Ana Amari, Blizzard Entertainment’s latest Overwatch character, is not like the mothers we’ve seen in videogames past, though she started out that way. When the game first released, Ana’s role was not unlike the “long dead moms” that dominate the medium; like Ellie’s mother Anna from The Last of Us (2013), or Faith Connors’ mom in Mirror’s Edge (2008), Ana was the missing mother of Overwatch hero Pharah.
Despite the speculation of a heroic backstory, Pharah’s mother did not have a voice—until now. Blizzard recently released a free digital comic giving history and life to Ana Amari—not only Pharah’s mother, but Overwatch’s “mama bear” as well.
Ana Amari: Legacy is explicit in naming the world-class sniper a mother, but she’s not pigeonholed into the role. She’s more than just a concept, or “a symbol for home.” Ana is as fierce as she is protective, and the comic details the night she “died” protecting her unit—her family.
The world in which the Overwatch team resides is not simple, and neither is Ana. She kills because she must, to protect her fellow agents. Through the comic, we learn that each member of her team has someone that counts of them, as her daughter Fareeha—that’s Pharah—relies on her. We learn here that she cares deeply about her enemies, too. They have families, people who depend on them, as well.
And it’s not only the comic. Ana’s voice lines sustain her role well past her origin story: she’s the mother that knows best, tells her children to behave, and asks if she could tuck you in. Blizzard was smart to capitalize on the momification of Overwatch—if you’ve been anywhere near the Overwatch fandom, you know that we were all clamoring for exactly what they gave us.
So, move over videogame dads (ahem, Soldier: 76). There’s a new mom in town.