Last year, Epic Games and DC conquered the comic book stores with Batman/Fortnite: Ground Zero, a crossover sought after both by the cosmetic codes of each issue and by the series itself. This summer, Epic enlisted Marvel Comics to catch that lightning in a jar again, and their joint venture seems to be off to a strong start.
In the first of five parts, Fortnite x Marvel: War Zero sets the table for fans of either property who may not know of the other’s deal, while also establishing the foundation of the story (no pun intended) and justifying the crossover’s existence. Having been to The Island for some unspecified reason, Spider-Man returns to Earth to recruit his mightiest heroes, creating a convenient narrative excuse to bring readers of all stripes up to speed with a flashback of sorts.
“In the first of five parts, Fortnite x Marvel: War Zero sets the table for fans of either property who may not know of the other’s deal, while also laying the groundwork for the story (no pun intended) and justifying the crossover’s existence.”
Wisely, Epic Games writers Donald Mustard and Christos Gage have chosen to set Fortnite x Marvel: War Zero aside from current Marvel Comics continuity for continuity’s sake. While the Avengers roster is the same as it is in its current comics version, the events aren’t tied up, so readers won’t need to look up another forty issues as homework. About him Fortnite On the other hand, the situation seems to reflect the recent state of things in the game, specifically around the end of Chapter Three Season Two, which ended last weekend.
As someone who recently dove into Fortnite With chapter three, any allusions to earlier events in the game were sufficiently explained with the editor’s notes, making those story beats easy to understand. In fact, it was lovely to see the game’s characters interact in a different medium, and I learned some of the lore behind the mechanics that the actual game doesn’t really impart.
In the same way, as a long-time Marvel fan, the portrayals of the characters in Fortnite x Marvel: War Zero #1 are pretty classic. Clever dialogue conveys all the background new readers might need to know, while also cracking a couple of inside jokes for veterans, like Wolverine asking if Spider-Man “found [himself] a black suit again” while away from Earth. Younger readers who are only familiar with movie or cartoon adaptations can begin to appreciate these iconic superheroes in a deeper way.
Similar allusions are also present in the art, such as a panel recreating Spider-Man’s debut on the cover of amazing fantasy #1 (with Jonesy in tow). Sergio Dávila’s art (inked by Sean Parsons and colored by Edgar Delgado) does a great job of capturing the essence of both universes and excels in the action sequences.
By the end of the issue, everything is on the line, two teams of heroes are headed in opposite directions, and a sinister new threat is revealed to the reader. There’s enough groundwork in one issue for the initiative to seem like more than shameless cross-promotion, even if the story plot itself doesn’t break any new ground, and four other issues remain for the series to become complacent.
“If your kid wants to pick this series up on these codes alone, you can at least be sure the comic it’s packaged in is a decent one.”
Of course, a good part of the people who buy Fortnite x Marvel: War Zero will be in it for the cosmetic code. For issue #1, first printing copies include a code redeemable for a sleek, futuristic Spider-Man Zero skin. This will be a timed exclusive and will then appear in the Item Shop alongside the Iron Man-inspired wrap and Wolverine pickaxe in the next two issues. (Issues four and five will have exclusive comic book codes; those who redeem all of these items will be able to get another exclusive outfit, and all will be included in the trade paperback collection later this year.)
If your son wants collect this series Just from these codes alone, you can at least be sure that the comic it’s packaged in is a decent one. It’s aimed squarely at the plate and knows its audience well: readable for the game’s younger players, with enough Easter eggs and writing that should earn at least a few smiles from the older crowd.