So hey, I get it. It’s not just a party, it’s a costume party. We’re not actually playing as the Predator, or Chun-Li, or Kylo Ren. We don’t have any of their special abilities. We’re just cosplaying as them. Wearing skins. I feel the game buckling under the weight of all this corporate IP, becoming a bland grab bag of pop culture properties, but I rarely find any one character’s presence bothersome. It’s the trend that bothers me, not the presence of Star Lord or Lara Croft in particular.

And yet, getting sniped by Superman just...feels different. The American pie wholesomeness and decency I associate with him (thanks primarily to the Christopher Reeve movies I grew up with) just doesn’t mesh with the thought of Supes shooting people in the face with a tactical shotgun. Even if we view Fortnite as primarily a big goofy cosplay get-together, it’s a cosplay get-together with guns.

Sure, even Superman has wielded guns in a few obscure comic arcs. But putting Superman in a context where he has to wield guns constantly just intrinsically misunderstands the character’s essence. It’s not a good fit. And as I found out while I was writing this piece, I’m not the first Kotaku staffer to feel like some of the characters who get pulled into Fortnite’s vortex don’t quite belong. It’s outta control!


Maybe this devouring and regurgitating of so much IP is just a phase for Fortnite, and eventually it will re-establish its own identity, rely more heavily on original characters again, and aim for crossovers that make more thematic sense. Or maybe the powers that be at Epic will not rest until they have every conceivable realm of popular culture in their grasp. If only Superman could help us put a stop to that.