First, let me do away with the chores. I know there's a dedicated feedback and discussion page by Riot but I wanted to make a post with its own space given that my thoughts on this will get lengthy. I also didn't want to have my opinions influenced by anyone else, and I'm writing this right after having read the comic so these are all first impressions and reactive thoughts to what I just read. Note that I'll be looking at the literary part of the comics so comments on the artwork won't be coming from me. I'll also being doing posts like this for each of the comics so if you like what I have to say, feel free to look out for me when the next issues come out. Without further ado, let's dive in:
For a first comic, Lux does a great job at setting up a plot, future conflict, and a thematic landscape. If I wanted to nitpick, I would've liked to see a little more out of Garen and Lux's relationship, and a little more background into Sylas and his notoriety. That being said, it's only been the first comic and it would be a little unfair for me to jump the gun on this when we're still expecting 4 more issues to come out. I'll start by covering the themes prevalent in the story, then work my way into the individual characters and their relevance to the plot.
Thematically speaking, Lux is brilliant. First of all, it covers a very intense topic that bares heavy resemblance to various conflicts in the past and present but most importantly, with the kind of problems society as a whole has been dealing with since the dawn of civilization. The balance between order and chaos.
These ideas are old. I mean like, REALLY old. First of all, order has been traditionally characterized as male, and chaos has been traditionally characterized as female. How does this make any sense? Well, the first creation myth, told by the Sumerians, tells of two primordial beings, Tiamat and Abzu, of salt and freshwater respectively. They fell in love and Tiamat gave birth to all the gods. One day, the gods turned on Abzu and killed him, partly by accident, but mostly because they thought they could rule the universe but had no idea what they were doing. Enraged by this, Tiamat promised to just about destroy everything and brought a flood of demons forth to swallow up the world and kill all the gods. The gods were defeated one by one until they came together and chose a hero among the gods, Marduk, who caught Tiamat with a fishing net and cut her into pieces. Marduk was allowed to be the king of the gods for killing Tiamat and from the pieces of Tiamat's body, Marduk created the world as we know it. (If this sounds somewhat similar to Noah's Ark, it's because the story of the Flood is a classic motif that been a part of just about every mythology in the ancient world and has been around probably way before we even learned how to write)
Now you might be thinking, what in the world does that have to do with Lux? Easy. The way I see this story going is, Lux gets used by Sylas to set himself free, throwing Demacia into chaos and threatening to destroy everything the country ever stood for, which technically means that Garen was right. In the comic, he warns that mages pose a threat that could destroy Demacia entirely and judging by what's going on in the first introductory panels... well, you see what I mean. I digress. Sylas is a representative of Tiamat, a sea of unbridled chaos that can very well destroy everything, even if the reasons behind that are rational. Sylas wants freedom for mages and Tiamat wants to avenge her deceased husband (important to note that the gods in the Sumerian story start to live inside the corpse of their dead father. You can see why mom ended up getting pissed off over it). But that doesn't justify tearing the whole system down and doing away with everything. Lux, on the other hand, is Marduk. Lux, as I see it, will provide the middle ground between Demacia and the mages by bringing forth a new way of ordering society so that both mages and non-mages can live in peace.
This is the brilliance of the writers here. Lux moves beyond just the motif of Marduk. This is the ideal Demacia. Lux is the voice for the mages, Garen is the voice for the non-mages. Order and chaos in balance. There is no place for Sylas, the form of chaos that destroys. There is no place for the current Demacia, the part of order that is tyranny. Order is fatherly/male, because it serves to protect those from what seeks to destroy, and Chaos is motherly/female, because from chaos, order can be created. Marduk creates the world from the pieces of Tiamat. Order, Civilization, and everything we know and love, is taken from Chaos. That's why we say Mother Nature, for example, or even get the idea of a Patriarchy. A Patriarchy is good in the sense that historically it creates a world where we can live relatively peacefully, but is bad when it turns tyrannical.
It's the same problem that Demacia deals with. Lux and her magic has the ability to create something new, innovative, and novel. She also has the power to extract a new order in Demacia from the chaos that Sylas will bring. Garen seeks to protect Demacia and Lux but he must also contend with the tyrannical parts of Demacia and the ideal he seeks to uphold. There is nothing wrong with prohibiting magic that may cause harm but to ban all magic is oppressive. It is good that people should be free to live and express various forms of magic but to use it to destroy order is just as wrong.
This is where we return to Lux's Marduk role. Lux will have an important decision to make. If she makes the wrong one, Demacia may carry out a genocide against all mages, or Sylas may do the same to the Demacian people. If she makes the right one, she saves both mages and Demacians and creates a new world from the ashes of the old one. I really appreciate Riot's ability to present the rights and wrongs of both sides of the issue here. Order and Chaos aren't inherently good or bad but too much of either is not good. It's yin and yang where a good life is the curved path where the two sides of the symbol meet. From an archetypal standpoint, this story is a masterpiece and I loved every bit of it. What I'm excited for is the ways it can deviate from the norm and surprise us.
All stories are derived from earlier versions of itself but the reasons we keep enjoying them is because, not only do they hold onto the core of what made these stories so good, but they introduce brand new ways of telling them. This time, we get to take a look into the world Runeterra itself and watch the characters we know and love interact, come into conflict and develop. How Lux will get find her way through this conflict, how she'll balance her sense of justice with Sylas and Garen, and even what Sylas is plotting and how he plans to get what he wants, I have no idea. That's the exciting part of it and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. I've been calling it ever since Riot announced their partnership with Marvel and I'll say it again. All this is to narrow down Runeterra into plots small enough to fit into movie adaptations but still big enough to fill the big screen. And once that happens, we'll get the start of the League of Legends cinematic universe. I'm telling you guys, a League of Legends movie is coming fast and I'm so happy to witness every step Riot is making. I'll see you guys again after the release of the next comic. I hope you enjoyed reading what I had to say and have a wonderful weekend! :D