Review by Ian Keogh
When Blizzard Entertainment launched their Overwatch game it could be played as sold, but if you wanted more information about the background, the locations and the assorted people involved to help with strategy, there were extras. A series of animations and comics were released online, and Overwatch Anthology gathers all the comics. The Expanded Edition contains everything, while the earlier 2017 release isn’t as comprehensive.
The game takes place all over the world, with corporations well financed and never to be trusted, and artificial intelligence also a threat. Team play is the only real way to success, so a lot of characters are available, with varied talents and accessories, plus there are different problems in different places.
Opening with Robert Brooks and Bengal spotlighting McCree, assorted other characters and locations feature. Just as the characters are varied, so are the artists. The sample art features Nesskain’s impressive 3-D animation style on Reinhardt’s solo and Miki Montilló’s more traditional looking pen and ink style on the Tracer solo. Whatever the approach, though, the art is all good. It’s accompanied by the sort of background information that informs the character, and how they might react in gameplay. Among other titbits supplied are why Ana wears an eyepatch, Torbjörn’s former partner and how Winston came West. One thing that’s very noticeable is that Overwatch might have a gorilla on the team, but Doomfist seems to be the only leading character who’s not white.
While most strips are well written and well drawn, it’s only really those already entranced by Overwatch and its possibilities that are going to take the most from what are largely action short stories emphasising heroism. Michael Chu’s plot scripted by Matt Burns with evocative art from Gray Shuko transcends the form by being Reinhardt’s Halloween story, which also manages to feature the rest of the cast in a Frankenstein parody, which is later reprised. However, too little else stands out.