Overwatch (digital comic series)

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Overwatch
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Publication information
PublisherBlizzard Entertainment
FormatOngoing series
Genre
Publication dateApril 2016–present
No. of issues16
Main character(s)Overwatch team
Creative team
Created byJames Waugh
Written by
Artist(s)
Colorist(s)
Editor(s)

Overwatch is an American digital comic series published online by Blizzard Entertainment and republished by Dark Horse Comics' digital service, featuring events surrounding the characters of the Overwatch universe. The title was launched on April 21, 2016, and has continued to be published with no set schedule.

Blizzard uses the comic series, along with animated media, fictional news reports, and online character biographies, to develop the narrative of Overwatch, as the video game includes no traditional story or campaign mode.

Development[edit]

Blizzard did not include a traditional campaign or story mode in the Overwatch video game.[1] Instead, Blizzard opted to develop the story and lore of the Overwatch universe through a transmedia storytelling method, including animated shorts and comic titles.[2]

On the approach to the storytelling, senior game designer Michael Chu, stated, "it was a solution that was born out of the kind of game we were making, because multiplayer shooter, obviously usually doesn't have a linear story. We had to think about other things, and we knew from day one that we wanted to make a significant Overwatch universe."[3] Chu has also elaborated on how Blizzard decides which stories to tell through a comic format, stating, "every time we approach a story, very much like the skins, we have this backlog of story ideas, and hooks that we'd like to explore. We decide which ones we feel are the most exciting or make sense for the present. Like if we do a comic, comics are better for telling certain types of stories," adding, "we really decide what kind of story we want to tell, what's the story that we're going to tell, and then it's all about, lets figure out the best way to do this."[3]

Publication history[edit]

Blizzard announced they would release six digital comics prior to the game's May 24, 2016 release, in addition to a graphic novel titled Overwatch: First Strike, set for a release later in 2016.[4] First Strike was later revealed to have a November 2016 digital release, in addition to an April 2017 hardcover release.[5] On April 21, 2016, Train Hopper, headlining the cowboy character McCree, became the first Overwatch comic title released by Blizzard.[6] This issue, as well as all subsequent issues of the comic title, were initially published and made freely available to download on comic.playoverwatch.com.[7]

The comic series is published in cooperation with Dark Horse Comics, who republish the series on their own digital comic service.[8] Animated versions, or animatics,[9] of the comic's issues are also produced and released by Madefire Studios, an interactive comics publishing platform, shortly after they are released on Blizzard's own service.[10][11] Madefire's animated versions are viewable on Battle.net, as well.[10]

Although Blizzard initially announced six comic issues to be released,[4] they published Legacy, featuring Ana in July 2016.[12] Ana was also the first character to be added into the game post-release.[12] Later in the month, Blizzard and Dark Horse announced a deal that would have Dark Horse publish future comic works centered around the Overwatch universe, as well as the First Strike graphic novel and an art book.[8][13] Blizzard later released holiday themed issues, Junkenstein and Reflections, in October and December 2016, respectively.[10] In Reflections, the character Tracer is portrayed in a lesbian relationship, making her the first Overwatch character to be confirmed canonically LGBT.[14] As a result, access to this issue was made unavailable in Russia, to avoid legal conflict with the country's ban against gay propaganda.[15]

On November 18, 2016, Blizzard announced it had canceled the release of the First Strike graphic novel.[5] In the cancellation announcement, Michael Chu detailed that "the original idea for the graphic novel dates back to the early days of the game's development and came from our desire to tell the story of the founding of Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis."[5] Chu added that, "in the years since First Strike's conception, we have done a lot of development on the universe and its stories. While the core of this story remains, we have changed and expanded upon how we see the events that took place during the first days of Overwatch."[5] Micky Neilson and Ludo Lullabi were slated to be the writer and artist for the graphic novel, respectively.[16]

A hardcover collection of the first twelve issues of the Overwatch digital comics titled Overwatch: Anthology, Volume 1 was released on October 10, 2017.[17][18] The Russian edition of this book, printed two months later, doesn't include the Reflections issue to meet the original game's 12+ age restriction.

Issues[edit]

# Title Main character(s) Publication Date[u] ASIN Ref.(s)
Volume 1
1 Train Hopper McCree April 21, 2016 B01EXUFAKW [19]
2 Dragon Slayer Reinhardt and Brigitte April 28, 2016 B01EZ2S0PU [20]
3 Going Legit Junkrat and Roadhog May 5, 2016 B01GGOEM6G [21]
4 A Better World Symmetra May 13, 2016 B01GGOEMM0 [22]
5 Mission Statement Pharah May 20, 2016 B01GGOEN3I [23]
6 Destroyer Torbjörn May 24, 2016[v] B01GGOENQU [25]
7 Legacy Ana and Widowmaker July 14, 2016 B01IO5REE2 [26]
8 Old Soldiers Ana, Soldier: 76 and Reaper July 21, 2016 B01IUBQM0C [27]
9 Junkenstein Junkrat, Reinhardt, Torbjörn, Ana, Reaper, Soldier: 76, McCree and Mercy October 11, 2016 B01M622PNA [28]
10 Reflections Tracer and Winston December 20, 2016 B01NBWIP0B [29]
11 Binary Bastion and Torbjörn March 8, 2017 B076JPL1VJ [30]
12 Uprising Tracer, Reinhardt, Torbjörn, Ana, Reaper, Soldier: 76, McCree, Winston and Mercy April 5, 2017 B072MLWN4Q [31]
Volume 2
13 Masquerade Doomfist, Reaper, Sombra and Widowmaker July 19, 2017 B076JFN1JR [32]
14 Wasted Land Junkrat and Roadhog September 6, 2017 B076JKQKP9 [33]
15 Searching Zarya and Sombra September 27, 2017 B076JFPH7C [34]
16 Retribution Reaper, Soldier: 76, McCree, Genji and Moira April 4, 2018 B07C49HY4W [35]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Robert Brooks was credited as the writer for issues 1, 3, and 14.
  2. ^ Matt Burns was credited as the writer for issues 2, 9, 11, and 16; for issue 9, he is credited as the writer for story only. For issue 11, he is co-credited for its script.
  3. ^ Andrew Robinson was credited as the writer for issues 4–5, 7, and 15.
  4. ^ Micky Neilson was credited as the writer for issue 6.
  5. ^ Michael Chu is credited as the writer for issues 8–10 and 12–13. For issue 9, he is credited as the writer for plot only. For issues 12 and 13, he is credited for the issue's script.
  6. ^ Jame Waugh is credited as the writer for issue 11; specifically, he is co-credited for the issue's script.
  7. ^ Joelle Sellner is credited as the writer for issue 15; specifically, she is co-credited for the issue's script.
  8. ^ a b Bengal was credited as the artist for issues 1 and 7–8. Bengal was also credited as the colorist for issue 1.
  9. ^ a b Nesskain was credited as the artist for issues 2 and 5. Nesskain was also credited as the colorist for both of these issues.
  10. ^ a b Gray Shuko was credited as the artist for issues 3, 6, 9, 12, and 16. Shuko was also credited as the colorist for issues 3 and 6.
  11. ^ a b Jeffrey "Chamba" Cruz was credited as the artist for issue 4. Cruz was also credited as the colorist for issue 4.
  12. ^ Miki Montlló was credited as the artist for issues 10 and 14.
  13. ^ Joe Ng was credited as the artist for issue 11.
  14. ^ Ryan Benjamin was credited as the artist for issue 13.
  15. ^ John J. Hill was credited as the graphic designer for issue 13.
  16. ^ name
  17. ^ Espen Grundetjern was credited as the colorist for issue 11.
  18. ^ Robert Simpson and Cate Gary were jointly credited as the editors for issues 1–6. From issues 7 onwards, Simpson was solely credited as the lead editor, and Gary was solely credited as the senior editor.
  19. ^ Logan Lubera was credited as the art editor for issues 1–6.
  20. ^ Allison Monahan was credited as the associate copy editor for issue 13.
  21. ^ The publication date information is provided for the original digital publication date on PlayOverwatch.com.
  22. ^ Although the official PlayOverwatch.com blog post announcing Destroyer was released on May 26, 2016,[24] Blizzard published the comic on May 24.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mascarenhas, Hyacinth (April 23, 2016). "Blizzard releases first free Overwatch comic featuring vigilante Jesse McCree". International Business Times. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  2. ^ McCarthy, Caty (June 13, 2016). "Overwatch and the pleasure of transmedia narratives". Kill Screen. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Haywald, Justin (November 6, 2016). "Overwatch's Sombra Started Out OP, Here's How the Devs Fixed Her". Gamespot. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Barrett, Ben (April 4, 2016). "Two more Overwatch animated shorts, plus six digital comics, coming before release". PCGamesN. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Mascarenhas, Hyacinth (November 19, 2016). "Blizzard cancels Overwatch's graphic novel 'First Strike'". International Business Times. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  6. ^ Frank, Allegra (April 22, 2016). "Overwatch's first comic tells the story of bounty hunter McCree". Polygon. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  7. ^ "Blizzard | Overwatch Comic". PlayOverwatch. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Schedeen, Jesse (July 20, 2016). "Comic-Con 2016: Dark Horse and Blizzard Partner for New Overwatch Comics". IGN. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  9. ^ Frank, Allegra (April 5, 2017). "Overwatch's new comic sets the stage for its next big event". Polygon. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c Plante, Corey (December 22, 2016). "Watch the 'Overwatch' Tracer Reveal in the Animated Comics". Inverse. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  11. ^ Burlingame, Russ (May 16, 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: First Look at Blizzard's Overwatch: Pharah Comic". Comic Book. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Grant, Christopher (July 15, 2016). "Overwatch comic series adds Ana installment". Polygon. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  13. ^ Oh, Ashley (July 21, 2016). "Overwatch comics and art books to be published by Dark Horse". Polygon. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  14. ^ Frank, Allegra (December 20, 2016). "Overwatch's new comic confirms game's first queer character". Polygon. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  15. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (December 20, 2016). "Overwatch webcomic blocked in Russia over gay character". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  16. ^ McWhertor, Michael (November 18, 2016). "Blizzard cancels Overwatch graphic novel". Polygon. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  17. ^ Yehl, Joshua (May 15, 2017). "ART OF OVERWATCH AND HARDCOVER ANTHOLOGY COMIC ON THE WAY FROM DARK HORSE AND BLIZZARD". IGN. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  18. ^ Wickline, Dan (May 17, 2017). "The Art Of Overwatch And The Overwatch Anthology Coming This October". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  19. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Train Hopper"". PlayOverwatch. April 21, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  20. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Dragon Slayer"". PlayOverwatch. April 28, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  21. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Going Legit"". PlayOverwatch. May 5, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  22. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "A Better World"". PlayOverwatch. May 13, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  23. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Mission Statement"". PlayOverwatch. May 20, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  24. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Destroyer"". PlayOverwatch. May 26, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  25. ^ a b "Destroyer (Overwatch Digital Comics #6)". Goodreads. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  26. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: Legacy". PlayOverwatch. July 14, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  27. ^ "While on a mission in Egypt, Soldier: 76 is caught in a trap. But a ghost from the past swoops in to lend a hand—just like old times". PlayOverwatch. Facebook. July 21, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  28. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Junkenstein"". PlayOverwatch. October 11, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  29. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Reflections"". PlayOverwatch. December 20, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  30. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Binary"". PlayOverwatch. March 8, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  31. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Uprising"". PlayOverwatch. April 5, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  32. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Masquerade"". PlayOverwatch. July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  33. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Wasted Land"". PlayOverwatch. September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  34. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Searching"". PlayOverwatch. September 27, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  35. ^ "Overwatch Digital Comic: "Retribution"". PlayOverwatch. April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.

External links[edit]