Overwatch’s latest event will be bringing some extra servings of lore, specifically focusing on poster girl Tracer, who is starring in her own five-part comic to coincide with some new in-game unlockables.
Tracer’s Comic Challenge will begin tomorrow, September 15, and last until September 28. During this time, Blizzard and Dark Horse Comics will be releasing five digital comics called Overwatch: Tracer – London Calling, the first of which is available to read for free on the Overwatch website. The comic stars Tracer before the events of Overwatch 2’s upcoming campaign, and during this time she’s trying to make the most of her time-bending powers while the titular organization has been disbanded. There’s already some spotlight being given to the relationship between her and her girlfriend Emily, who will hopefully continue to play a role in the comic as the story develops.
As is the case with most of Overwatch events, playing the game between tomorrow and the 28th will net you some cosmetics. Since the theme of the event is comics, some of those unlockables include sprays of comic art and speech bubbles, as well as a new skin for Tracer, which has the hero in a suit adorned with comic panels from Tracer – London Calling.
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While the cosmetics will only be available to people who get around to unlocking them in the two weeks the event is going on, the comics are a pretty notable thing because Overwatch is finally starting to build toward a real story as Overwatch 2’s launch lingers sometime in the far off future. When? Nobody knows. But whenever it does finally launch, it will be bringing an actual story campaign with it, a long-requested mode since the original game launched in 2016. Ironically enough, Michael Chu, the series writer, left Blizzard earlier this year just as Overwatch is finally getting a story, which has been relegated to external media like animated shorts, short stories, and the aforementioned comics.
More recently, Overwatch has started getting full blown novels, including The Hero of Numbani, which was released back in June and focused on heroes like Orisa, Lúcio, and Doomfist. While the story itself was mostly disconnected from the A-plot of Overwatch, it did give the book a chance to flesh out characters who are mostly on the periphery of things, and it would be pretty great if Blizzard took this route more often in the future.
Whatever awaits the heroes of Overwatch in the sequel’s story mode, it will drastically alter the dynamic the game’s fanbase has with its characters, as the fandom has long thrived in the gaps of its minimal storytelling and character development. Some fans are stoked about that idea, while others feel like they’re about to meet characters again for the first time, and that may undermine years of theory crafting and fan creations.