For League of Legends, that’s important as it’s a step in cementing the lore behind the characters of the PC online game, which has been out for nine years and is now a popular esport. This means League of Legends is on its way to being a “transmedia property” spread across a lot of media.
“Many fans of the Marvel Universe and comics share their interests and passion for storytelling with the gaming community,” said C.B. Cebulski, editor-in-chief of Marvel, in a statement. “League of Legends is one of the most well-known games in the industry, and their unique world and extensive roster of rich characters … are a perfect fit for comics. We’re excited to partner with Riot and help build the League of Legends Universe for fans and players around the world.”
The comics will kick off with League of Legends: Ashe: Warmother — an origin story of one of the first League of Legends champions.
Players and comic fans alike will explore the world of Runeterra and dive into stories about their favorite characters. League of Legends: Ashe: Warmother issues will release monthly on digital platforms beginning December 19, followed by a graphic novel published by Marvel and Riot in May 2019.
“We love comics as a way to tell stories because it gives League of Legends fans an opportunity to see the world of Runeterra and not just read about it,” said Greg Street, head of creative development at Riot Games, in a statement. “We see similarities between the League of Legends Universe and the Marvel Universe, as both of them feature an array of characters with compelling and diverse backgrounds. Marvel’s success at developing a world through comics and creating great stories is industry-defining, and we’re thrilled to be working with them to bring our own stories to life.”
League of Legends: Ashe: Warmother will feature the comics debut of Riot Games writer Odin Austin Shafer, along with artwork by artist Nina Vakueva (Heavy Vinyl).
Additional details on future titles and creative teams will come at a later date. Marvel’s support is notable because it happened after an investigative story on Kotaku about the poor treatment of women employees at Riot Games exposed a sexist culture at the Los Angeles company. Riot apologized and said it has taken actions to change the culture to embrace diversity.