Okay, so how about this:  Jack WAS the right choice to head the post-war Overwatch, AND it was racism that he was picked over Gabriel, AND for bonus round he was never the golden boy all-American hero he was portrayed as.

Because here’s the thing. When they put Jack in charge, they didn’t know what he’d do with Overwatch.  That’s basically what I see in the game background materials.  We’re told that over time, he turned it from the pure peacekeeping force it began as into something that also did humanitarian stuff: forwarded science, fought environmental and health crises, tackled human rights issues.

But that means they didn’t know he’d do that when they picked him.  When the UN put him in charge, all they knew of Overwatch was the strike force, the knowledge that it had been super-effective and that functionality was worth maintaining and maybe expanding on a permanent basis.

And if that’s what they wanted, then reasonably they should have picked Gabriel for the job, because Gabriel is manifestly the best at that.  Maybe Jack was the guy who burned bright enough to keep them from crumbling from the sheer pressure, but the strategy and tactics, the battlefield command would’ve been Gabriel’s.  He led the team to save the world.  He led Blackwatch for 20 years afterwards.  He continued to be The Best at the job, and if Gabriel’s position as head of Blackwatch was Jack’s doing, then you realize that JACK picked Gabriel for that job, after the UN passed him over for it.  So that’s got to make you think.

But the UN lucked out in their dickery, as it happened, because they were also wrong about what they needed.  They needed that strike team during the Omnic Crisis, but after the crisis ended, the world must’’ve been in a shambles.  Everyone would’ve been struggling.  Riots, persecution.  There was an entire sentient


species in imminent danger of genocide.  Access to resources must have been a disaster in some areas, with infrastructure torn up across the planet, especially in urban centers which are hubs for communications and resource flow.  People might very well have been starving, and where there are scarce resources there’s civil unrest and an increase in violence and disease.

Jack turned Overwatch into something that addressed those problems.  Gabriel is the man who could win a global war against a technologically superior enemy with a team of six people.  Jack is the man who could rebuild after the war was over.

And he was good at it.  He wasn’t clueless, or naive.  He wasn’t a figurehead.  If the UN didn’t set out to make Overwatch into this, then the vision must have come from him, and he executed it effectively, on a global scale, over the span of 20 years.  That doesn’t mean things didn’t happen later on that he missed (clearly they did), or that he wasn’t an idealist (it certainly sounds like he was), but he couldn’t have been any kind of fool.

But he was no saint, either.  There is a unique and irreplaceable value in having a leader who embodies the Movement, even when the movement can go on without him.  Jack had something that made the world rally to him.  And of COURSE the press and the UN touted him as the most superheroic square-jawed all-American hero on a whole team of heroes.  But while he might’ve used that in his favor and played into the heroic image that was created of him–maybe he even needed to in order to keep the whole house of cards stable for as long as possible–it wasn’t the full truth of what he was.

While the public got sold a comic book version of Overwatch, the reality is that Jack was a soldier.  He killed people.  He signed off on Blackwatch’s missions.  He probably tackled the objectives he set for Overwatch in a decidedly pragmatic, unglamorous and sometimes ruthless way.  He displays no sense of compassion for the wars he directed against the Deadlock Gang, Shimada Clan or Talon.  And then he spent years feuding with Gabriel and finally let him draw him into an armed confrontation in the middle of their own HQ, so he’s clearly got anger issues to rival Commander Edgelord’s.

I like to think that back in the day, he really tried to live up to that hero schtick.  Like, he really wanted to be something better for the world than a soldier in charge of a UN initiative.  But in the end, that’s what he always was, and that as Soldier: 76 his bitterness and negative comments about Overwatch reflect his sense of being burned for trying to be more.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2dmCNDg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *