Thank every dark god that ever crawled up out of the abyss. Our bizarre odyssey (more like blasé slog) is over.
About halfway through Batman/Fortnite #6, Catwoman makes a humorous, topical, reference to the song Hotel California by The Eagles. The mean age of the band’s founding members is 73. Their song Hotel California was released in 1976. Christos Gage, the writer of Batman/Fortnite was born in the 70s. So was my enemy Donald Mustard. “Okay, sure”, the hypothetical reader that lives in my head says, “but who cares if it’s a weird super-dated reference? It’s a throwaway line!”. To which I respond, hypothetical reader: Yeah okay, sure, but just like the Batman v. Viking no-kill argument from last issue, this weird little reference really illuminates just how off the mark the story is from both Batman and Fortnite fans.
So, now that the series is (finally) over, we can ask ourselves some real questions: Was this a soulless cash grab? Was it successful? But most importantly, why the hell did they make this series? And who the hell was this even for? But before we dig in, I guess I better review the last issue or whatever.
Bat and Cat have been betrayed! Now they’ve gotta find a third person from their world to stabilize the portal home. It’s time to find Harley Quinn. Meanwhile, a few DC universe heavy hitters sit around and gloat about how it was all according to plan. You’ll never guess who. No really, this comic didn’t set them up at all.
It was Lex Luthor! And — I shit you not — the Batman Who Laughs… The most set up that Luthor gets is a throw-away line by Batman about how “Deathstroke needed a backer” on the previous page. BWL, however, crawled right out of that abyss I mentioned earlier. Don’t pray to dark gods kids, it’s always a monkey’s paw.
It was Lex Luthor! And — I shit you not — the Batman Who Laughs…
The most set up that Luthor gets is a throw-away line by Batman about how “Deathstroke needed a backer” on the previous page. BWL, however, crawled right out of that abyss I mentioned earlier. Don’t pray to dark gods kids, it’s always a monkey’s paw.
You can, however, absolutely guess how the issue was resolved. Just picture the first thing that comes to mind. Yep. That’s it. Minus the weird pervy stuff. Get your mind out of the gutter.
If Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point marketed itself as anything, it would be one of two things: either dumb breezy fun or a genuine attempt to fill out a bit of Fortnite’s spotty lore. The series’ overall reception seems to be mixed, maybe, at least for some, it succeeded in the first regard. And I’m not going to yuck anyone’s yum who enjoyed it, or at least got something out of it — but for me? It was an abject failure in both regards. The last issue, more than anything else, spotlights what I believe is the real essence of Batman/Fortnite: selling the consumer as much crap as possible.
Did we get a satisfying conclusion? Did the conclusion do anything at all to address the questions (admittedly flaccidly) raised in the first issue? Was it at least a fun send-off for this weird little story? A big F-NO on all counts. But I feel like y’all deserve a little more detail, so I’ll go through each question a bit more thoroughly below. Warning: possibly minor spoilers.
Did we get a satisfying conclusion?
No, instead we got Harley Quinn as a macguffin (and also acting utterly out of character), some unnecessary Bat/Cat melodrama (because more of that telenovela nonsense is what we need), a generic wrap up, and several — increasingly dumber — whodunnit reveals.
Did the conclusion do anything at all to address the questions raised in the first issue?
Pretty much every question was left unanswered. Why can’t people talk? I have no idea, the comic hand-waves it away. Why are people’s memories erased on the island? Again, no clue. What happened to Snake Eyes? Really though, the other folks that “won” on the island seemed to end up on the alt-island where the evil organization base was located. So where was Snake Eyes? Guess they only had the license for one appearance… What is the storm? Shrug. What is the Zero Point? A big bit of uninteresting Applied Phlebotinum that isn’t really explained. Who’s behind everything? A couple of DC a-holes that weren’t set up at all and an obligatory Fortnite villain (who also was not set up at all within the comic).
Was it at least a fun send-off for this weird little story?
A fun, self-contained, wrap-up could have gone a long way in redeeming this series. Instead, Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #6 busies itself with setting up future tie-ins and sales opportunities. There are three out of left field not-at-all set up “it was me all along” reveals that do nothing for the story. Their sole purpose seems to be to generate excitement for whatever future DC/Fortnite thinly-veiled-adverts will inevitably be pooed out.
Praise the sun, Reilly Brown is back on pencils. Sure, it’s still just okay art, and Batman is still quite hairy, but at least the art has some style.
Like the first issue, John Kalisz’s colors create a fun juxtaposition between the bright colors of Fortnite-world and the bleaker tones of Gotham.
The above half-splash is pretty dynamic, if not nearly as interesting as some of the huge chaotic splashes earlier in the series. There’s a full page splash of Bat/Cat later in the issue that did a pretty good job of montaging their history together.
- I only recommend this issue if you’ve invested in the other five issues and desperately need closure, although I’m not sure how much closure you’ll get.
A commenter told me to treat the story as Isekai. For those of you not in the know, that’s a Japanese genre in which some main character gets transported to another world. I might be wrong, but I have a feeling this was meant as some more of a “let it go and have fun” gesture. But I will not. The fun of Isekai like Digimon, or Narnia and/or any of the other countless other-world/hidden world stories is getting to know the world with your POV character. What about this world did we get to know? Where was the fun? But that’s not the real rub, the real rub is that Batman/Fortnite as a series — especially this issue — is anti-consumer. They want you to buy Fortnite skins, they want you to buy Batman comics, and they don’t seem to care about much else. Goodbye Donald, may we never meet again.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.