A new Overwatch short story titled ‘Bastet’ reveals some interesting details about Soldier 76. It turns out he’s not only gay, but tragically so.
“Everything I fought for was to protect people like him.”
In the short story, Ana reunites with an injured Soldier 76 in Cairo for the first time since the explosion that destroyed the Overwatch base in Switzerland. She brings him to her hideout to help him recover from his run-in with Reaper. During that time, Ana notices Soldier 76 looking through some old photographs. One of them depicts Soldier 76 with an arm around a dark-haired man.
“Vincent… I haven’t thought about him in years,” Ana said. “Still keeping a candle lit for him?”
Jack shook his head. “Nothing like that.”
“You’ve never looked in on him? You must have been curious. All the surveillance power in the world. I bet Gabe would have put a Blackwatch agent on him if you asked,” Ana said.
Jack glared at her.
“Okay, touchy subject.”
Jack laughed. “He got married. They’re very happy. I’m happy for him.”
“Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I could give him.” Jack sighed. “We both knew that I could never put anything above my duty. Everything I fought for was to protect people like him… That’s the sacrifice I made.”
“Relationships don’t work out so well for us, do they?” Ana said, unconsciously running her thumb over where her wedding ring used to be.
A tweet from lead writer Michael Chu confirmed that Soldier 76 is gay:
Thanks for all the messages about “Bastet”!
Jack and Vincent were in a romantic relationship many years ago. Both identify as gay. ❤️
— Michael Chu 🛫 GDC (@westofhouse) January 7, 2019
Yowling about Rowling.
While a lot of people are happy with this bit of story building, others aren’t so receptive. Not counting the ever-present homophobes, there are those that dislike this kind of diversification. It’s drawing frequent comparisons to J.K. Rowling’s method of retconning her work. For those that don’t remember, Rowling revealed that Dumblebore is gay over a decade ago at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Other bits of world-building she’s done since then haven’t been received well. The ‘reveal a character is gay after the fact without any sort of foreshadowing’ retcon is still remembered bitterly by some.
However, there has been some foreshadowing on Soldier 76’s past. In the Overwatch comic ‘Reflections,’ where Tracer celebrates Christmas with her girlfriend Emily, there’s a panel where Soldier 76 is looking at a photograph. Upon closer inspection, it’s the same one referenced in ‘Bastet’.
This is one of the bigger chunks of Overwatch lore revealed in a while. While some may be concerned about how it’s revealed, it’s not a reveal given without prior foreshadowing. And at the very least, Blizzard hasn’t given a disturbing lore reveal about bathroom habits.