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‘Knight Terrors’ DC Comics Crossover (review)

Written by Joshua Williamson and various
Art by Howard Porter and various
Published by DC Comics


So here comes Knight Terrors, a crossover that I was hearing about for quite a while. I saw the initial press for it, and I was confused as to how the whole thing is supposed to unfold, but I am going to attempt to do so here.

DC has been doing this a lot lately: Stop regular books for two months and try a wacky idea for their characters. It happened with Future State and it happened with Endless Winter. These crossovers seem to stop everything dead in its tracks.

Knight Terrors is a 45 issue crossover event that is above the rest for sure. While some of the books didn’t really work for me (the Robin Knight Terrors and the Flash book for instance are both truly bland), the majority of the event is actually pretty fun.

That is because writer Joshua Williamson came up with an actual plan and laid down some good groundwork getting this together.

It seems like there was a plan from the beginning, and he executed it fairly well.

The story involves a new villain named Insomnia trying to find an object called the Nightmare Stone through the various dreams of the DC characters.

Deadman takes over Batman’s body to help combat this villain. He also teams up with a few other heroes (including the Wesley Dodds’ Sandman) to stop Insomnia from achieving his goals. If they don’t, the DC Universe is going to be torn asunder!

That is the framework for the rest of the books to follow and they follow it to the letter.

This ends up leading to some truly interesting moments as the DC heroes are being terrorized by Insomnia. It is a bit like watching A Nightmare on Elm Street happening against the DC characters. This leads to some enjoyable developments in the books themselves as we get to see our character in a different lens.

For instance Action Comics had the Cyborg Superman as an 80s horror villain and so on.

A lot of the main books are about Batman (possessed by Deadman), and the Wesley Dodds Sandman trying to find the stone. As they are looking for it, they learn many things about Insomnia’s past. Did the DC heroes do something to Insomnia to make him into who he is today? Are the DC heroes responsible for this whole event? That question exists in each of the tie in issues and we see hints of it throughout.

The various tie ins are about Insomnia trying to find the Nightmare Stone. The various tie issues also have Insomnia fighting the character or characters in a race to find the stone through their dramas . Some just feel like filler. The Titans issues aren’t very good. It felt like regular Titans writer Tom Taylor didn’t want his plans interrupted and let a guest team take over.

The Batman comics written by Williamson are fairly strong as it tied more directly into the main Knight Terrors story. The Detective Comics one however written by Dan Watters just went in circles for me, though the Ricardo Federici artwork was nice. The Flash comic was a bore. It just went nowhere and followed dream logic too much.

The Black Adam comic for this wasn’t very good either. It showed Black Adam’s worst fears come to life but it just wasn’t interesting. Same for Shazam, Catwoman, and the Wonder Woman books. They didn’t try anything that was new. It just felt sort of flat, like the writers needed to fill space. Green Lantern had a nightmare of a book with Hal Jordan as a horror version of Green Lantern. It was damn cool!

I did enjoy the Ravager book written by Ed Brisson. It had some nice art and actually explored new things with the character.

Harley Quinn had a nice take written by Tini Howard and artwork by rising star Hayden Sherman. It was cool to see Harley as a sane doctor again. I enjoyed it.

The Punchline book along with Angel Breaker were both not very interesting. I was hoping for more from them. The Nightwing book was just okay as well but it wasn’t very inventive with its use of dreams.

Zatanna had an interesting chapter with her spinoff book. It showed what happened to the people who were still awake. Writer Dennis Culver and artist David Baldeon show us Zatanna traveling through the world as it is while everyone is sleeping. It was fun to watch her team up with Robotman, too!

The most interesting story has to be in the Joker comic. The Joker goes to work in an office cubicle after thinking that he killed the Batman. It is a heck of a twist on the normal story we would see from him in the comics. Writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Stefano Raffaele give us a comic that is truly something special here.

The Action Comics entry by writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson and artists Mico Suayan and Fico Ossio is also incredibly strong. Again, the Cyborg Superman is the villain here, and all of the various horror elements really work great. This is another stand out in this crossover.

There is a main Knight Terrors series in the middle of it all. In it, we get to see the origin of the villain Insomnia. It’s an okay origin story but nothing we haven’t seen before. It does give the overall story a little more depth. The twists and the turns that happen in the series near the end are pretty awesome though, besides that.

The final chapter was where Williamson and gang really brought it all home. There was a satisfying resolution, and it does seems to taper off into the next thing that Williamson does. That is what I like about him as a writer. He is always thinking ahead to the next thing around the corner.

So yeah, this was not a bad crossover by any stretch of the imagination. There are some good moments. There are some stories that are definitely amateurish. Overall, I was entertained by the crossover as a whole.


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