|Name:||Gabriel Reyes, Reaper|
|Occupation:||Overwatch (formerly), Talon|
|Relationships:||Jack Morrison (former co-worker), Ana Amari (former co-worker), Amélie Lacroix (Fellow Talon agent), Sombra (fellow Talon agent)|
|Other:||Not fully human|
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Gabriel joined Overwatch alongside his friend Jack Morrison, and led Overwatch for a while. However, the United Nations then promoted Jack to being Strike Commander, and Gabriel became the leader of Blackwatch, the black ops division. Gabriel was unhappy about this and eventually led a rebellion against Jack, which ended in the destruction of Overwatch's main headquarters. Gabriel was severely injured in the explosion, but somehow survived, albeit in a new wraith-like form.
Since it is suggested that Gabriel's life was saved using nanotechnology, and Angela Ziegler is an expert in nanobiology, there has been some discussion in the fandom over whether she was the doctor who saved his life. There is a clearly implied negative relationship between Angela and Reaper in an in-game interaction, which goes as follows:
Mercy: What happened to you?!
Reaper: You tell me, Doc.
Mercy: This is not what I intended for you, Reyes.
Reaper: You knew exactly what you were doing.
This, along with Overwatch's often vague backstory, led to fans questioning what really happened between Angela and Gabriel.
Overwatch Reddit user meta-sift wrote:
So theres really two possibilities here.
A - The explosion at the Swiss Overwatch facility involved her research and Reyes was heavily affected by it Bruce Banner style.B - Mercy Brought him back to life but messed up in the process or maybe he was so far gone it was a side-effect of the extreme treatment she subjected him to.
Reddit user jsnforce suggested a different explanation to the voice line:
Well, as far as the in-game dialogue, it seems to me that Mercy is asking why Reyes is now Reaper: the traitorous murderer, and not about his condition. She already knows the lengths she went through to save him and what he became as a result: Essentially a Reyes-shaped swarm of nanomachines that drains people to replenish mass* (health). Reyes sees this as explanation enough. And yes, Mercy knew exactly what she was doing. She can claim to not have intended Reyes to become Reaper, but she'd be denying the fact that she understood that Reyes had, on some level, already been that monster for a long time. But I think she, like Winston and Tracer, saw Overwatch as family. More importantly, she is a doctor and he was a patient.
The true backstory between Angela and Gabriel is still unconfirmed, however most fans agreed that Angela was directly involved in turning Gabriel into what he is today, and it is a commonly accepted headcanon that she was the doctor who saved him.
Tropes within fanworks include:
- Gabriel acting as a father to Jesse McCree in their Blackwatch days
- Overwatch!Gabriel - an alternate universe where Jack Morrison joined Talon instead of Gabriel.
- Edgelord Gabriel - there is a joke within the fandom that people who play Reaper are edgelords (pretentious and overly edgy), so lots of fanworks are based around Gabriel himself being an edgelord.
The juggernaut ship including Gabriel is Reaper/Soldier: 76, commonly known as Reaper76. This is because they share extensive canon history, and have many in-game interactions. There is some fandom wank over whether this ship is healthy but a majority of the fandom accepts it as a major ship.
Another prominent ship is Reaper/McCree. This is because Gabriel was a mentor to Jesse McCree in his early Blackwatch days. There is significant controversy and fandom wank about this ship, however, due to their age gap and the fact that Gabriel was his mentor, thus was in a position of power over Jesse.
[Examples illustrating common tropes; gen works; pairings other than those with their own articles]
- Be Your Shadow by apostapal
- Equanimity by ace_up_the_sleeve
- Human to Cry by thesalsagamer396
- Son, You've Got a Way to Fall by ace_up_the_sleeve