Overwatch fans have been compelled by the story of Amelie “Widowmaker” Lacroix, the brainwashed Talon agent who murdered her husband before going on to become the master assassin who removed Ana Amari from the battlefield and killed Tekhartha Mondatta in London.
There are a lot of unanswered questions about Widowmaker and her relationship with her husband, Gerard. Widowmaker killed Gerard and returned to Talon for conditioning, but it’s suggested that Talon cannot erase her connection to her husband. In Reflections, the Christmas Overwatch comic, she’s visiting his grave. She whispers his name longingly. When Ana questions their relationship, Widowmaker snaps: “You know nothing about him.”
Neither do the fans, but that’s part of the fun. A community artist, Disteal, explored what a current day relationship between Gerard and Widowmaker might look like if he survived her initial assassination attempt, in a comic called Lovebite.
Disteal released Lovebite’s first chapter, revealing not just Gerard’s survival, but why he’s on a battlefield between Talon and Overwatch agents.
“My name is Hannah, aka Disteal, and I'm an Overwatch fanartist with a lot of comics. I've been following Overwatch since it's first announcement and was absolutely absorbed in the beta, I haven't put it down since!” The author says. She came for the game, but stayed for the community that grew around it. “I love the community that has formed around the game and have made some awesome friends through it. I especially love the crazy good amount of content creators that have popped up; we have a lot of talent in this fandom.”
So, why did she choose to explore an alternate universe where Gerard survived? “Gerard became a thing after the Uprising update; I created a series of comics exploring the original strike team in a sort of action-banter way and wanted to include more of the original members. As of now we don't have a photo of Liao, but we DID have Gerard in the new Widowmaker spray so I took him and ran with him!”
“As for resurrecting him in current canon? Just a bit of fun really. Some friends and I thought up a dynamic where Gerard and Amelie were both absolutely spitting furious with each other like awful grumbling divorcees but with guns and advanced military training.” These alternate takes on characters, or expanding on what’s in the game, is popular among community artists - and these interpretations can often bleed back into the game itself. Soldier 76 was interpreted by the community at large as a grumpy dad (who ultimately cares about his many, messed up kids), and the Overwatch dev team rolled with that fanon.
“Needless to say, I thought it was hilarious and way more interesting than mopey sad looks. Plus I was always a complete sucker for 'spies in love' tacky romances so, yeah.” Hannah says.
Community creations like this are often in response to content fans want to see in the game. While Widowmaker is often portrayed as an emotionless person, fans love the moments where she does show some kind of emotion - rage at being hit by Ana, smugness over a good shot, petty satisfaction at gunning down a Sombra.
“Widowmaker has a very compelling backstory but I find it especially engaging because there seems to be a key part of her transformation that we're missing.” Disteal explains. “Her canon grief over her husbands death and reaction to Ana conflicts with her 'heartless killing monster' thing so I've been speculating like mad, but I'm interested to see the direction Blizzard takes it!”
Lovebite is just one of many community creations that have sprung up around Overwatch since its release.
You can follow more of Disteal’s Overwatch art on her Tumblr, or support her via Ko-fi.