Dark Horse comics return to the world of Overwatch with New Blood, a new spinoff series from the hit online first-person shooter. Years after Overwatch has been disbanded, the world finds itself beset by injustice and vulnerable to self-interested powers. With chaos and devastation rife around the world, Cole Cassidy receives the call to rejoin Overwatch… but memories of its fall still haunt him. After an unexpected reunion with an old friend, Cassidy considers that maybe Overwatch needs more than the old crew to give it new life.
Fresh off the arrival of Overwatch 2 last year, New Blood once again spotlights some of the most popular characters from the Overwatch world as well as spotlighting untold backstory for these characters. This franchise has always lent itself to the comic format, and New Blood is no exception. As with Dark Horse’s previous Overwatch comics, they have brought some of the top talent working in comics today to explore the Overwatch world. Acclaimed comics writer Ray Fawkes (Wolverines, Batman: Eternal, Justice League Dark) is a perfect choice to delve into these fan favourites. He gets to focus on a different character in each issue as Cole Cassidy goes on his Overwatch recruitment drive.
As the common link between each chapter, Cassidy gets the lion share of the character focus. His introduction has a lot of classic western vibes – particularly the lone travelling cowboy part. But his experiences in the first chapter fighting alongside Ana leads to his reflection on his time in Overwatch and the realisation that they are still needed to right the injustices that have risen in their absence. Further building on the western themes, the subsequent chapters focusing on his journey to recruit members to rebuilt Overwatch where each character gets the spotlight and are going through their own troubles. The final chapter set in South Korea focusing on fan-favourite D.Va is a particular highlight.
Art is handled by Irene Koh who is best known for her work on Dark Horse’s Legend of Korra Turf War comics and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey and April for IDW. She has a manga influenced style which is perfectly suited to the vibrant and cartoony aesthetic Overwatch has. The actions is packed with energy and she slows things down well for the more introspective moments too.
This is a great bridge between the two Overwatch games and a perfect way to re-familiarise oneself with these iconic characters. A must read for Overwatch fans!
Overwatch: New Blood is out now from Dark Horse (9781506730677, h/b, £23.99)
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