The backstory to popular online shooter Overwatch will be at least partially revealed later this year. A full 100-page graphic novel called Overwatch: First Strike is coming digitally in November and in physical form in April 2017.

The comic is written by venerable Blizzard writer Micky Neilson and artist Ludo Lullabi. Both previously collaborated on World of Warcraft: The Comic.

Overwatch: First Strike will tell the story of the original elite fighting force. It takes place during the “Omnic Crisis,” a robot uprising that took place decades ago and sets the stage for the current game. It stars Gabriel Reyes (Reaper), Jack Morrison (Soldier 76), Reinhart, Torbjorn, and the newly added post-launch hero Ana.

overwatch first strike

One of the biggest strengths of Blizzard’s Hero Shooter is the larger world that’s only been teased so far. Short, well-produced videos and digital comics focus on particular characters. These stories provide some backdrop to their world of zen robots and political upheaval. Overwatch: First Strike will be our first big look at the near-future world.

Also coming in 2017 is an official art book. The Art of Overwatch will feature never-before-seen concept art and illustrations. This is an over-sized hardcover that will feature more art than the art book included in the Overwatch Collector’s Edition. The Art of Overwatch will be released in Summer 2017.

Being able to explore more of the game’s characters and story through other media has been an interesting strategy. The game itself lacks any real story-telling. But the focus on its heroic (and villainous) characters have kept fans invested in learning more.

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Eric has been writing for over eight years with bylines in Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer and Tabletop Gaming magazine, covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on YouTube. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.