Marvel Comics has shown they can pull off strong fantasy narratives utilizing interesting protagonists who are coming to grips with their place in the world, and their League of Legends comics are no exception. Just read Ashe – Warmother and you can see a relatable protagonist who may want to reject the proper path, but the world around them demands they do. The latest LoL graphic novel is out in comic shops this week and it focuses on Luxanna “Lux” Crownguard, a Mageseeker of privilege who harbors a secret: she is a mage herself. She can’t yet control her powers, but after meeting a friendly mage locked away and dubbed a killer, she understands her power and her place in the world too.
This book collects the five issues of the original Lux series along with a heavy dose of extras like sketches, letters from the author, and additional reading material. The overall package is quite good and I suspect those who play the games will enjoy this even more than folks like me who have a limited understanding of the world. Fans of the series will want to know this adventure also features champions Garen and Sylas, and explores their relationships with Lux.
League of Legends fans will adore the worldbuilding
Speaking of Sylas, he’s an intriguing character who gets a proper flashback origin story in this book. His point of view is relatable even though he decides to go on a killing rampage near the end of the book. Imprisoned and told he is unwelcome, it’s quite clear he serves as the wrong turn for a mage to take. Lux meanwhile wants to tamp down her powers and pretend she doesn’t have them. It’s easier that way, but John O’Bryan does a good job showing how that isn’t the right way. Her development is well written and it’s believable in how she slowly helps Sylas escape thanks to her good nature. It’s the beginnings of a true leader of a future where mages and humans can coexist.
The art by Billy Tan is solid throughout. Armor, magic and the environments look great. Generally speaking, the narrative flows nicely — it’s heavier on the dialogue to be sure, and while there is good action, much of the narrative is focused on Lux and Sylas connecting and other monarchy politics thrown in too.
The world-building in this book is documented well by Ryan Rubin, a producer for Riot Games. Detailed maps, computer-animated environments, and notes on the look of interiors all add to the experience. It’s quite clear Marvel and its creators had a wealth of resources to tap into as they built up the story and the world within this book.
This is a good fantasy story about a girl who wants to reject her true identity but eventually must come to grips with who she is and where she is going. I suspect many young adults will gravitate to Lux while adults will enjoy the rich world-building going on around her.