One of the darkest points in Rise and Shine, the latest Mei cinematic, is when she awakens to find out that there was no help coming, there is no help coming, and Overwatch has disbanded altogether. It’s a powerful moment, and its where the cinematic departs from the story laid out in the Ecopoint: Antarctica map and becomes an independent tale of its own of Mei joining Winston in the re-forged Overwatch post-Recall.
There’s just one thing that’s distracting from that character arc: what is going on with that magazine cover? Do you see it, right there, the one where Gabriel Reyes is dramatically posing in extremely sinister (yet flattering) lighting? The first reaction most die hard Overwatch fans have to the cinematic is that Mei is adorable, and the second is that Gabriel Reyes has transcended to a whole new level of extra.
Presumably we’re supposed to believe that image was pulled from security footage of a Blackwatch operation, but look at the image! It’s so crisp, and they managed to capture Reyes’ good side. Was this a photo shoot? Did they give him a ring-a-ding after the whole Overwatch controversy hit, and he was mad enough that he got Blackwatch and Jack Morrison got a statue that he just decided to show up?
That sounds implausible, but this is a black ops organization who sent in an undercover agent to London dressed as a cowboy.
This isn’t the first time that fans have taken a glimpse of Gabriel Reyes and run with it to create a tangled web of alternative interpretations. In the Halloween comic, it was revealed that Reyes is actually a fantastic tailor. There have since been dozens of comics and fanfictions where Reyes has followed around the Overwatch cast, making them costumes and fixing their battle damage.
While we’re probably never going to get the story behind Gabriel Reyes’ magazine cover, it’s good that fans can find a little joy in the middle of Rise and Shine, especially at a point of the cinematic based around scientific despair, death, and the fall of Overwatch.