A little over a year ago, Fortnite and DC Comics teamed up with the Christos Gage-penned Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point. Now, Gage has joined forces with Marvel and Epic Games chief creative officer Donald Mustardto co-write the multiversal battle of the century, Fortnite X Marvel: Zero War. Joined the by immensely talented artist Segio Dvila, the crossover event involves high stakes, familiar characters, and some truly epic battles.
If you’ve read Zero Point, it’ll help to recall a few key players as well as the overall plot from Fortnite before entering this comic. Having zero knowledge of Fortnite probably doesn’t help, but thankfully this first issue is littered with editors’ notes reminding us of key players and how it all works. That element is helpful, but it can be a detriment to the flow of the story as things are just getting going.
That’s because there’s way too much explaining necessary to catch readers up. The creators obviously knew the reader would know who Wolverine and Spider-Man are (as they open this issue), but nearly everything, else be it Fortnite characters or why any of this is happening, require heaps of somewhat detailed explanation. The creative team does well enough to catch us up on how a lot of these factors, including how a few of these characters popped into the Fortnite universe a year or two ago, and how the energy source functions.
Unfortunately, the main villain is a mystery even to the bad guys, and that can make things feel a bit vague. It’s not too confusing once you put this book down, but you’ll probably find yourself unsure why we should care about this story at all. A familiar Marvel villain does add a little extra intrigue, which makes for a good cliffhanger.
Why we should care feels muddled, though. That’s partly due to there being low stakes outside of “save everything.” Motivations for characters seem limited at best, too. Spider-Man is in the fight due to his kind heart and desire help those in need. Meanwhile, the draw of Wolverine is to have a good fight (at least that’s on brand). This pales in comparison to the DC/Fortnite crossover, where Batman had more stakes in the game since he wanted to save Catwoman. That previous story also delved into his incredible detective mind; here though, our heroes seem to be throwing themselves headlong into a battle just because.
Davíla’s art is good here, with solid costume design and easy-to-follow action across the visuals. Edgar Delgado backs him up on colors, making Galactus look incredible while pulling off a fun homage to Spider-Man’s first cover in Amazing Fantasy. Still, the art has to contend with a lot of dialogue in most scenes, with the action feeling like quick nuggets in between all the side notes and tangents. A standout in the art comes on the final two pages involving a key villain — Davíla captures the interior of this character’s domain very well and litters it with little doodads and details similar to how most artists play around with Batman’s cave.
Younger readers who love Fortnite will likely enjoy Fortnite X Marvel: Zero War #1 more than casual comics fans, especially given the fact that each issue comes with codes to earn in-game swag. The story, however, is packed with a lot of exposition, making it feel less like an epic action comic and more like some weird instruction manual. And because of that, the story and entertainment value ultimately suffer.
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