Blizzcon is coming up soon and so now is an apropos moment to take a look at this statue of Widowmaker, one of the most prominent faces in Blizzard’s multiplayer first-person shooter Overwatch. I have not yet played Overwatch, being that it’s principally a multiplayer shooting game and the last title in the genre that I enjoyed playing against humans was Goldeneye. I much prefer to play shooters against the AI and my understanding is that Overwatch’s support for this mode of play is abysmal at best. Nonetheless, I’ve spent a large fraction of my life playing Blizzard games, and my re-subscription to World of Warcraft in late 2012 is the most significant factor in the downturn of posting frequency on this site. Therefore, it only seems equitable to take away from my MMO time to review this statue.
The conceit of the game’s story pits the government-sanctioned group Overwatch, a daring, highly-trained special mission force, against Talon, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world. Or somesuch. One of Talon’s finest operatives is the French woman Widowmaker, the nom de guerre of AmÃ©lie Lacroix. Formerly a ballerina and the wife of an Overwatch agent, she was kidnapped, brainwashed, and now serves as a cold-blooded assassin. I will defer to the appropriate wiki page regarding the rest of her background and anyone interested in learning more about her should start there. There is also a very nicely-produced short film which shows her in action. While the storylines of Blizzard’s games are sometimes lacking – I think Warcraft has a loudy storyline that is both incoherent and derivative, which may explain why the movie adaptation failed so badly in English-speaking countries – their storytelling, particularly the production values of their cutscenes, have always been on par with the best in the industry.
Widowmaker is herself highly derivative, and unsurprisingly so as her background is merely a continuation of a pattern set by Starcraft’s Sarah Kerrigan and Warcraft’s Sylvanas Windrunner. Each woman starts as a generally good person but suffers a traumatic loss of memory and personality and is forcibly turned into a killer (Kerrigan might be considered to have been transformed this way at least twice).
This isn’t by any means an uncommon trope; it’s frequently seen in film, with Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita being one of the best-known examples (the movie The Long Kiss Goodnight, which starred Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson, is something of a stylistic reversal, featuring a bad girl-gone-good). The television anime Noir and the internationally-proscribed OVA Kite are two more classic portrayals of this theme, and I don’t doubt that there are numerous examples in Asian cinema, which I admittedly am not at all familiar with.
Blizzard’s interpretation of the theme goes farther than these representative titles in that the character – invariably female – is physically deformed in the process of having their minds wiped. This alteration generally doesn’t detract from their sexiness, assuming one doesn’t mind oddly-colored skin (Widowmaker), numerous spikes and an insect-like carapace (Kerrigan), or that one is a zombie (Sylvanas). Curiously, all three of these Blizzard characters are also stealthy snipers, indicating that they particularly like this kind of girl. Being a fan of sexy female combatants with troubled histories, I wouldn’t argue against their design decisions.
This statue is sculpted in 1/6 scale and stands about 31 centimeters in height. I’m not too sure which company is the official manufacturer of this statue; it appears to have been produced internally by Blizzard, so I suppose I will simply label it as that. Like most Western-produced statues, she’s made out of resin rather than PVC, which makes this figure rather heavy and a bit fragile, though I did not observe any breakage on my copy. However, Widowmaker does have a very pronounced forward lean, and after checking around the web I think that’s a typical issue with this statue rather than a problem unique to my copy. Hopefully this doesn’t worsen into a situation where she’s at risk of face-planting herself on the floor.
At least for me, much of the appeal of Overwatch comes from the character designs, particularly the females. There’s a bit of anime influence there, especially with D.Va, who is getting an statue with a hefty price tag, and Tracer, who has an even more comically priced statue. Notably, Max Factory and Good Smile Company are producing a bundle of Figmas and Nenderoids based off of the game’s characters, testament to its crossover appeal.
Widowmaker’s design is reminiscent of Kerrigan, particularly her human Ghost form, as she’s sheathed in a figure-hugging bodysuit with armored gauntlets and long boots. Her suit features a plunging neckline that reveals a peculiarly modest rack. Another unusual aspect of her design is that her outfit features short sleeves, though they are a sine qua non for showing off the tattoos on her arms. And while her breasts may be lamentably humble, Widowmaker does have a nice ass that her suit shows off very nicely.
And here is the tattoo on her right arm. The wiki page linked above reveals what they say.
Miss Lacroix is wearing this helmet, which looks like a cross between a Half Life headcrab and a sentinel robot from The Matrix. Can you believe that The Matrix was released eighteen years ago? There are people reading this who weren’t even alive when Neo swallowed the red pill.
She’s also got this large and handy pouch strapped to her thigh. Back in the 1990s, comic book heroes and heroines often wore costumes festooned with pouches. We typically never got to see what they kept in those pouches, but they wore them just the same. Widowmaker’s pouch looks sort of like a map case, but what sort of loser uses paper maps these days? Nevertheless, she’s got some storage capacity for carrying gadgets, notebooks, extra clips, tampons – anything a covert field operative might need.
A strange element of her design are her feet, which look sort of robotic, like an android’s. I’m not sure if she just has very thin ankles or if her feet were replaced by mechanical prosthetics. It’s worth noting that while the gaming industry is caught in the grip of a febrile level of political correctness that impugns the worth of sexy female characters, it is a nice touch that Widowmaker wears high heels.
Another interesting feature is that her legs are spectacularly long. That does accentuate the 90s comic book influence of her design, as that sort of thing was a hallmark of artists like Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, and Andy Kubert (amongst many, many others).
Presumably the production team had access to her 3D model, being that scads of part-time pornographers on Tumblr and Patreon do, and as just about every mass-produced figure is sculpted digitally, it’s no surprise that the likeness is, from what I can tell, rendered quite well. On a technical level, the quality of the statue is pretty good for this sort of statue, though she shows some of the hallmarks of most resin figures, namely a fairly flat skin tone (even accounting for her blue skin), a kind of fruit peel texture to her skin, and a paint job that is obviously hand-applied. The texturing of her skin is not that visible from a normal viewing distance but a close inspection or macro lens makes it obvious. These things don’t really bother me as I have enough resin statues to be used to these quirks, but it might be off-putting to someone who primarily collects PVC figures.
Despite my general unfamiliarity with Overwatch – and my disinclination to every play it, at least until they introduce a fully-realized offline mode with versus play against AI bots – I like this figure quite a bit. Widowmaker has an attractive design and I have to admit that I do like the girls-with-guns and bad girls themes. I might even be inclined to pick up Blizzard’s D.Va statue, despite the hit to my checking account.
And this all reminds me that I still have a 1/6 scale statue of zergified Kerrigan sitting next to me, after virtually two entire years. The review backlog is tremendous.
What is perhaps not so well known is that not only does Talon empower housewives, they also offer a path back to relevancy to term-limited former leaders of the free world.