which point 'Fiery Crow' keels over, freeing Cross once more. It had been his plan to be captured all along, to discover what Du really knew. He promptly grabs his possessions and guns his way out of the nearest window in order to escape.
Meanwhile, Darius arrives at the local movie production studio, seeking out Roo. He manages to sneak his way on to set, where she is performing. She heads for a break in her dressing room, where Darius confronts her. He pleads for the whereabouts of the box, but she informs him that it has already been sold on. At this point a man named Zhang enters and knocks Darius out. Roo and he argue about losing the money on gambling that they had received for the box. It dawns on them that Darius could be of value.
27/07/2016 - The streets of Shanghai have erupted into utter chaos as Black Cross nally evades the henchmen of Big-Eared Du and heads to the International Settlement to establish just how mush trouble the Shanghai Rite is in, and he learns that the corruption goes deeper than he ever could have imagined...
1927: The Nationalist Army approaches Shanghai. Darius is trapped in the boot of a car, but is rescued by Roo herself who knocks out her husband. She reveals that she removed the item inside the box, and that it is now empty. Meanwhile, the Black Cross investigates the servant of Madame Sun, earning himself a meeting with her. They discuss how she orchestrated events to retrieve the box, and ultimately shows him the empty box.
Fessenden goes to meet with Du. After a heated discussion, General Chiang arrives to explain that he has no need for the Templars, and has betrayed them. A note is then delivered which contains the black Templar cross...
07/09/2016 - With the revelation that the puppet master of the corruption in the Shanghai rite is a dangerous political figure, Black Cross is forced to take matters into his own hands as the honor of the Order is at stake. But a moment of distraction could destroy everything he's worked for!
1927: Sun reveals to the Black Cross that it was the machinations of the General. He promptly goes off in search, and kidnaps a convoy driver to interrogate. He discovers that they were ordered to kill an actress and a 'British Kid'.
Darius and Roo are still hiding out. They discuss the contents of the box, and discover a letter that reveals that the Nine had ordered the killing of Darius's father, and that the severed finger enclosed was a reminder of what happens to those that defy. Darius realizes that he is nothing more than a gift. A gangster arrives and injures them both. The Black Cross intervenes, eliminating the gangster.
Darius fires a gun into the back of the Black Cross, citing vengeance for his father. Cross tries to protest that he did it for the order, but Darius fires multiple shots into him. Black Cross stumbles and falls off a ledge, with a brief flash of his wife and child coming to mind, the scene disappears to desynchronization.
2013: Abstergo Entertainment, Montreal. Otso Berg stares at the desynchronized monitors. Violet Da Costa asks if he has had any luck. Otso reveals that the Black Cross, aka Albie Bolden, was the last known person to possess the Koh-i-noor. They had hoped that it was contained within the box carried by Darius. Locating any modern descendants of Bolden would take time, and he expressed that they should look into other matters in the mean time. Perhaps even resurrect the Black Cross title.
Cross of War
19/10/2016 - Brand new arc! New characters! In this explosive opener to the brand new arc, the events that happened in Shanghai take on a whole new meaning as the Templars call on Juhani Otso Berg, legendary Sigma Team leader, to try and discover the truth about the mysterious last-known Black Cross...
2016: Philadelphia. Andre Bolden, a 72 year old former soldier, sits down for tea with two Abstergo employees in his home. The two explain that they are there in their Abstergo capacity to help with his PTSD, and that they have some new therapy for him to try. He attends a local Abstergo medical facility, where he is introduced to Otso Berg, Violet Da Costa and Caitlin Gift. Shortly after he enters the Animus to begin his therapy.
1805: Mediterranean Sea. Aboard a ship, Solomon Bolden - a slaver - travels from Italy to Libya. He makes the acquaintance of Jan Van Der Graff, a textiles merchant. They discuss their journey, with Graff implying that the two have secrets, and should travel together to meet the Sultan. The ship is attacked in the night by pirates seeking the Black Cross. Bolden changes into an outfit, and subsequently dispatches with the pirates - revealing his true identity. Graff reveals that the pirates must have been sent by the Sultan, and that he just happens to know a way into the Sultan's palace.
2016: Andre awakens from the Animus, immediately taking down two guards as he leaves the facility in disgust over the experience of the supposed therapy. Later that night, Otso Berg visits Andre at his home. He apologises, and reveals the real reasons for the use of the Animus. Promising a possible resolution to both of their issues, Andre agrees to return to the facility to help with the project. Meanwhile, Violet Da Costa sits in the Animus maintenance room. She overrides the system and successfully uploads a copy of the data retrieved from Andre to... somewhere. Or someone!
16/11/2016 - Under the watchful eyes of Abstergo, Dre Bolden has been viewing the memories that Otso Berg hopes hide the missing piece in the puzzle threatening to dismantle the Templars. As Dre relives the experiences of his Barbary coast based ancestor, he realizes how much he has to learn about the people who hold his life in their hands.
2016: With the revelation that Solomon Bolden was not Andre's ancestor, Otso Berg discusses how to proceed with an analysis of Graff instead. Andre re-enters the Animus, as Violet raises her concerns about revealing too much of their secrets to the outsider.
1805: Finally reaching the land, Graff and Bolden depart the ship and travel by camel to Tripoli. They attend a small bar, discussing how to access the Sultan's palace before drinking heavily. They eventually make way to the secret tunnel, where they are ambushed by guards. Solomon is slain, but advises Graff to seek out the real Black Cross in his dying breath. Graff is captured.
07/12/2016 - Things are not all they seem in the Abstergo facility - not for Dre, and definitely not for Otso. When Dre realises he hasn't been told the whole truth, it's time for his survival instincts to kick in... only question is: who can he trust?
2016: Andre drowns his sorrows at a bar, where he is joined by Otso Berg. Otso reveals the truth of the situation to him, regarding the Templars, Assassins and the Pieces of Eden. Andre does not buy the full story, and leaves the bar - walking directly into a driveby shooting. Otso pulls him to cover just in time, before assailing the car and eliminating its occupants.
Meanwhile, Violet meets a contact within a darkened car park. The contact is concerned that Otso is too close to locating the Koh-i-noor, and desires that she eliminate Andre before its location is revealed. Violet protests that Otso will suspect things, before she takes a call from Mr Berg himself informing of the shooting. All parties, including the contact and Caitlin Gift return to the facility.
Andre attempts to re-enter the Animus immediately as Otso fears a leak, but immediately cries out as it is evidently a torture memory. They move the memories forward to a few days afterward.
1805: Graff awakens after his torture ordeal. He is surrounded by several tortuers, and Lord Selim - who immediately labels him a Templar infiltrator. He mentions that the time to use the Koh-i-noor is near, and that they should hide him deeper into the dungeons where the Assassins cannot find him. Graff is subsequently thrown into a new cell, with a mysterious individual who is citing the Father of Understanding. Graff sadly passes out before identifying them.
2016: Hours after the session ends, within the lab, Caitlin Gift is strangled by Violet's contact and presumably dies. Violet meets with Andre, and confirms most of what Otso told him. She also gives him the former Pin of the Black Cross, stating that it belongs to him now. Otso takes a call that there has been an incident at the lab...
25/01/2017 - With the reality of his situation now almost preternaturally clear to Dre, there is only one possible course of action... he needs to get away from Abstergo. With no clue how to do this, he lets his instincts take over, and finds that he has hidden depths he never knew of... and skills he couldn't have imagined!
2016: Otso and Violet arrive at the lab, only to find the murdered body of Caitlin Gift lying on the lab floor. Otso finds the situation confusing, as Violet attempts to explain how Caitlin has been contacting a third party on her computer. It is clear Otso has his concerns, and he orders Violet to track down the 'mole' within the lab. In the meantime, he convinces Andre to once more enter the Animus.
1805: Graff discovers that the mysterious man inhabiting his cell is in fact the current Black Cross. He tells Graff of the ways of the Templar Order, and how he must keep it in check. Graff begins to train under his tutelage.
Meanwhile, the Sultan holds onto the Koh-i-noor, even displaying its power as he creates multiple illusions of himself. When their next meal is brought by guards, the Black Cross sacrifices himself against three men, in order for Graff to escape through the opened door. He promptly makes his way to the Sultan's room, dispatching guards quietly on his way. A servant by the name of Ahkbar convinces the Sultan that he should move on from the palace, before word of the relic reaches the ears of the Assassins. The Sultan reluctantly agrees, leaving just himself and Ahkbar - whom reveals himself to be an Assassin, and having already poisoned the Sultan by the very tea he just drank. With the Sultan dead, Ahkbar claims the Koh-i-noor as Graff enters the room. Even creating illusions is not enough of a distraction, and Graff throws a blade into Ahkbar's heart having given away his true self by the sound of his feet. Several Brotherhood Assassins then emerge from the shadows having heard the conversation. Stating that he does not desire the relic, Graff turns over the supposed bag it contains. However, he secretly retains the relic, and leaves by a ship set for America.
2016: Andre emerges from the Animus, and Otso reflects on how they have achieved little in their search for the Koh-i-noor. Andre states that this is a war he can no longer be part of, and passes the Black Cross pin to Otso. Otso agrees, and with a reflection on his conversation with Violet that he can trust no-one, he dutifully decides that he is now the Templar Order's Black Cross.
- Assassin's Creed Templars Volume 1: Black Cross (November 9, 2016)
- Assassin's Creed Templars Volume 2: Cross of War (April 19, 2017)