The latest Overwatch comic came out (meanwhile us in the TF2 fandom forgot that was even possible…) and it shows the heroes going home for Christmas to spend time with their loved ones or lack thereof. The main story involves Tracer trying to reach the shops in time to buy a present, and the rest of this article is going to assume you’ve gone and read the comic.
While its not the only major reveal in Overwatch canon that came out with this comic, it’s the one that’s got all the gaming news sites talking about it. The forums are also ripe with people defending it, decrying it, etc. and if you want my opinion, I think it’s pretty cool overall how Blizzard handled the reveal. That panel up there is as far as it goes, they don’t make an overly big deal of anything, and the rest of the comic is quite happy to cover the lives and times of more than half the Overwatch cast. It doesn’t feel like pandering, it’s just an honest reveal that tells us more about a main character’s backstory, just like every comic has done. Honestly, it was maybe the 4th most surprising reveal in the comic, behind Torbjorn’s nine children, Tracer’s chronal-accelerator being removable and McCree being Sombra’s drinking buddy. As a whole Tracer’s reveal wasn’t nearly as bad as the hamfisted one that happened to poor Miss Pauling.
And it honestly takes some balls on Blizzard’s part to pick Tracer to be the homosexual character, because she’s the mascot of the series. She’s everywhere, on all the advertisements, shorts and comics, even the box art. Already the comic has been pseudo-blocked in Russia due to their laws against homosexuality in their media. And she’s likely not the last reveal of this nature we can expect; Blizzard explicitly mentions that there are multiple LGBT characters currently closeted among the playable characters. Personally, I think Lucio’s bisexual. Maybe I’m projecting myself onto my favorite character a little bit, but he’s one of the few Overwatch characters who we know nothing about his personal life, especially considering this comic covered so many characters other than him. Also he’s a pop star, and alternative sexualities aren’t uncommon in the music industry.
On the other hand, I can breathe a sigh of relief that the LGBT character wasn’t Zarya. Not only would that be too obvious, it’d play right into stereotypes about women with nonstandard body types, of which she’s the only one in Overwatch (ever since the summer table tennis spray revealed that Mei isn’t overweight). Speaking of other heroes, I’ve heard people say that this spells damnation for popular fan pairings, especially Tracer X Widowmaker, but personally the shippers in my circle of friends don’t seem to care in the slightest. Most of the time, fan pairings are their own reward and those who make them could care less about canon, so I wouldn’t be too worried for the shippers out there.