Blizzard has released their new holiday themed comic for Overwatch today called Reflections by writer Michael Chu and artist Miki Montillo and in doing so outed one of their most popular characters. Over a year ago Blizzard confirmed that at least one of the heroes was gay, this story tells you which one. We learn in the comics that Tracer, one of the first characters revealed when the game was announced, has a girlfriend named Emily.
The story follows Tracer as she races around trying to buy a gift at the very last minute. Meanwhile Winston is preparing his house for Christmas. Tracer is delayed by stopping a thief, but it keeps her from getting to the stores before they close. The people whose gifts she saved give her a gift in thanks. She then goes home with nothing for her girlfriend Emily. But she opens the gift the family had given Tracer and loved the scarf inside. She and Tracer then went to spend Christmas with Winston.
Blizzard has been very open about how the wanted Overwatch to be diverse and represent everyone. They have done that with a strong mix of personalities and genders and now with sexual orientation. Tracer is almost the face of the game in the same was Tom Brady is for the New England Patriots. There were people cosplaying the character before the game was even released. There was a giant statue of her at Blizzcon when we saw the very first footage… a animated sequence featuring Tracer and Winston. So, it’s not like they are making a minor character gay or introducing a new one.
It will be interesting to see just how the news of this will be taken. Already reports are saying that this comic is being blocked in Russia. They have strong gay propaganda law that may be the cause of the ban. Sadly, I have a feeling this will not be the only negative reaction to the news.
While at Blizzcon this year, during an Overwatch presentation it was made clear that there was more than one LGBTQ hero in the game. So as the comics expand on the characters background, the games diversity should continue to grow.