We’ve reached the penultimate chapter of the Batman/Fortnite, er, saga. Batman, Catwoman, Deathstroke, and their Fortniter allies have broken into the base of the mysterious organization that’s trapped them all in a live-die-repeat battle royale hellscape. Will they escape? (Probably not this issue.) Will they be betrayed by the obvious Judas of the group? (Absolutely.)
In Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #4 Batman argues with a Viking. His argument is laid out in its entirety above. The argument is accidentally emblematic of this entire series. Think about it for a second. Batman uses “Because here it’s murder” to immediately argue down someone whose (probable) aesthetic is murdering until ultimately and hopefully being murdered in battle and going to an afterlife that consists of drinking, eating, and, yes, more murder — every day, until the end of time. And then the whole thing is dropped without another word from Mr. Viking. Why is this emblematic? Because the series as a whole treats everything like this. The concept could be fun or interesting. The ideas brought up could be fun or interesting. The characters involved could be fun or interesting. But, instead, it treats them all with the same depth and rigor that it treats Batman arguing with a freaking Viking about murder being wrong.
After said argument, Batman and company fight their way through the aforementioned base looking for a way out of their battle royale hellscape. The way out, apparently, being the titular Zero Point. I’ll leave it up to you to guess whether or not they find said Zero Point. All of this is about as exciting as it sounds, and (of course) resolves itself with little to no conflict, drama, or tension. I think Mustard, Gage, and co. at least try to squeeze some drama and excitement out of the whole thing by expositing a bit about how gosh-darn well trained the guards they’re fighting are — before having Batman and the Fortniters cut through them like room temperature butter.
There are, technically, other bits of story in this not-so-glorified advert. Eg: Another Fortniter bites the dust. Again, I think this is an attempt to create drama. Problem is, the character hasn’t been plumbed or fleshed out even a teensy bit. So, naturally, I headed to the Fortnite wiki. Maybe some sweet sweet Fortnite lore would fill in the gaps, make this death mean even the slightest shred of something. The wiki informed me that the character is an “Epic Outfit … that could be unlocked at Tier 87 of the Season X Battle Pass.” Right. Great. Good. Sure.
Also, the person who was obviously going to betray them… betrays them. To elaborate, the person that likely comes first to mind for you, dear reader, and everyone else is the person that turns out to be the traitor. So… drama?
!!!SPOILER!!! It’s Slade…
I dealt with the previous issues of this series with humor, but at this point, I’m just tired. Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #5’s story is awful and immediately deflates any and all drama. Its action is sub-par and tensionless. Fortunately, like our glorious Dark Knight, I only have to weather one more issue of this cross-promotional abomination and then I, like everyone else, will move on and forget about it completely.
Looks like Christian Duce wasn’t just a fill in artist, and will be in it for the rest of the series. Reilly Brown’s pencils might not have been my jam, but I’m starting to miss their cartoonish style. At least the art knew what it was and kind of fit the Fortnite aesthetic. Duce’s wishy-washy sometimes-realism sometimes-detailed art doesn’t have any consistency to it at all. Batman is often much more detailed and realistic looking than the other characters. It isn’t just him though, the detail and general style changes from panel to panel, sometimes even within the same panel (see above). John Kalisz colors aren’t safe from this wild oscillation in quality either. It’s pure speculation. But this smells like everyone was rushed.
Not to nuke a dead horse, but I couldn’t in good conscience go without pointing out a glaring missed opportunity: the above page. Take a look at the half-splash. WHY would you have a half-splash of everyone simply sprinting to the action? Now, look at the panel below it. WHY isn’t that a splash page? Even a two-page splash? There are dynamic poses! There’s action! Nearly everyone (but Batman) is doing something cool and energetic!
- You’ll buy anything involving A) Batman, and/or B) Fortnite.
- You don’t need silly little things like character, plot, or tension in your comics.
- Um… erm… hrm… you’re actually a fan of big evil corpos making money off of rushed, slapdash tie-ins?
I loathe this series in a dull throbbing kind of way, but I’m not going to quit it, because that would let Donald Mustard — my enemy — win. Although, I suppose since this series is bound to make at least some profit, he already has. But his victory is not over me. And my overall feelings on this issue had little to do with the issue itself. Its bad drama-less tension-free story and inconsistent art couldn’t kill the spark of hope in my heart. The hope that grows from a certainty that there’s only one issue left, and the fact that my torment will soon end.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.