Assassin's Creed is a series of French comic books split into several volumes, focusing on Desmond Miles and his various ancestors. It is mostly based on the main games in the series, but adds certain new elements which are not featured in the games, such as the Aquilus storyline. However, some of the aspects contradict the original canon.
Volume 1: Desmond
Supervisors at St. Erembert Psychiatric Hospital were rounding up patients at the end of the day and noticed someone missing; they shortly discovered the missing individual dead. As one supervisor panicked and called for help, he was assaulted by a man, later discovered to go by the name of Subject 16. This Subject 16 then proceeded to climb over a wall and execute a Leap of Faith.
In the distant past, an Assassin was traveling to an ancient Roman camp on horseback, introducing himself as "Aquilus, son of Lucius". He spoke to the Roman general Gracchus about various matters. During the discussion, he was ambushed by Gracchus's men and then stabbed in the shoulder. In the ensuing struggle, he was knocked out.
In the present day, Desmond at Abstergo's labs emerged from Aquilus's memories—accessed via the Animus, as Warren Vidic and various Abstergo executives watched. Lucy interrupted, insisting that Desmond needed to take a rest. The executives unwillingly obliged. While Desmond was resting, the executives held a meeting inside the Conference Room, discussing various items of business including the Animus Project. As the conference proceeded, they brought up the topic of Subject 16. On a screen, he was shown as a large, bald-headed man in a medical-like garment upon the Animus. Though the Animus seemed to be functioning normally, he screamed in terror and violently awoke from the Animus, ripping open his shirt and scratching down his face. He attacked Lucy and Vidic, and it was apparently ten minutes before security sedated him. In those 10 minutes, 16 wrote the atomic structures of elements and other such drawings on the floors, using the blood pouring down his face. He was sedated and strapped down to the bed in the adjoining room. For reasons unknown, he was found naked and bleeding on the floor in the morning, the Cryptic Messages having been drawn on the walls and floor. It was mentioned that he survived, as seen at the beginning of the comic.
Desmond later awoke in said room, apparently shortly after his capture by Abstergo, to Lucy inserting a syringe of some kind into his arm. After a brief introduction and conversation, Lucy suggested to Desmond that he should get some sleep. While sleeping, Desmond dreamt of his capture by Abstergo. He saw Lucy at the bar "L' Horizon" where he worked, flirting and making conversation with him. After hours, they went back to an apartment for drinks. However, Lucy had slipped a sedative into Desmond's and he passed out. Desmond awoke and demanded answers from Lucy and Vidic. Vidic, rather than answer, sedated him again. He was then put into the Animus, in which he relived Altaïr's assassination of Tamir, a brief friendly encounter with Malik before the events at Solomon's Temple, and the final encounter with Al Mualim. Vidic was pleased to inspect a hologram of the World Map of the locations of the Pieces of Eden seen in the ending of Assassin's Creed and left after a brief confrontation with Lucy. Desmond awoke and was stunned to discover blood messages written all over the floors and walls of both the lab and his room.
Lucy found Desmond, put him into the Animus for a few minutes, and escaped with him via the parking lot. When they arrived at the seemingly identical warehouse, however, they were confronted by an ally known as Tom. They discussed plans before a man in a leather jacket arrived, greeting them and announcing his escape from St. Erembert. Lucy addressed him as Michael. They argued over whether he or Desmond deserved to be put into the Animus based on their heritage, which Michael claimed to be superior, much to the denial of Lucy and Tom. When it was clear he was losing the argument, he produced a Hidden Blade and moved to attack Desmond, before being knocked out by Lucy. She told Tom to find somewhere for Michael where he could neither harm others nor himself. Desmond then went into an Animus almost identical to Abstergo's, located in a dark, smoky lab. Surrounded by Lucy and various scientists, he started reliving Ezio's memories.
Volume 2: Aquilus
In an Arabic country, Desmond's father gave him a riddle: "Eagles are not afraid of vultures, but they should learn to distrust them."
While trying to get to Monteriggioni in a truck, Desmond continued to relive the life of Aquilus through the Animus. A Roman Assassin in 259, Aquilus had traveled to a Roman camp site to visit a Roman General named Gracchus, who stabbed Aquilus after a quick conversation. Aquilus lost consciousness and lay on the ground in a tent. A battle started with a small contingent of Romans against an army of Alamans, who would prove the victor. Accipiter, an Alaman General and the cousin of the Assassin Aquilus, rescued Aquilus from the destruction of the tent by taking him to the top of a Roman tower to tend his wound. When Aquilus awoke, both men rode off on horses but split up after a short distance, close to a river. As a favor to his cousin, Accipiter vowed to protect Lugdunum with his army of Alamans in case of attack. Before leaving, Accipiter gave Aquilus an artifact which he obtained from Aquilus’s father, Lucius. It was the Piece of Eden known as the Ankh, notable for its power of reviving the dead. Aquilus departed for his father’s house in Lugdunum. After arriving, Lucius showed him to one of his old friends, Caius Fulvus Vultur, a Roman senator and a secret member of the Templar Order. After a quick conversation, Aquilus tried to find a bishop named Faustin in Lugdunum. Faustin confessed that his ally was Vultur Caius Fulvus before Aquilus kills him and jumps out of the window.
Desmond awoke to the Assassins' van being attacked by mercenaries. The driver was shot and an ally by the name of Herman Geier took over the wheel. Geier was unable to control the van and lost control. Desmond showed his improved abilities by killing the mercenaries with skills learned from his session in the Animus. Afterwards Geier assumed that the Templars must have found them with some tracking device, but the Assassins could find no proof of any such device. Desmond proposed that he continue his sessions in the Animus.
Back in the past, Aquilus raced to his father’s house, as he had found out that Vultur had killed Lucius and fatally wounded his servant Weke. Weke told Aquilius the same riddle that Desmond's father would later give to his son, though Aquilus didn't know what it meant. Weke died before he could reveal the answer to the riddle, and another servant explained to Aquilius what had happened. She revealed how the senator had demanded the Ankh. When Lucius refused, he was killed, as was Weke when he made an attempt to take back the stolen Ankh from the senator.
Desmond emerged from the Animus and asked Lucy what 'vultur' means in Latin, demanding that the van be stopped. Without hesitation, he shot Geier in the leg. He tossed Lucy a mobile phone which he had taken from one of the mercenaries that attacked them earler. Desmond asked her to dial the last received number and Herman's phone started to ring, revealing him to be the traitor. Desmond killed Geier, as he had remembered his father's riddle. The answer lay in the traitor's last name—Geier—which meant "Vulture" in German. Later Desmond talked to Lucy, having doubts about his actions and the way that he had killed in cold blood. Lucy told him that his changes in his behaviour might be related to his sessions in the Animus.
At night, the modern Assassins arrived in Monterrigioni, with no idea how to get inside the crypt. Desmond said that another session in the Animus might reveal the answer.
Volume 3: Accipiter
Jonathan Hawk was sent by a suited executive and a lab technician to relive Accipiter's memories. He was sent to 259 CE, when Accipiter's Alamans were crossng the Rodanus into Genava and Aube to face the Roman forces at Oppidum. The battle raged bloodily and long, but Accipiter's forces were eventually victorious. Accipiter was met by the Iberian Assassin Cuervo after the battle, the latter coming to congratulate the Alamans on their victory and to discuss the future. Cuervo had concerns about the Alamans approaching Lugdunum, a well-fortified city important to the Assassins. Cuervo and Accipiter worked out a plan for the Alamans to have a secret meeting with the prefect of Lugdunum. They would demand a ransom for the sparing of the city, in return for which Lugdunum wouldn't be ravaged. This would prevent the Alamans from appearing weak, as well as safeguarding the Assassin investments in the city.
However, the technician removed Hawk from the memories, citing physiological and psychological safeguards for Hawk's protection. The executive understood and allowed Hawk a two-hour respite.
Meanwhile, Desmond was back in the Animus for Aquilus's memories: Aquilus returned home, passing by Caius Vultur's home. Remembering what the senator had done, Aquilus waited for cover of darkness to infiltrate the senator's home. A guard sounding the alarm was quickly silenced, but not before the household was alerted. Several guards had to be put down before one would confess his master's location: Vultur was hiding in his personal chambers. When Aquilus demanded that he present himself, Vultur stabbed a spear through the door and into his own man. Aquilus broke down the door and accosted Vultur. Though the senator first tried to bribe and then begged for his life, Aquilus was disinclined to let him live.
Before killing the senator, Aquilus demanded the return of the stolen Ankh. Vultur told Aquilus the history behind the artifact. The Ankh had been used by the Egyptian goddess Isis to protect the Pharaohs of Egypt, but when Osiris, her husband, died, she used it to revive him so their union could result in Horus's conception. This use of the Ankh revealed its purpose: raising the dead. The cross was later discovered in a pyramid by Roman looters and passed down through various owners who were unaware of its purpose. When Aquilus demanded the stolen artifact's return, Vultur lashed out with the Ankh, only to be stabbed to death. Aquilus performed a Leap of Faith out the window into the night.
While Desmond was in the Animus, Lucy checked in with Rebecca. Rebecca remarked that the recording was going well. Desmond seemed to be remarkably well-suited to being an Animus test subject, as he had so many ancestors that were worth investigating and his DNA captured a lot of detail from his ancestor's memories. Rebecca also commented on the possibility of Lucy's feelings for Desmond, only to be strongly rebuffed.
Desmond viewed Aquilus returning to his own villa. He was met by Valeria, his wife, at the door. Glad to be home, he told her that Vultur was dead and the Ankh recovered. Though warning her that his work was not done, the couple retired to the marriage bed to reacquaint themselves.
Lucy woke Desmond as intruders snuck into Monterrigioni, dressed in suits like the first mercenaries the modern-day Assassins faced. Lucy and Desmond dealt with the intruders quickly, and, although Lucy was almost killed by the last mercenary, Desmond was able to cover her. They kissed, but Lucy quickly suppressed the emotions of the moment, citing the Assassins' need to finish the job. Not knowing who had attacked them, Lucy asked about a nearby statue. Desmond couldn't place the statue's importance, thinking that it had belonged to the previous owner.
Hawk, meanwhile, was sent back into the Animus to view Accipiter's memories. Accipiter was meeting with the prefect to demand the ransom for Lugdunum's safety. Though the prefect initially appeared unwilling to comply, Accipiter's threat revealed the bluff to be the prefect saving face. As the tribute was delivered, Accipiter overheard the prefect planning Aquilus's arrest and murder. Accipiter sent his men back with the loot while he himself went to Lugdunum.
Desmond and Lucy met back with Shaun and Rebecca, assuring them the area was secure. Shaun had discovered that Aquilus had an ancestor, Lugos, whose name meant "Raven", much like Cuervo's.
Desmond, rather than wait around, dove back into Aquilus's memories. Aquilus showed his wife the Ankh and told her of its power. She was terrified of the dead's potential return, but Aquilus assured her that the bond was temporary. The Ankh served as a kind of recording device—it recorded the mannerisms of the individual who used it, and could be used to return those mannerisms to the corpse. Aquilus deduced that this artifact had to have been created by a previous, now-lost civilization.
Aquilus activated the Ankh, suspecting that his father had left him a message. His suspicions were well-founded—Lucius's hologram appeared in the Ankh's loop. It told of Vultur's betrayal and that the Assassin's task was to safeguard the Liberalis Circulum, another name for the Assassin Order. It also mentioned that they needed to find Lugos, an older member of the Assassin Order. Before the hologram could finish telling Aquilus about the importance of the Ankh, the prefect's soldiers burst into the villa on the pretense of arresting him for the murder of Faustin. Aquilus admitted to the murder on the grounds of Faustin's treason. Though he attempted to flee, the soldiers knocked him unconscious and chained him.
Accipiter later arrived at the villa, only to hear of Aquilus's arrest and his captors' departure for Rodumna. Accipiter and Valeria were chained and on the road to Rodumna, where the Roman officials had fled. When the prison caravan was attacked, Aquilus was killed by a Roman soldier. The shock threw Desmond out of the memories, screaming. When he was calmed down, Desmond mentioned his suspicion that Valeria was pregnant and immediately dove back into the memories, intent on reclaiming his ancestor's honor.
As Desmond watched through the Animus, Accipiter arrived to see Valeria screaming of her husband's death. He carried her and the body away until he was sure they weren't being followed. They made camp, and Valeria filled in the missing details for him. Unfortunately, Lucius had been killed before telling them where Lugos was, and so the Ankh's message held no more secrets for them. Accipiter had Valeria take the Ankh and hide it within a shrine for Aquilus's memory, as he doubted that they could operate the device with their limited knowledge.
Desmond emerges from the Animus and took Lucy back to the statue. They move a loose stone and find the Ankh hidden within. Taking it back to Rebecca and Shaun, they play back another message recorded on it. Apparently, Lugos' ship had sunk in the Mediterranean and with it another Piece of Eden. While the team was debating the chances of its recovery, Desmond received a phone call from someone calling herself Stella Crow, another Assassin. She demanded that Lucy give Desmond the "Folder 24", in order to deliver it to an agent arriving to claim it. Lucy gave Desmond the folder, saying that it was delivered by courier and not to be given to Desmond before Crow's call.
As Desmond was opening the folder, Hawk arrived at the door. Rebecca let him in, knowing Hawk to be a member of another cell. Shaun speculated that Hawk was Desmond's replacement in the Animus for the current project. Hawk claimed that his team was supposed to take over the mission for Lucy's cell and announced himself as Accipiter's descendant, thus having, in a way, met Desmond through the Animus. As the five of them pored over the folder, no one knew how the parameters of the mission had changed, but a photo of Giza suggested that Egypt featured as a location.
- The comics are available in Canada and France, and have recently been translated into German, Dutch, Polish and Italian as of February 2012.
- While the first comic shares enough discrepancies with the games to suggest it is not canon to the series, the second comic, 'Aquilus' has been confirmed by Ubisoft to be part of the Assassin's Creed Universe, both in the Universe video and in the Encyclopedia.
- The cover of the 2nd volume shows Aquilius with a split eagle's beak on his hood. This is not how he appears in the comic itself.
- Aquilius uses a dagger, instead of a Hidden Blade to assassinate his targets.
- A major contradiction of the first comic is that Subject 16 is alive. Official guidebooks for Assassin's Creed state that Abstergo's doctors "were too late to save him" after he cut a vein to produce the messages seen by Desmond through Eagle Vision and it has been explicitly stated by Alexandre Amancio that Subject 16 is physically dead. Lucy appears to react uncaring towards him and is irritated by his presence later in the first comic, which contradicts greatly to the visible guilt and grief she shows about him during the games.
- The drawings shown in Desmond's room bear no resemblance to those of the game.
- Another contradiction is how Lucy explains how much Desmond's bloodline has contributed to the work of the Assassins, referring to his other ancestors, as if they come from one single bloodline.
- The progression into Assassin's Creed II's main events via the Modern Times's Assassins and Animus greatly differ, some characters being entirely omitted as of the first comic.
- There is also a contradiction in that Aquilus's memories are relived after his child's conception, even to the point of his own death—something that genetic memory constraints shouldn't allow.