The FOMO is real. On a rare, recent trip into the outside world, I visited my local Forbidden Planet, with the intention of just browsing their lovely selection of geeky merchandise. While in their gaming section downstairs, I happened to notice a guy and his two teenage sons asking for something at the comic book counter – and them being handed a couple of comics they chose from a selection they were offered. They were being sold as one per customer, but as the boys had their own cash they were allowed to take one each – as long as they paid in two different transactions. What was going on? Why were these comics being held at ransom and being sold under such strict, restrictive conditions? I had to find out.
Turns out that the reason these comics were being kept in such clandestine, under the counter conditions and only handed out one per customer was because it was the first issue of a new limited series; a crossover between the DC Universe’s Batman and Epic’s hugely popular battle royale video game, Fortnite. The big selling point here wasn’t just the crossover, but a code included within the comic for a unique, exclusive in-game Harley Quinn skin.
Having zero interest in Fortnite but intrigued by the seemingly limited nature of the comic and the way it was being sold, I ended up picking one up for myself (the selection offered was of three different covers; I opted for the standard, cheapest variant).
Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #1 wastes no time in setting up the story, with a glowing rift appearing in the sky above Gotham – and Batman is soon pulled through the rift, with Harley Quinn just ahead of him and at least one other familiar face from Gotham dragged through too. With no memory of who he is or where he’s from – and without the ability to speak – can Batman survive the carnage he finds on the other side of the rift and get home?
Knowing next to nothing about Fortnite, I was pleased that this issue felt so accessible for readers like me. It’s very Batman led, with the Dark Knight being our gateway character, just as baffled by the battle royale setting as noobs to the Fortnite concept probably are. There’s space for quite a few action scenes here and plenty of characters who are no doubt familiar to Fortnite players make an appearance. The writing – by the ever-reliable Christos Gage – allows for a fast-paced read with enough exposition to set up the situation without getting bogged down in unnecessary detail. The art is fantastic, with Reilly Brown’s pencils seamlessly bringing together the two worlds in great detail.
It’s a really intriguing setup and I’m actually keen to see where the story takes us next. Never thought I’d be saying that about anything involving Epic’s seemingly bottomless cash cow of a game – which I find quite exploitative to be honest – but here we are. Let’s hope that the rest of the series can keep up this level of quality – I’ll be venturing back out to the real world and once more engaging in the illicit-feeling process of getting my under the counter comic with issue 2 very soon.
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