It is quite possible to play and enjoy Blizzard Entertainment’s overwatch if nothing but a fun and colorful hero shooter. However, the franchise has extensive background knowledge that has been fleshed out in various Overwatch comics, videos, and other resources.
These stories inspired an Overwatch fan to create a short but brilliantly drawn manga about the character Widowmaker. The seven-page comic highlights the sad side of Widowmaker’s backstory, reminding fans that the blue sniper is more than cold one-liners and some light fan service.
Created by Reddit user Nebcrafter, the fan manga appears to take inspiration from a panel in the Overwatch comic Tracer: Reflections, published in 2016. At one point in the book, Widowmaker visits her husband’s grave at Christmas and leaves a single red rose behind. The fan-created manga is expertly drawn and shows a similar event. It begins with Widowmaker visiting her husband’s grave during a storm, where she reflects on her husband’s death and the cold-hearted assassin she has become. Widowmaker realizes, however, that she is no longer able to cry with most of her human emotions and that her work is all she cares about. Finally, Widowmaker walks away and decides that the old she is long dead.
For anyone unfamiliar with the details of Widowmaker’s backstory, she was once a Parisian ballet dancer named Amelie Guillard. Her husband, Gerard Lacroix, was a senior Overwatch agent who led their operations against the Talon terrorist group, one of the main opponents of the story. After multiple failed attempts on Gerard’s life, the organization kidnapped Amelie and brainwashed her into acting as a sleeper cop. After killing her husband, Amelie returned to Talon, where she received the training and biological augmentations that turned her into Widowmaker. The side effects of her augmentations and indoctrination were Widowmaker’s blue skin and numbing her emotions.
The Nebcrafter comic is kind of a highlight of this story. Through flashbacks, the reader sees Widowmaker’s old life as a dancer and her relationship with her husband, followed by her indoctrination and the aftermath of Gerard’s murder. Nebcrafter’s expertly crafted artwork also conveys the horror and tragedy of Widowmaker’s plight. While the panels depicting her brainwashing and the aftermath of her husband’s murder are disturbing and sad, the real tragedy stems from her lack of emotions. In Nebcrafter’s interpretation, Widowmaker wants to feel something about her husband’s death and what Talon did to her. However, she doesn’t have enough humanity to do that anymore.
Overwatch fans can check out Nebcrafter’s full manga on Reddit. Anyone interested in more of their work can also follow @nebcraftart on Twitter and Instagram or NeB-nebojsaobradovic on DeviantArt.
overwatch is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One.