​Overwatch's ​newest comic, Retribution, sets up the plot for the ​rumored Blackwatch brawl in this year's Archives event. The comic focused heavily on a difficult decision that Gabriel Reyes, now known as Reaper, needed to make. 


This comic made it clear that while Reyes and Reaper are physically the same person, they are two different people. The Retribution brawl will help show where "Gabriel Reyes" ended, and where "Reaper" began.

Fans who play Overwatch know Reaper to be a ruthless and cold hero. His entire outfit, kit and persona revolve around death. Reaper's ​Blackwatch Reyes skin is the first glimpse we get at Gabriel Reyes -- the man behind the mask. But even then we don't know who Gabriel Reyes is. It wasn't until the first version of Archives, then known as Uprising, that we heard what Reaper sounded like as a human. 


Gabriel Reyes is portrayed as one of the most dedicated heroes in the fight for good, even if his means aren't as conventional as others. Reyes has deep respect for his colleagues, and ​this comic shows he cares deeply and wants to protect others. 


He is also the same man who ends up joining that same terrorist organization he fought. 

The distinction the community had between Reaper and Gabriel Reyes was simple: Reaper could use Wraith Form and was no longer human, Reyes was human and still a "good guy." A panel in the Retribution comic showed Moira with her Biotic Orbs, meaning at that time she had already begun conducting experiments on herself, and more importantly, she must have started experimenting on Gabriel Reyes.


At this point in Overwatch, we can assume that Gabriel Reyes might have the abilities "Reaper" does. Because this Blackwatch brawl will most likely feature all Blackwatch members, it's hard to imagine Gabriel Reyes not having the same abilities he does as Reaper. If that is the case, and Gabriel Reyes can use Wraith Form and Shadow Step even though he is not yet "Reaper," then we must wonder: who is Reaper? What causes him to turn his back on the organization he is risking everything to protect? 


Reaper is affiliated with Talon, but the Retribution comic makes even that fact difficult to understand if Gabriel Reyes is so opposed to Talon and itsactions.

The comic shows Reyes debating whether or not Blackwatch will go after Antonio, the Talon council member who orchestrated the attack on Overwatch's base in Oslo, Norway. The scene switches between Reyes thinking about Gérard Lacroix, an agent who was critically hurt by a bombing from Talon, and a talk Reyes had with Jack Morrison (Soldier: 76), first commander of Overwatch.


Morrison said he could not officially sanction the capture of Antonio by Overwatch, because he needs to respect the laws of other countries. Reyes, on the other hand, wanted Blackwatch to capture the Talon member. Morrison ultimately left the decision up to Reyes, and the comic ended with Reyes and the other Blackwatch members leaving for Venice in a Blackwatch plane.


The decision was clearly not an easy one for Reyes to make. It's also important to note that his last thought before making the decision was of Jack's last words to him: "But ask yourself... in the long run, will this help Overwatch keep the world safe?"


If Reyes made the decision because he believed the attack and capture of Antonio would keep Overwatch and his friends safe from harm, then the line between Reaper and Gabriel Reyes becomes even more difficult to understand. For a man who wanted to get revenge against a terrorist organization responsible for hurting people he knew, what could have possibly happened to make him join Talon?

Moira is rumored to be a Talon agent, even as she works with Blackwatch, which means there is ​a lot at stake for the Blackwatch team when they arrive in Venice. Even if this event isn't the reason why Gabriel Reyes joins Talon, Moira's involvement and whatever transpires in the "Venice incident" might just plant the seed that makes Gabriel Reyes ultimately join Talon.


Retribution needs to show a distinct difference between the ideals and motives of Gabriel Reyes, who was always doing his best to protect his friends and Overwatch, and the newer, possibly darker, motives of Reaper.


Overwatch Archives will feature a Retribution mode that is presumed to take place ​following the Retribution comic. The event will reveal more Overwatch lore, but one thing is certain: it will help define Gabriel Reyes' death and Reaper's birth.


Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard