Blizzard has started 2017 out with a plethora of new content for its up and coming competitive game, Overwatch. From new heroes like Orisa, to the alluded to event and content update April 12, Blizzard has begun setting the stage for a more in-depth look into the final years of Overwatch. In Overwatch’s new comic, Uprising, we are given the introduction into what Blizzard Australia tweet calls the King’s Row Uprising.
Comics have been the avenue for Blizzard’s more frequent lore updates and explorations, and Uprising is no different. The interactive comic, written by Michael Chu and art by Gray Shuko, shows the waning power of Overwatch in the face of rising tensions between omnics and humans in London, England. This comic gives us a much needed look into the inner workings of Overwatch prior to the destruction of its base in Switzerland, and the climate which helped constitute the act which shut down Overwatch.
In Uprising, we see more of the interactions fans have been craving to see: the strained dynamic between Ana, Jack and Gabriel as the organization loses influence, sightings of fan favorite Overwatch members such as McCree, Genji and Mercy, and more insight into Tracer’s place in the organization before the fall. Michael Chu does well to keep the banter between friends light, but also shows the strain felt, particularly in Jack Morrison, later known as Soldier 76. While Soldier 76 and Tracer by far seem to hold the heart of the story – either in the moral question of whether to stand by while innocents are hurt, or follow orders, even if seen as unjust – the other characters like Ana, Reaper and Mercy all help add to the dynamic within Overwatch. Everyone has an opinion on how the show should be run.
Gray Shuko’s art stands out throughout the comic as a good blend of the vivid colors which help make each panel stand out as a piece of art onto its own and smooth, fluid watercolor which helps give motion to the interactive comic. The panels never seem stagnant and flow into each other well, giving the constant sense of movement from one scene to the next. The interactive approach to the Overwatch comics causes them to stand out among others, as it feels like watching smaller animated shorts, rather than unconnected one shots.
The comic does something that many of the earlier comics seemed to lack in a full degree: context. Unlike comics like Pharah’s Mission Statement or Roadhog and Junkrat’s Going Legit, Uprising feels like a story that adds something to what we already know; instead of adding more questions to ask later on.
Genji’s shown as a member of Blackwatch which makes more sense given his background and the alluded resentment he held towards the organization for his cyborgification. Mercy is shown as a medical officer and field agent, but also makes it clear her stance on what Overwatch’s main objective during the conflict should be. Above all, Tracer takes on a new light in this comic as a rookie looking to make her mark and find a way to help the world after her accident in the flight program almost took her out of it. In one panel alone, lots of context is given to Overwatch’s status towards the end of its lifespan, as well as shows us the struggles of the world at large seven years prior to modern day.
Overwatch as a story is constantly growing and developing; this can be seen in the improvement of the lore comics. The original one shots lacked much weight and context, making them feel almost aimless as fans attempted to glean any information from them to help piece together the sparse lore we were given at launch. As time has gone on, the comics have become better at adding to the story we know, both past and present, and standing on their own as well. Now we’re set to wait for the 12th and whatever event Blizzard has planned for the King’s Row Uprising.