Batman / Fortnite - Zero Point, review: worlds colliding

Batman / Fortnite - Zero Point, review: worlds colliding

Batman / Fortnite - Zero Point, review

Strengthened by the commercial and advertising success aroused also in Italy by the collaboration between DC and Epic Games, Panini DC Italia re-proposes in a volume Batman / Fortnite - Punto Zero or the miniseries that brought together the eponymous hero of DC, Batman, and the world of Fortnite, one of the most played free-to-play shooters in the world thanks to its satisfying battle royale mode and irreverent aesthetic.

After visiting infinite worlds, encountering infinite versions of himself and interacting with the most disparate characters, how will Batman fare in the brutal world of Fortnite? What was the welcome reserved for the Dark Knight? Will this be a temporary passage like that of other visitors (including some "real" celebrities) or will it be the end of the cruel game staged on the island?

Batman / Fortnite - Point Zero: live, fight, die, repeat

Red skies, a breach opens in the skies of Gotham. Commissioner Gordon obviously asks Batman to investigate and the Dark Knight responds right away. But Batman is not the only one to have been attracted by the space-time distortion, there is in fact also a possessed Harley Quinn who without hesitation, and with a hint of the madness that distinguishes her, throws herself into the breach. Batman is taken by surprise by the gesture of the Harlequin of Crime so much that he is caught unprepared when he is pushed in his turn into the breach.

When he wakes up Batman is devoid of memories but he still has his equipment with him and above all all his fighting skills that he is able to use unconsciously for luck because he is immediately attacked by a bizarre and mysterious individual. Having escaped the danger, Batman begins to practice his other skills, those of a detective: where is he? why is it impossible to speak? why was he attacked? but above all where did the memories of him go?

Batman soon realizes that he is on an island and that he is surrounded by other bewildered individuals like him. However, meeting a woman dressed as a cat seems to awaken conflicting feelings in him: she is a friend or an enemy. The two thus begin to investigate, discovering that all the guests are attracted to the center of the island without almost ever getting there, in fact everything is reset at regular intervals: the game starts again, the memories reset, the deaths canceled.

Batman soon realizes he is trapped in a space-time loop. It is not the first time, he knows how to get out of it perhaps but his mysterious "jailers" do not seem to be of the same opinion, who at first send against him a fearsome opponent coming from another universe (narrative) and then leaving him "free". The loop seems to be broken but waiting for it there is another fearsome enemy that seems to have ended up on the island. There is nothing left for Batman to do but to field his leadership skills, gather all the guests and thus try to discover the secret of the island so that they can all return to their respective worlds.

The task is also difficult because in the ranks of the guests there is a traitor. Who organized this deadly game and why did Batman, with some of his allies and enemies of him, end up in him? The return to Gotham is bitter because together with all the memories, the truth about the woman dressed as a cat also comes to the surface.

Batman / Fortnite - Zero Point: worlds colliding

Why Batman is the most popular character in the world? There is no single answer to this question but among the many possible there is also the one related to his flexibility. With Batman you can tell any kind of story, of any genre and any tone. This is the case of Batman / Fortnite - Punto Zero, whose self-evident purpose is to recreate a credible narrative with a commercial cut so that Fortnite players, who are younger than average comic readers, are intrigued by Batman and the other characters that peep out. over the course of the 6 chapters that make up the story and then perhaps go back to fetching some volumes.

It is an old and tried-and-tested methodology in which the means change while the aim remains unchanged: to create new readers. If up to 15/20 years a film, an animated series or a line of toys were enough to arouse interest, and feed a loop of new potential readers, today everything is more branched, complex and interconnected. Fortnite is a new medium in this sense and DC has certainly seen it right in focusing on this collaboration, however, not falling into the trap of a pedestrian "spot" but on the contrary looking for a synergy, thus exploiting the narrative characteristics of the game and inserting ideas from it. from the Batmanian narrative universe, even recent ones.

The veteran Christos Gage and the creative consultant of Epic Games, Donald Mustard, then create a story that first highlights the physical and mental characteristics of Batman that interpenetrate those narratives of the world of Fortnite itself, only to then expand and blend them into something more independent and distinctly "comic". Ideally, in fact, the volume can be divided into two parts: the first three chapters have in fact a more rigid structure, with Batman engaged in understanding the functioning of the time loop, marked by an extensive use of captions; the last three chapters, on the other hand, are more dynamic and narratively more heterogeneous while presenting fairly familiar narrative styles such as the idea of ​​parallel / alternative realities.

At this point, the two authors, strong on a solid narrative background, launch the proverbial bait by rotating everything on the relationship between Batman and Catwoman. This is a simple expedient to stimulate the novice reader who does not know the latest narrative changes between the two characters and could be intrigued by then going to fish from the vast production available whether it is the most recent one (Tom King's Batman) or the classic one (Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee for example).

An intelligent operation, anything but simple that works for most of the volume also thanks to several cameos of DC and not only extremely well-known characters like Harley Quinn or Deathstroke (familiar to gamers also for its presence in the Arkham trilogy) but who inevitably has to deal with the "forcing" and a certain corrivity typical of these operations.

If from the point of view of the plot and the screenplay there is little to complain to the two authors, from the graphic point of view the work of Reilly Brown unfortunately does not stand out for its originality, trying to aesthetically approach the desi gn overall of the characters of Fortnite itself (never too realistic) but often ending up being forced especially from the anatomical and detail point of view in a simplification that does not do justice especially in relation to the aesthetic sense of the new generations. Fortunately, Brown compensates with an engaging storytelling and with solutions, in the construction of the table, which favor the physicality and spectacularity of the characters.

Christian Duce (Uruguayan cartoonist recently seen at work on The Flash and Detective Comics) is of another ream, whose more robust and aggressive trait certainly makes reading in chapters 4 and 5 more intriguing, especially for a novice reader. . He also slightly changes the construction of the table, more orderly and with a greater propensity for horizontality while not disdaining some full-page solutions, which forces the reader to pause more appreciating the detail and the now more layered narration.

The difference between the two graphic approaches is evident as is the motivation behind the choice of two artists so different, albeit apparently with a similar style and rooted in the American school of classic superheroism, however it is impossible not to notice how the rendering, in Duce's work, is more performing and in general can more easily meet the taste of younger readers whose aesthetic sense is "accustomed" to solicitations all studied for an immediate impact.

The volume

Panini DC Italia packs a very solid soft touch hardcover, 17 × 26 cm in size, with excellent graphics thanks to the thick and coated paper. From the point of view of carto-technical care there is nothing to complain; from the editorial-editorial point of view, however, the volume presents a brief introduction by the Italian editor while the extras concern the inevitable gallery of variant covers and a gallery of concept art created by Epic Games itself regarding the versions that later appeared in Fortnite of the DC characters among the such as Batman, Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Deathstroke. To report the good Italian adaptation even if some passage in the translation phase could be limited, nothing that affects the reading is very clear.

The juiciest extra, however, is the exclusive code to redeem an aesthetic object to the Fortnite's interior, a cadeau that had already characterized the release of the miniseries in staples and which is re-proposed here, continuing the positive trend of the collaboration between DC and Epic Games.

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