Monday, April 19, 2021

How Batman is helping expand the Fortnite multiverse

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Batman returns to Fortnite. That may not seem like huge news, given that virtually every pop culture franchise worth its salt has popped up in Epic Games’ massively popular shooter. But this crossover is different in that it’s heavily story driven. Batman / Fortnite: Zero Point is a comic book, first and foremost, and one that promises to reveal a lot about the mythology of the Fortnite universe even if it does. drags Batman, Catwoman and Harley Quinn on the islandTo get a better idea of ​​how this series will capitalize on these two behemoths of pop culture, we turned to writer Christos Gage and Epic’s history consultant / creative director Donald Mustard. Read on to learn more about the plot of Zero Point and why this crossover runs deeper than you might think.

The secret origin of the zero point

The DC and Fortnite universes are kind of natural companions in the sense that both are based on the idea of ​​an interconnected multiverse. The world of Fortnite is specifically presented as a kind of connection point between realities, allowing characters from any number of familiar universes to fall down and intertwine. It’s kind of like living inside Tommy Westphall’s snow globe, if everyone was shooting each other and building towers. Mustard told us that’s exactly why he wanted to bring Batman and other DC heroes into the game ASAP.

“Since we were very early in the process of making the history of Fortnite, there were elements that other realities came into play. And Batman was one of the very first characters I hoped I could fit into it. “said Mustard. . “And so we approached DC pretty early on. I mean, that was years ago and I was like, ‘Here’s our planning and this is how the Fortnite story works, and this is how Batman could fit into it. ‘”

Batman / Fortnite: Zero Point preview # 1

According to Mustard, the game’s first DC crossovers arose mostly from conversations with DC Creative Director Jim Lee. Over time, their conversations shifted toward building a bigger, more focused narrative, which is essentially the genesis of Zero Point. And it turns out that Gage was Mustard’s first and only choice to script the series.

“It’s really a basic Batman story,” Mustard said. “And at least with the story I was thinking of for what would be a really cool lens in the character of Batman and in Catwoman and their relationship. And so we had that arc that we had been thinking about, and how that could relate in some of the Fortnite stuff that was going on and the timeline where the comic takes place. And, I read a bunch of Chris’s work, and especially your stuff you did on GI Joe, which I love so much. thought this art, this work was so awesome. “

Mustard also praised series artists Reilly Brown and Christian Duce, as they both take on the challenge of merging the dark and brooding world of Batman with the colorful (albeit equally violent) realm of Fortnite. .

“Riley is fair, wow he’s amazing,” Mustard said. “A lot of his work, I think, reflects the spirit of that art style that we’re really looking for in Fortnite, but also … we knew that just a lot of the characters and a lot of where you even see Batman evolving and his look, [Reilly] draws the covers so well. He’s so good at all this detail work, and just the energy, his composition and his storytelling and it’s so emotional and so phenomenal. “

How Zero Point leans on Batman and Fortnite Continuity

Many comic book crossovers tend to step outside of the traditional continuity of their respective books, but that’s anything but the case with Zero Point. This series fits firmly into the era of contemporary DC Batman comics, and its events have a clear bearing on the world of Fortnite. It’s similar to the 2020s Fortnite x Marvel: Nexus War – Thor # 1, which stems from a very specific scene from writer Donny Cates’ monthly Thor comic. Zero Point isn’t that specific as to exactly where it fits in the Batman timeline, but the costumes alone make it clear that this series is steeped in current DC lore.

“I’ve worked on a lot of licensed properties and as you know they’re usually not canonical and that’s one thing where you always want to tell a good story and have fun, but it’s like – it doesn’t. isn’t canon, ”Gage says. “In this Donald from the start said, ‘We’re going to reveal all these secrets about how Fortnite Island works.’ And I was like, “You’re kidding me. We’re going to say that in the comics and not in the game.” “

“And the great thing about working with Donald is, besides his unrestrained enthusiasm for everything for Batman and Fortnite, and just for telling stories, is the fact that he never connects with anything, ”Gage added. “He got an idea for a story and said, ‘You know what? Comics are a better way to tell this story than in video games, “instead of” Video games are the core of our business, so that’s what we have to do. ‘”

“This particular story had to be told through the lens of the character, which is why a comic book or something like that really made the most sense,” Mustard said. “And it also allowed us to reveal a lot of really, really cool Fortnite mythology in a way that, again, is best told through the character’s lens and how he experiences it. A lot of things are going to start to make a lot of sense to people as they pay attention to what’s going on in Fortnite. “

A more vulnerable Batman

While the full scope of this crossover remains to be seen, Mustard and Gage have made it clear that Batman’s first challenge after the universe crossover will be the same as many heroes before him. He will arrive on the island without his memories, which will make his immediate battle for survival all the more difficult. Gage considers him “the ultimate challenge for the world’s greatest sleuth”.

“What if you take a character like Batman and put him in an unfamiliar place where you couldn’t remember who he was, while still retaining all of his instincts, and basically the essence of who he is? even without remembering who he is, and what does that do to a character like Bruce Wayne? ”said Mustard. “We just thought it was a really interesting area to explore.”

Batman’s other Gothamites will also suffer from the same amnesia issue, and Gage teased that the series would take full advantage of this plot point to explore the relationship between Batman and Catwoman (who are technically still married these days).

“When you take these people that have this long history and put them in this place where they don’t remember their past, it’s like, well, how is their relationship going to change?” said Gage. “Will they instinctively be enemies, will they be friends, will they be in love, will they join different factions? The possibilities were endless, and that’s what got us excited about it all.”

The 25 greatest Batman graphic novels of all time

How Zero Point connects to the game

Even though Zero Point is a story told primarily in comic book form, players shouldn’t assume that these events won’t be reflected in the game itself. On the surface, Zero Point will be adding new Batman-themed cosmetics and items to the game, with each print issue in the series including a DLC code. But beyond that, the events of the comics will reflect in the world of Fortnite as the story unfolds.

“You can dress up as some of these characters, but again, our goal was to make it all look hot,” Mustard said. “The time frame in which these issues will be released is also concomitant with the events or things happening on the island at that time. And so you will see evidence of Batman in the world of Fortnite that is quite competitive with this. that you “see in the books. Harley, she is one of the first people to cross the rift. The current cosmetic version of Batman is in Fortnite, but as he’s stuck in the loop over and over and over and over again, what he looks like starts to evolve and change as he reacts to this world he is in. And that’s something that’s going to happen. It’s very cool. “

Gage and Mustard both noted their desire to see the comic introduce Fortnite players to the world of DC Comics, and vice versa. This is one of the reasons the series is not as specific as the aforementioned Thor’s story in terms of precise location in the Batman timeline. Their hope is that Zero Point can remain an evergreen graphic novel alongside classic Batman books like The Dark Knight Returns.

Gage said: “On my social media a lot of collectors aged 30 and over said, ‘Oh my kid really loves Fortnite. We will really enjoy this together. “And that makes me really happy because I think the generations carry what they love together and bring your families together, and all that. It looks cheesy, but it makes me happy.”

Batman / Fortnite: Zero Point # 1 will release in print and digital formats on Tuesday, April 20.Batman isn’t the only DC hero to make an appearance in Fortnite this year. Epic recently added a Flash skin inspired by the Arrowverse TV series. The game is also bring in Ellen Ripley and the Alien Xenomorph.

Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by follow @jschedeen on Twitter.



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