THIS WEEK: Knight Terrors – Night’s End #1 wraps up DC Comics’ big superhero summer event while also giving reader’s a glimpse at stories to come. Plus, we check out the Action Comics Presents Doomsday Special #1, and more.

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 TerrorsKnight Terrors – Night’s End #1

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Howard Porter, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Trever Hairsine
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Troy Peteri

Knight Terrors — which has been a really interesting summer event for DC Comics — wraps up this week, seeding as it does a number of interesting stories to come. I know we have a SPOILERS WARNING at the top of this review this week, but before getting into this one (which is mostly about how the event ends), I’d like to re-enforce it. Here there be spoilers. So turn back unless you’ve already read it or made piece with knowing how it ends.

Okay. With that out of the way — onward. In a practical sense, this event ends how we knew it always would: the heroes beat the villain, Insomnia, and the world is saved — everyone wakes up. But within that, the creative team manages to find some interesting character-driven beats. Deadman — who is really the star of this event, even if he had to become Batman for most of the time — gets the biggest hero moment and the sweetest ending here. He fakes his death to get the jump on Insomnia, and then sacrifices his ghostly existence to take Insomnia with him. 

Other non-A list characters who get major roles here include Zatanna teaming with Robotman from Doom Patrol, the original Sandman Wesley Dodds, and Detective Chimp. Another thing I liked here was how the book went out of its way to bolster the wider DCU. It did this through interconnectivity, making it so DC’s last couple of major events — Lazarus Planet and Dark Crisis — matter here, too. It’s a nice creative decision. If you’re going to be doing a lot of events (and you’re always going to be doing a lot of events, it’s superhero comics), you can make them continue to matter moving forward.

Knight Terrors – Night’s End #1 does this right off. The opening doubles down on an idea that’s been in the DCU for a while now — there’s no more Justice League, and even if there was, at this point they may not be welcome. See, it’s the Titans that are the main team now. The nightmares that many people globally saw took the form of Justice Leaguers (because that’s who the villain was out to get here from the start). It’s a nice and appreciated bit of interconnectivity that I didn’t really see coming, but that makes perfect sense to be part of this event.

But what I liked most about this issue was that after it wrapped up two months of line-wide storytelling, it started to set the stage for new comics. There’s a splash page that connects to this week’s Batman/Catwoman – The Gotham War comic; there’s a line from Wonder Woman that (I presume) connects to the upcoming run on that title; and then Amanda Waller shows up, talking to a shadowed person we don’t get to see yet. This is one of the simplest pleasures of reading long-running serialized comics stories — shadowy people who are up to stuff who we might get to see down the line. I love it, and then it goes further, with this shadowed guy becoming…Doctor Hate. The exact type of big swing hilarious sort of fun I like from my capes comics.

All told, I think the main run of this book was pretty strong, with the tie-ins ocassionally really landing. The tie-ins were constructed in a way that they didn’t really disrupt any ongoing stories, only paused them for a minute while everyone slept. 

Knight Terrors

All in all, I think Knight Terrors was a great, large-scale big summer blockbuster sort of event, one that suceeds in part because they limited it to these two months. 

Verdict: BUY

The Round-Up

  • I feel like the only thing I really need to say about Action Comics Presents Doomsday Special #1 is that it’s a Martian Manhunter-Supergirl team-up comic where they go to stop Doomsday escaping from hell. It’s exactly as awesome as it sounds. And if that weren’t enough, this comic also as a back-up story about the Superman of hell. It rules. Both stories are written by Dan Watters. The first story was illustrated by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira, with colors by Adriano Lucas, and letters by Dave Sharpe. The backup features artist Max Raynor and colorist Andrew Dalhouse, also with colors by Sharpe. 
  • The flagship Batman comic — a pillar of DC’s line — ended a giant story before Knight Terrors started, and now this week, we get a glimpse of where it’s going to be headed next: a combination storyline with Catwoman where the two main characters go to war over Gotham. To make that more interesting, there’s a philosophical disagreement about how to handle crime at the heart of this thing, and (seemingly) the entire Bat-family is tangled up in this one. This story will ultimately span two months and eight comics. This first issue was written by Chip Zdarsky and Tini Howard, it was penciled by Mike Hawthorne, inked by Adriana Di Benedetto, colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and lettered by … actually, I think they may have left the letterer credit off (they definitely did for my review copy).
  • I don’t really have anything to add about this one, but I enjoyed The Sandman Universe – Nightmare Country – The Glass House #4. This is making a strong case to be among the best post-Sandman stories set in that world. This issue was written by James Tynion IV, drawn by Lisandro Estherren, colored by Patricio Delpeche, and lettered by Simon Bowland. 

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