Posted by Dan O'Halloran @danohalloran
Writer. Father. Gamer. Geek. Not necessarily in that order. @danoh
Dan O'Halloran

To kick off San Diego Comic Con, Blizzard and Dark Horse Comics have made three big announcements about bringing the Overwatch world into comics.

Overwatch digital comics

Dark Horse will republish all eight Overwatch digital short comics using their own digital comics service. You can currently read them on these Blizzard links as well:

Unfortunately, the comics have given us no additional hints about upcoming new hero Sombra, who we now know is not the newest Support hero Ana Amari as we previously thought. Who she is and what role she fills is still a mystery.

The original Overwatch strike team
The original Overwatch strike team

New Overwatch graphic novel explores origin stories, teases two fresh faces

In April 2017, Dark Horse will publish a 100-page Overwatch graphic novel that will explore the origins of the original team. If you recall, the first team was formed to deal with the Omnic Crisis. Thirty years before the time the present game is set, mankind's efforts in artificial intelligence had become too successful and the machines had become self aware. The omnics, as the machines were called, started churning out militarized versions of themselves and humanity was facing their worst nightmare.

The United Nations formed a team of their best military heroes, strategists, and soldiers. John "Jack" Morrision (who would later become Solider 76), Gabriel Reyes (Jack's friend and later nemesis as Reaper), Reinhardt Wilhelm, Torbjorn Lindholm, Ana Amari, and Liao were the core of the original team.

Overwatch back in the day
Overwatch back in the day

They succeeded in putting down the omnic uprising though details are fuzzy. Hopefully the graphic novel will delve further into that. Also, we have next to no information at all on Liao. Not on his/her time with the team or what happened to them afterwards. Is Liao the man squatting on the far left of the picture above with haircut and build similar to Zarya? Or the woman on the far right who is also unidentified?

Also, in question is how far into the original story the graphic novel will go. After Overwatch ended the Omnic Crisis they spent the next twenty years adding to their ranks and duties as a peacekeeping force. But in-fighting between Morrison and Reyes tore it apart internally and external politics brought about its fall until the organization disbanded. It wasn't reformed until 10 years after that when Winston sent out the call and that's the current timeline the game is set in.

Overwatch: First Strike booth at Comic Con 2016
Overwatch: First Strike booth at Comic Con 2016

Former Lead Writer for Blizzard Micky Nielson will write the graphic novel, titled Overwatch: First Strike. The illustrator is Ludo Lullabi who recently drew the digital World of Warcraft comic Magni: Fault Lines. No word yet on the price point for the graphic novel. Hopefully there will be a digital version available as well.

An Overwatch art book

The third announcement is the release of The Art of Overwatch oversized hardcover in the Summer of 2017. It will feature never-before-seen concept art and illustrations for the game. Given Blizzard's history of extensive development cycles before launching a game, there's likely plenty to work with here and I'm willing to bet it's all kinds of gorgeous. No word yet on pricing.

While you're waiting for all this comic goodness to come out, check out these 15 Crazy Play of the Games From Overwatch.