The Batman/Fortnite crossover is among us. When I chose — Yep, totally definitely absolutely chose to. Of my own free will and stuff. Not like I was forced to review this because I’m low on the totem pole. That would be barbaric. h e l p m e — to review Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point, I thought: “What’s the worst that could happen? This is an easy lay-up. Just contrive some circumstances to get Batman on an island, feature some familiar faces from Fortnite, have everyone — you know — battle royale. Average case scenario, this is totally Predator x Diehard x Battle Royale, and it’s lots of fun. I mean, come on, Batman is made for this crossover. He can battle royale with the best of them. Worst case … what could even be the worst case scenario?”
This. This comic is the worst case scenario.
They literally put Batman in the game Fortnite.
Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point is another Bat/Cat love story.
They take away Batman’s ability to speak AND give him amnesia.
Who wrote this? Is it…
I’m blaming the story consultant. Yes you, Donald Mustard. It says right here: “Concept by.” Right next to your name. Poor Christos Gage has to work with the concept you gave them. I blame you, Donald. I won’t say I hate you. I don’t even know you. I’m sure you’re lovely. But for the remainder of this mini-series/stillborn narrative advertisement, you are my enemy.
On to the story. There is a story. Sort of. Technically. Look, if there’s experimental evidence that a video of a triangle bumping into a circle is interpreted by the average human brain as a story, this is also a story. So, short story short, here’s the dig:
So there’s a tear in reality. Batman gets booted in. Also, Harley Quinn is there. And then he has to fight a bunch of Fortnite folks. Also, Catwoman is there.
…This, er, concept, leaves me with nothing but questions, which I will now rattle off. Did they really have to make a tear in reality? Again, couldn’t they just have contrived Batman onto an island with Fortnite’s zany “characters”? This issue spends 5 PAGES getting Batman through said reality tear. Why? You could have very easily accomplished it in one or two. Why did you give Batman amnesia? Why did you remove Batman’s ability to talk? WHY DO BATMAN’S MUSCLES REMEMBER THINGS?
Oh and the art… Actually, I don’t have anything pithy to say about the art, because it’s pretty good. Nelson Faro DeCastro has a really cool name. Also their inks are solid: lots of spot-blacks and hatching to give things a good amount of texture and depth, dynamic poses that convey motion and action pretty well, and lots of expressive faces (that really help considering, you know, the fact that nobody talks). The panel layout is clean and easy to read and the panels themselves make good use of perspective, angle, and establishing panels.
John Kalisz’s colors are equally solid. I may not appreciate the fact that they tore a hole in reality to whisk Batman away to the Fortnite universe, but I do certainly appreciate the dichotomy between Gotham’s dark muddy-red color palette and Fortnite-world’s bright pop-y one.
As you might have noticed from the images, Batman’s design in BF: Zero Point is pleasantly basic. Brings to mind a lot of Tony Daniel’s take on the costume, for better (Morrison) or worse (King) — but, unlike that take, it’s cartoonish enough in this iteration to fit in well with the Fortnite folks.
I have one gripe though: One of the aforementioned (beloved?) Fortnite characters from the cover, Drift, shows up for a single panel before being dispatched. Ruckus (a Mad Max/Borderlands-looking guy), Cuddle Team Leader (a pink teddy bear lady), Magnus (a viking), Big Mouth (a gaping mawed thing), Midas (a gold guy), and Tomatohead (a tomato headed guy) all get more panel-time than this blasé half-masked nonperson. So why aren’t they on the cover? I get that this is a popular character and a quick google reveals that they have some cool looks, but this particular version looks like you put a strip-mall hairdresser and a Z-list GI Joe goon in a blender.
- You’ve always really wanted to see Batman beat on some Fortnite characters.
- You prefer your comics heavy on the art and light on the story.
Maybe this series will improve. Batman’s fighting Snake Eyes next issue, so that’s cool I guess — if you watched G.I. Joe in the 80s, before I and the vast majority of the people actually playing Fortnite were born. Who is this for, though? I do not see the appeal of this for either Batman or Fortnite fans. Just having Batman in things isn’t enough to make Batcomic fans like or buy it. Maybe the dopamine hit of seeing your favorite Fortnite characters will be enough for some of the Fortnite crowd? This could have actually been a neat cross-promotion, but so far it’s looking like a hollow advert.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.