THIS WEEK: The Knight Terrors event is into its second week, and we check in to see how the storyline is shaping up so far.

Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.

Knight Terrors #1

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, & Caspar Wijngaard
Colorists: Frank Martin & Caspar Wijngaard
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Cover Artists: Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, & Brad Anderson

DC’s Knight Terrors summer event storyline is in full-swing. The latest entry in the publisher’s Dawn of DC initiative finds the residents of the DC Universe trapped in their own nightmares, and facing the disorientation and horror that come with them, all thanks to new villain Insomnia. With two weeks and a dozen issues, including two of the main title and ten from accompanying tie-ins, under its belt, the storyline is working hard to make a case for Halloween in July.

As a concept, Knight Terrors is extremely solid. It feels reminiscent of the themed annuals DC used to do, whether a cohesive story like Armageddon 2001 or JLApe or a looser theme like “Ghosts” or “Year One.” Like those annuals of yore, too, the strength is in the execution, and Knight Terrors is off to an overall strong start. The core series from writer Joshua Williamson and a group of artists including Howard Porter, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Caspard Wijngaard has so far acted largely as a setup for and framework in which the tie-in miniseries take place, with last week’s Knight Terrors: First Blood one-shot putting everyone to sleep and this week’s Knight Terrors #1 picking up the story in the waking world of Deadman vs. Insomnia. It’s a smart way to structure an event, and it makes the individual tie-in miniseries accessible even for readers who aren’t picking up the main title.

Of course, there are a few stand-outs among the ten tie-ins that have been released thus far. Last week’s Batman, from Williamson and artists Guillem March and Tomeu Morey, Poison Ivy from regular Ivy writer G. Willow Wilson and artists Atagun Ilhan, Mark Morales, and Arif Prianto, and Knight Terrors: The Joker from writer Matthew Rosenberg and artists Stefano Raffaele and Romulo Fajardo Jr. all approach the event from different angles and great success. In the case of the latter two, the series seem to be functioning almost like Elseworlds stories, with neither Ivy nor Joker apparently aware that they’re dreaming even as their situations grow more nightmarish. This week’s Shazam! from writer Mark Waid and artists Roger Cruz, Wellington Dias, and Arif Prianto, and The Flash from writer Alex Paknadel and artists Daniel Bayliss and Igor Monti both do a really nice job blurring the lines between what’s a dream and what’s reality in a way that will leave even readers wondering what’s going on.

As for the nightmares themselves, each of the books does a nice job rooting them in their respective characters in a way that’s not always obvious but that’s always revealing. It’s easy to see why these nightmares would be scary for the characters themselves, even if they’re not particularly scary for readers. The exception to that is Batman, from seasoned horror writer Williamson. The image of the gun-faced bat-creature climbing from the gaping maw of young Bruce Wayne is truly horrific, and one one that’s stuck with me and will likely continue to stick with me for some time. The cliffhanger at the end of Knight Terrors #1 is also wonderfully creepy, and bodes well for the direction of the rest of that series.

Knight Terrors has been a lot of fun over its first two weeks. Mileage will likely vary for readers depending on their tolerance of dream logic and their investment in each tie-in’s lead character, but even for characters without their own regular series like Ravager and Zatanna there’s enough of a look at their individual psyches to draw readers in and hold their interest. Here’s hoping the rest of the event’s tie-ins offer as diverse and interesting a group of stories as these.

Mid-Event Verdict: Buy.

Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!


  1. I read through the first week’s books in one sitting (haven’t gotten week 2 yet because I pick my books up on Wednesday like a civilized person) and found them to be a mixed bag. A few were very enjoyable and there were a few less so including some surprises. All in all I liked it and reading them in one shot helped set the tone in my brain. I do miss the themed annuals of days long ago but I understand the business reasoning for doing these now as mini-events.

  2. On the other hand, some of us think that Knight Terrors is one of the dumbest and least necessary events from a company that glories in dumb and unnecessary events.

Comments are closed.