OVERWATCH #13: DOOMFIST - MASQUERADE by Michael Chu and Ryan Benjamin
Story
Characterization
Art
Summary
OVERWATCH: MASQUERADE is a fun and colorful look at Doomfist and the other Talon agents. The beautifully illustrated art and compelling plot will please fans of the lore. Yet the characterization is kind of lacking for everyone besides Doomfist.
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Blizzard’s OVERWATCH is now in its second year, and updates to the game have not let up. The ubiquitous game focuses on international task force called Overwatch, a team of heroes formed in the wake of wars with the evil Omnic robots. The upcoming release of new character Doomfist, leader of the terrorist organization Talon, is fast approaching. On July 27th, the most highly anticipated addition to the roster goes live.

Doomfist has been mentioned since the game’s very first cinematic trailer. However, we haven’t seen him until his bombastic introduction in the recent animated short. The animation showcased the in-game Doomfist: a huge badass with a giant cybernetic fist. We also got to see a peek into the reasoning behind his villainous actions. He believes that humanity can only grow stronger in the face of conflict, so he will create conflict.

In addition to the animation, Blizzard has also released the thirteenth issue of their OVERWATCH comic: DOOMFIST– MASQUERADE. Written by Michael Chu and illustrated by Ryan Benjamin, this comic shows another side to Talon. Like the rest of the OVERWATCH comics, OVERWATCH #13: DOOMFIST — MASQUERADE is both really short and surprisingly satisfying.

From Monaco to Venice

OVERWATCH #13: DOOMFIST — MASQUERADE begins with Doomfist’s escape from prison, where he has lived since losing to Overwatch. He heads to Monaco with Widowmaker and Sombra in order to touch base with his allies in the organization. But with the team unarmed and dressed formally, thugs try to attack. However, it’s a pretty embarrassing attempt. The thugs are immediately taken care of and Doomfist targets their leader, Vialli.

OVERWATCH #13: DOOMFIST -- MASQUERADE
Image courtesy of Blizzard.

In the next scene, the Talon crew head to Venice to infiltrate the titular masquerade. Widowmaker, Reaper, and Sombra make short work of the guards. Afterwards, Doomfist enters the roof alone to confront Vialli. With a shocking level of arrogance, Vialli tells Doomfist that he plans to lead Talon in a new direction to safeguard their profits. Doomfist subsequently tosses Vialli off the roof. Saw that one coming. The comic ends with Doomfist telling the rest of Talon, “We have a war to start.”

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Unlike most of the comics and animations, OVERWATCH #13: DOOMFIST — MASQUERADE’s plot doesn’t look backward. The story has little impact on the gameplay. After all, it’s hard to take things seriously while fighting the same hero on the other team. However, the chilling cliffhanger the comic ends with is strong. It makes you feel like Doomfist, more than any character, is going to change the game up. Additionally, Doomfist feels like a leader, unlike the other Talon members. With him now in the spotlight, the evil organization actually seems like a fitting archenemy to Overwatch.

Talon Aren’t Friends

OVERWATCH #13: DOOMFIST — MASQUERADE characterizes the titular character fairly well. However, its depiction of the other Talon members — Reaper, Sombra, and Widowmaker — could be stronger. In the video game, voice lines, cosmetic items, and poses convey most of the OVERWATCH characters’ personalities. The comic reflects the game’s depiction of the characters. Reaper is an edgelord. Sombra is mischievous. Widowmaker is an unemotional sort-of dominatrix. However, what I was looking for was team interaction. All we see is the Talon members showing their respect to Doomfist. They don’t really talk to each other. It’s possible that Michael Chu consciously chose to leave out any colorful interaction between the team in order to contrast them with Overwatch. However, I wish Blizzard would have channeled the fun and silly OVERWATCH fanworks in this comic.

Still, Doomfist is the focus of the comic. His characterization might not be anything out of the ordinary. Yet it was interesting to learn more about how the newest character conducts himself outside of the game. This comic shows that Doomfist is more than the tropes he is made of. Just like each character in OVERWATCH, his stereotypical exterior hides a depth of personality.

Welcome to the Masquerade

OVERWATCH #13: DOOMFIST -- MASQUERADE
Image courtesy of Blizzard.

The high point of this short comic is the art. Ryan Benjamin fills each page with vivid color and exciting composition. By far, the best images are the Venetian masquerade costumes each Talon member wears. Blizzard usually puts a lot of effort into the extra character costumes, and the ones featured in the comic are no exception. In particular, I’m a big fan of Reaper’s masquerade costume. Somehow it manages to be bright and frilly, but still comically edgy in a traditionally Reaper fashion.

READ: Interested in more superhero teams? Check out this review of DEFENDERS #1!

Reflections on OVERWATCH #13: DOOMFIST — MASQUERADE

If you play OVERWATCH or have interest in its lore, I recommend you check out MASQUERADE. It’s short and sweet. It might not the most substantial piece of OVERWATCH media. However, it will hype you up for the future conflict between the heroes and villains of the game. It’s cool to see Doomfist without his, well, fist of doom. This comic shows him as a human, not just a destructive badass.

Read OVERWATCH #13: DOOMFIST — MASQUERADE for free here!

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