After a significant amount of criticism over workplace harassment, Overwatch developer Activision Blizzard decided to rename one of the core characters of the game from Jesse McCree (named after a former game designer at the company who was fired) to Cole Cassidy. There's no denying that the Cassidy change is a bit of an awkward one for many long-time fans, but it is completely understandable.
To help this transition, Dark Horse Comics has started a line of comics focusing on the newly named Cassidy, titled Overwatch: New Blood. This five-part comic run, with three issues currently out, was set to release in September 2021, but was pushed back due to the renaming of the character. This comic run also tied in with Overwatch's "Cassidy's New Blood Challenge," where players simply needed to play the game for a certain number of matches to earn cosmetic rewards.
A Quick Recap of New Blood #1-2
The first issue of Overwatch: New Blood takes place shortly after the 2018 "Reunion" animated short, in which Cassidy rescues fellow Overwatch member Echo from Ashe and her crew, before heading off on Ashe's hover bike, exclaiming that he's "got some business to attend to." New Blood #1 opens with Cassidy on that same bike, talking himself into joining Overwatch again.
Cassidy talks to himself about a note he just received, which asks him to travel halfway across the world to Cairo. Upon arriving in Cairo, Cassidy heads to a local bar, where he finds Ana. After some nostalgic reminiscing about the good old days, Ana asks Cassidy if he's answering the call to join Overwatch again.
Before he can answer, the two are ambushed by Talon operatives, leading to a fierce firefight through the streets of Cairo. The two manage to escape to an underground hideout, where Ana talks Cassidy into forming a team of his own, on his own terms, and hands him a data drive with information on potential hero candidates. Cassidy gets straight to work, with the first issue ending with him meeting up with Ana's daughter Pharah.
The second issue opens with Cassidy and Pharah having a frank discussion about her childhood, how she wanted to be part of Overwatch when she was younger but is now trying to fight for her own country. Cassidy takes her to her mother, but the group is once again ambushed by Talon soldiers.
As Cassidy and Ana lead the Talons on a wild goose chase through the town, Pharah is hit by a stray bullet. Pharah unleashes her rocket barrage on the soldiers, killing them all. As she lands, Ana tends to her daughter's wounds. While patching her up, Ana apologizes for keeping her at arm's length for all those years and for interfering with her daughter's dreams of joining Overwatch.
Cassidy extends the offer once to join the new team, and Pharah says she'll think about it, but add that it's a difficult decision for her to make and she'll need time. Pharah embraces her mother, and Cassidy makes his exit, telling Ana that there's someone "up North" he has his eye on.
The Events of Overwatch: New Blood Issue #3
Overwatch: New Blood's latest issue opens up in Bucharest, Romania, where Baptiste is currently following Cassidy through a train station. Cassidy flees, and gets the jump on him. After a brief tussle, with Cassidy believing that Baptiste is using Talon tactics, Baptiste reveals that Talon did train him, but he isn't one of them anymore.
Baptiste explains that he was a Talon combat medic but soon learned that Talon wasn't preventing destruction, it was causing it. He went AWOL and has been on the run from Talon since. He headed to Cairo, in search of Angela Ziegler, better known as Mercy, but she was gone by the time he got there.
The two narrowly escape a Talon ambush by jumping atop a departing train, but not before Cassidy saves Baptiste from a Talon soldier's grasp. Onboard the train, Cassidy extends an invitation to join his new team of recruits, and Baptiste thinks on his past, remembering how Overwatch agents actually did good in the world, and shakes Cassidy's hand. The issue ends with Cassidy's train arriving in Russia, hinting at his next potential recruit: Zarya.
Overwatch is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
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