Overwatch fans are renowned for taking small pieces of the game’s lore—or just memes the community itself has developed—and running away with it for days on end, creating a huge buzz online that’s nearly impossible to ignore. That’s happened again thanks to Blizzard’s The Art of Overwatch, an artbook that features concepts of characters prior to their final designs. Leaks from the Overwatch book have revealed that Mercy wasn’t always a woman, and that early designs had the healer cast as a handsome, buff man instead, and the variation of the character has now taken the internet by storm.
The character, shown below, doesn’t change much in terms of uniform, as he still rocks a high-tech white suit with wings and the Caduceus staff that has spawned so many play of the games. His character design, however, features a muscular hero with white and black hair. It’s a really fascinating nuance of the Mercy character, and fans have clearly fallen in love with this representation.
It isn’t just that fans like the new-but-old Overwatch hero, however – the community has also begun to create talented fan art for the male version of Mercy. Check out some of them below, as the Overwatch community‘s creativity continues to impress:
The Art of Overwatch is expected to launch soon, and if the concept art for Mercy is any indication, it could become the sire of many an internet sensation. In the meantime, however, Blizzard could feasibly look into patching in an Overwatch character skin into the game for Mercy that allows fans of the male Mercy to play as him in-game. While it might be too much of a programming ask, as the skin would impact hit boxes and more, demand from the community has often inspired the developer to go above and beyond for its Overwatch fans before.
For now, though, we’ll just have to settle for more representations of buff Mercy instead. Not that we’re complaining at all.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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