Today, Blizzard Entertainment released Reflections, the latest comic set in the Overwatch universe.
The comic is a split story about Tracer and Winston during the holidays. Winston is waiting for Tracer for holiday dinner, since she's his only family at this point. Tracer is pulling off her best Flash, racing through King's Row to buy a last-minute gift for an unnamed recipient. Tracer loses precious time stopping a crime and even gives up the perfect gift, even though she won it through the rite of holiday shopping spoils.
In the end, the family she saved in the beginning of the comic gives her a gift, which she then re-gifts to her intended recipient: her girlfriend Emily. Tracer and Emily join Winston for holiday dinner and we check in on the rest of the Overwatch crew during the holidays. Soldier 76 and Ana are sad, old people, officially becoming the Dad and Mom fandom wanted. Reaper and Widowmaker look to the lives that they've lost, while Sombra and McCree get drunk. Roadhog and Junkrat are sunny theme park bros and they look to be enjoying themselves. And Torjborn is apparently a sex machine, because he has like ten kids, all of whom are taken care of by Reinhardt.
Of course, most people aren't paying attention to the rest, because Tracer is gay.
There's been a lot of elation about the reveal of this hidden facet of the character. I've written before about why I feel representation is important in entertainment and a lot of that sentiment can be mirrored here. Many are excited that there is a gay character in Overwatch at all, in the same way some may be happy there's a Mexican or Korean character. Seeing yourself in your entertainment can have a tangible effect.
Fans had mined similar ground already. Following the opening cinematic and Alive animated shorts featuring Tracer and Widowmaker, some fans already started shipping the pairing. Following a change in a Tracer pose showing off her own posterior, a bunch of fan art showed Tracer as a connoisseur of Overwatch lady butts.
Of course, some fans are unhappy that Tracer is gay. This unhappiness stretches from mild annoyance, to anger, and really odd takes on the matter. Note, the change in Tracer's in-universe sexuality doesn't really affect the character in the game. And in the past, people have argued vehemently for Blizzard's artistic freedom in relation to Tracer, but when it's aimed in a different direction it becomes an issue?
Either way, it's done. Tracer is gay. Just like the various fan works, if that's a problem, you can envision another Tracer. Hell, there are people out there who are happy Tracer is gay, but unhappy that she's not all about Widowmaker or Mercy. Part of the art resides in the minds of those consuming it.
Still, it's an impressive move for Blizzard, given that Tracer is their flagship character. The webcomic has already been blocked in Russia over Tracer's homosexuality, so it's possible that Blizzard may have to rejigger the game's marketing in that region. Regardless, I need to know more about Torbjorn and his apparent need to have a child every year.
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