“Hex and Violence” – Chapter One
Writer: Dennis Culver
Artist: David Baldeon
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Review by Kendra Smart
Knight Terrors: Zatanna #1 is upon us with immensely gorgeous cover choices and a return to one of my absolute favorite characters. Insomnia may be the new villain but he is not the only concern that those unaffected must face. In Knight Terrors: Zatanna #1 We meet new players in the crisis and old fears are awakened. We will dip into the story in just a moment but like with the other parts to this series, the cover work deserves some time spent on it.
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For our first cover we have the art team for the book, David Baldeon and Rain Beredo providing us with a haunting scene as Zatanna and Robotman stand back to back taking in all of those affected by Insomnia. The artwork is a great representation of what is happening in their world. We actually get two variations of covers by Mico Suayan, both the color edition and the 1:50 gray-scale version of Zatanna looking on horrified as an octopus type creature is bursting forth from her magic hat with aims on pain.
Moving on we get an astounding red, black, and white Midnight Variant cover by Dustin Nguyen. It depicts Zatanna holding her own head in such a stunningly beautiful way, which feels really weird typing I assure you. But it is beautiful in its macabre tone. Next comes a fan favorite artist, Riley Rossmo, who gives us the 1:25 variant cover. Riley creates a true nightmare as Zatanna is being devoured by her arachnid hat, it is whimsical yet haunting. But the last cover I will discuss is possibly my favorite for Knight Terrors: Zatanna #1, and the artwork is done by Kendrick ” Kunkka” Lim. Lim gives us a zombified version of the Mistress of Magic that is as grotesque as it is beautiful.
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Terrific Tower is where Knight Terrors: Zatanna #1 starts as Red Tornado and Zatanna are trying to figure out what is happening around them and what has caused almost everyone to fall into a deep sleep. Both soon have their own troubles to deal with and the focus shifts to Zatanna as she struggles to keep her friends safe from the Sleepless Knights. Zatanna spins the quick tale of how things got here with Wonder Woman and Detective Chimp trapped in sleep and in her protection from Iron Maiden and Sir Morbid.
Their Queen arrives leaving Zatanna outnumbered and possibly overpowered so she calls on a champion to come to her aid. Enter Cliff Steele, also known as Robotman from The Doom Patrol. Using her wits, Zatanna gets them some room to breathe in order to find safety. But the Queen is on the hunt for her prey and that includes sending ghosts from the past to bar their path to safety. With so much against them is there a way out or to wake everyone up?
With Knight Terrors: Zatanna #1 there are a lot of things happening all at once and the pace is quite fast, even for a 32 page book. Dennis Culver does an excellent job of giving attention to each of the players we have eyes on, so the focal point is never lost. I do hope to see more expanded upon when it comes to the death of Giovanni Zatara and just how the Doom Patrol’s part was played. David Baldeon and Rain Beredo give us exciting scenes and action, my favorite being the summoning of the dragon. I have had the pleasure of seeing this team before and know what quality is here and awaits us.
I like getting to see Zatanna in action again and for a beginning dip into her part in the story, this one gives set up. But what I see in the set up and of course the close lead me to be excited for the next issue. The artwork for the transformation scene was uncomfortable to say the least as I couldn’t help but have Brendan Fraser’s voice in my head as I read Cliff’s lines. It will be intriguing to see what is next for our favorite Sorceress.
I would have picked this book up anyway due to the main character being my favorite. I love to read anything that she features in. But the pacing is off slightly for me and there are a few moments that feel forced instead of a fluid transition. But these do not affect the overall, and are honestly just me being slightly picky. The artwork details are spot on and you feel Zatanna’s frustration clearly as well as her dedication. It will be interesting to see if there will be closure for Zatanna with this arc. I look forward to finding out with all of you!
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment.