overwatch-pharah-comic

One of the draws of Overwatch is the expansive lore and amazing world building the folks at Blizzard have rolled into the team based first person shooter.  Sure, the game is entirely enjoyable all on its own without knowing the greater lore surrounding the heroes.  But the deep backstory and character relation add an extra layer to the game, keeping people guessing and theory crafting based on the tiniest detail.  I’m guilty of chasing the lore rabbit down the hole and never coming up for air, wildly speculating off the most throwaway of throwaway lines or images.

One that has been debated hotly has been the mystery of Pharah’s, Fareeha Amari, parentage.  We know who her mother is, Ana Amari, once thought dead now known to be alive.  Unfortunately, in the current game timeline, this fact is not yet known by her daughter, only Reaper and Solider know she has returned from the dead.  But that still leaves the question regarding her father.  Who exactly is he?  A member of Overwatch, living or dead?  Maybe someone else?

Speculation has run rampant, as it normally does.  There have been compelling arguments for both Soldier 76 and Reinhardt being her father, some even argue for Reaper.  Soldier based on the close relationship he obviously shares with Ana.  Reinhardt based on the skin naming themes for Ana, Reinhardt, and Pharah. Reaper based on being a founding member.  The truth of the matter is that any of the founding members could be Pharah’s dad, she carries her mother’s last name so there is no clue there and her age is about right for the founding of Overwatch.  However, a new theory has emerged, one based on her legendary skins and the Reflections comic released for the holidays.

Since beta, there has been some controversy surrounding 2 of Pharah’s skins, Raindancer and Thunderbid.  Pharah is Egyptian, that’s how she is listed on the Overwatch hero page, that is how she’s been marketed, everything about her is skewed towards Egyptian heritage, except those two skins.  Check out the photos below and see what I mean, they are variations on the same skin but both are based on the Thunderbird from the Pacific Northwest Native Americans.

To me, and many others, this was pure tone deafness on the part of Blizzard.  When asked about the skins, all they would say is that they “look cool”.  All brown people are not alike and just because it looks cool doesn’t mean it should be included as a skin for someone of Egyptian heritage.  For a game that is attempting to break the mold and include all nationalities and body types, this blunder really seemed out of step.  Although, to be fair, this isn’t the only skin that made me go hmmmmmm, but that is another post entirely.

But there was one thing most people didn’t consider.  We were so focused on the founding members we knew being her father, mainly for lack of any other candidates, that we continued to theorize inside a sandbox and neglected to go outside of those confines.  What if Pharah’s dad is someone we don’t know, someone that isn’t in game.  Someone we haven’t met yet.  What if the reason for these skins is that she is actually half Pacific Northwest Native.

Fast forward to the release of the holiday comic, Reflections, of course the big takeaway here is that Tracer has a girlfriend.  Since that dominated the news immediately after release, people ignored the other panels in the comics showing other characters.  Widowmaker at the grave of her late husband, Gerard Lacroix, indicating she may not be as cold and heartless as she seems.  Reaper stalking a family, in a comic about spending time with either blood family or chosen family, this can’t be just a throwaway.  Reinhardt surrounded by Torbjorn’s NINE children, Torbjorn having a wife and family we knew nothing about.  Sombra and McCree in the same bar.  Genji writing a letter, Mercy reading a letter a few panels later.  Pharah having dinner with an older gentleman, a gentleman we don’t quite see clearly.

overwatch-relfections-comic

Yes, that last bit, the bit about Pharah having dinner with an older gentleman.  Through the window we can see snow in the background.  While it does very rarely snow in Egypt, I don’t think the creators were thinking of that when they made the comic.  Furthermore, the television in the upper right corner clearly displays a Canadian flag and what is assumed to be hockey.  Combine this one panel with the Thunderbird skins and maybe, just maybe this is Pharah’s dad.

For all we know he was never an Overwatch operative.  But maybe he was and maybe he will be introduced into the game later.  Maybe he was a civilian, maybe it was a one night stand, maybe, maybe, maybe.  Of course we won’t know anything for sure until Blizzard either confirms or denies these rumors.  Frankly, I hope it turns out to be true.  It throws us a nice little lore curveball and take the legendary skins for Pharah from tone deaf and insensitive to truly badass.

If it does end up to be true, I will take back every negative thing I have ever said about those skins and owe Blizzard a giant apology which I will happily give.  Although, maybe next time something like this comes along they would rather state “there is a reason for the skins, wait and see” instead of they “look cool”.  It could have saved them a huge headache.

[Source: manofmercy97, babytchi]

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