If you've followed the press surrounding the upcoming Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War comic, or the previous Fortnite DC Comics collaboration, you might be tempted to think these things exist solely as a way to collect money from gullible Fortnite players looking to get their hands on codes for exclusive downloadable items in the game. Does anyone even actually care about the content of the comics? Has anyone ever even read one to make sure it's not just stuffed with blank newsprint pages? You know what they say about Fortnite players and comic book readers: there's one born every minute!
These kinds of accusations are not really a fair criticism of the comic business. Publishers and creators aren't putting in all that effort just to bilk readers out of their hard-earned money in exchange for useless digital content. They also do it to bilk readers our of their hard-earned money for useless analog content as well!
That's right, Marvel has revealed a new variant cover for Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War #1 by Jim Cheung. Variant covers, or as they are otherwise known, analog NFTs, are one of the oldest shameless sales-boosting gimmick technologies available, and probably one of the inspirations for the microtransaction model of bilking readers employed by video game companies today. The goal of variants is to convince people to pay multiple times for the same product in order to increase sales without actually bothering to make the product appeal to a wider audience. And comics have been doing it for decades!
The Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War #1 variant by Jim Cheung is a 1:25 variant, which means that retailers must purchase 25 regular copies of Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War #1 just to be able to purchase one copy of the variant. They may not have anywhere near 25 customers who actually plan to buy Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War #1, but it doesn't matter what happens to those extra copies once the retailers have bought them, and the retailers can sell the variant on ebay for more than the rest of the comics cost combined. Eat your heart out, video game industry!
Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War #1 will be in stores in June. Check out the Jim Cheung DLC… we mean, variant cover below.
FORTNITE X MARVEL: ZERO WAR #1 (OF 5)
Written by CHRISTOS GAGE & DONALD MUSTARD
Art by SERGIO DÁVILA
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
Variant Cover by JIM CHEUNG
On Sale 6/8