'Overwatch' Comics: "Uprising" packs in political commentary on terrorism and immigration

'Overwatch' Comics: "Uprising" packs in political commentary on terrorism and immigration
Blizzard
Blizzard

Overwatch, whether intentional or not, has always been political. The game's newest comic "Uprising" is no different. 

In fact, the story that is laid out in the comic seems to suggest an even larger political statement is being expressed. And it's one that immigrant-hating white nationalists might not be happy about.

Overwatch "Uprising" comic makes the game more political than ever

The new comic takes place during a particularly tense event: Omnic terrorists have orchestrated a hostage situation in King's Row — a fictional London neighborhood in Overwatch. As the story unfolds, leaders of Overwatch have to decide whether or not they should intervene in the situation. 

As if the story wasn't political enough already, two specific panels seem to offer direct commentary on real world issues. The first is the distinction often made between "extremism" and "terrorism." 

Gabriel Reyes, a.k.a. Reaper, uses the word "extremist" to describe the group in control of the hostage situation. However, Ana Amari quickly critiques that phrase and substitutes it with the term "terrorist." 

Panel from "Uprising," the new 'Overwatch' comic  Blizzard

If we assume the nations in Overwatch operate somewhat similarly to how they do in real life, it makes sense for Ana to feel this way. Ana is an Egyptian woman and Egypt has had no short of terrorist attacks especially since 2013

However, based on the next panel, it's clear that the Overwatch writers want readers to understand Reaper's perspective, as well. Here's his response:

Call them what you want; they have support especially when you consider how people treat Omnics in the U.K. Omnics built their cities and did the jobs that humans didn't want to do. In return: no rights and no citizenship. What did we expect? The Magna Carta was written a thousand years ago.

Panel from "Uprising," the new 'Overwatch' comic  Blizzard

This is a not so subtle way of pointing to the current political situation surrounding immigration in the U.S. and Europe right now. One of the common xenophobic misconceptions told to Americans about immigrants — most often in reference to Mexican immigrants — is that they're "stealing our jobs" despite doing work that most Americans wouldn't be doing regardless. The bit about Omnics building their cities is also relevant. Immigrants often make contributions to our economy that they do not get credit for.

Reaper, the character advocating for Omnic rights, is also a Mexican-American. This can't be a coincidence. It makes sense that he would draw personal connections from his own heritage to analyze tense situation. 

It's always interesting to see video games take on a political subject, and this is a pretty huge statement for the Overwatch team to make, especially as it ties completely into the game's first in-universe event. We'll see if any political statements make it into the game itself on April 11.

More Overwatch news and updates

For more on Overwatch, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here is a look at a very funny but naughty meme on the Overwatch subreddit, an interview with the creator of an awesome new Overwatch zine, a full explanation of the different types of health in Overwatch, our definitive ranking of every Overwatch hero, a roundup of awesome gender-bent Overwatch cosplay and a giant Overwatch FAQ for beginners.