We saw, over winter, that the post-apocalyptic future in The Last of Us is one where fourteen-year-old Ellie has never seen a movie, because movies have ceased to exist. But what about the rest of this young girl’s life? What transpires, in a ruined world, that ends up pairing her off with Joel and leading to the events of the upcoming game?
The answers will be delivered in four-part comic series The Last of Us: American Dreams, IGN reports. The comic details Ellie’s backstory, as a child raised in military orphanages in a quarantine zone.
Speaking with IGN, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann explained that the comic is designed to appeal to any readers, not just those who have played the game. The story, and the characters in it, stand on their own. However, Druckmann elaborated, reading the comic will most assuredly add context for players who want more story. He also explained that writing the comic in-house, and keeping it in line with the canon and core story of The Last of Us through the game’s development, allowed Naughty Dog to intertwine the two.
“If you do read this comic book and you play the game, you should get greater depth, a greater understanding of these characters and the world and what’s going on with them,” Druckmann said. “The other cool thing is that working on the comic book has helped me develop more of Ellie’s backstory. Because we haven’t finished the game yet, we’ve been able to weave some of those threads into the story of the game. So there are certain parts as you play the game, if you’ve read the comic book, you’ll understand what Ellie’s referring to, or have a deeper understanding of what made her make that decision.”
The Last of Us: American Dreams is due from Dark Horse sometime in the spring. When asked how the release timing of the comic related to the release timing of the game, Druckmann only told IGN that both were coming out in 2013.