10:42am PT by Graeme McMillan
Marvel to Publish 'League of Legends' Comic Books
Marvel Entertainment is continuing to build its collection of licensed comic book properties, following the Star Wars and upcoming Conan the Barbarian lines with the addition of comics and graphic novels based on Riot Games’ online multiplayer property League of Legends.
Marvel’s League of Legends comic books will launch digitally in December, with a print collection of the first title, League of Legends: Ashe: Warmother, in May. The series will be written by Riot Games’ Odin Austin Shafer, with art by Heavy Vinyl’s Nina Vakeuva.
Warmother will tell the backstory of Ashe, the game’s Frost Archer champion, born with a magical connection to her homeland. On a quest to uncover the truth behind an ancient myth, Ashe and her mother will find themselves tested like never before, with her destiny intertwined with the future of her world of Runeterra.
“Many fans of the Marvel Universe and comics share their interests and passion for storytelling with the gaming community,” C.B. Cebulski, editor-in-chief of Marvel, said 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 and are a perfect fit for comic books. We’re excited to partner with Riot and help build the League of Legends Universe for fans and players around the world.”
“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,” Riot Games’ head of creative development, Greg Street, added. “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 debuted in 2009, and by mid-2012 had become the most-played PC game in North America and Europe in terms of hours played. In addition to the video game, the property has spread to merchandise including toys, clothing and books.
The move comes after two other multiplayer video game properties, Blizzard’s Overwatch and NetherRealm/Warner Bros. Interactive’s Injustice, have found success in the comic book medium, with titles from Dark Horse Comics and DC Entertainment, respectively.
The first issue of League of Legends: Ashe: Warmother will be released digitally Dec. 19.