“Knight Terrors: Nightwing” – Chapter One
Writer: Becky Cloonan and Michael W Conrad
Artist: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Color Artist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Review by James Attias
Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1 is here and trust me, we’re not in Blüdhaven anymore!
We’re All Mad Here
When you start reading this issue, you will immediately see that this is not the fun, colorful world of Nightwing that Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have been treating us to these last few years. Knight Terrors and the new villain Insomnia have put almost every hero on the planet into a nightmare-like sleep state. They are all fighting their own worst nightmares. The worst part is, most of our heroes don’t realize they’re in a nightmare.
So what does a Dick Grayson fear most? What would have our favorite acrobat breaking a cold sweat at the midnight hour? Our story starts in a Nightmare version of Arkham Asylum. What’s that I hear you ask? Isn’t Arkham already a nightmare version of a mental asylum? Well this one is worse. Not only have the inmates taken over the asylum, this time, they are all monstrous versions of themselves. Professor Pyg is a very real presence here, could he be at the forefront of Dick’s nightmares due to their encounters when Dick was Batman (written by the spooky phenomenon that is Grant Morrison). I mean that run gave me nightmares and I was reading it, poor Richard was living it!
There is more to this story though than just ghosts and goblins. We have villains all around Nightwing whispering doubts, madness, poison into our heroes mind. Can he keep them at bay? Or will he be broken down and driven insane by his own worst nightmares.
One of my favorite elements about this whole Knight Terrors event has been having different artists across the core titles. Don’t confuse my statement with disdain towards the regular artists. No no, I love the regular creative teams, but having different artists gives these titles a certain nightmare feel. They don’t look like our normal outings, they don’t feel like a regular day on the town. They add an element of unsettling change to the titles. This book is a prime example of that.
For those of us who have been loving the Taylor/Redondo run like a warm hug. As reviewed by the Amazing Steve J Ray and recently whilst Steve was attending to Green Lantern business on Oa, myself! This feels like such a sharp contrast to what we’re used to. For this event, and only this event. I am enjoying it. When we’re out of this nightmare realm, I want business as usual thank you very much.
The writing here by Becky Cloonan, who some of you may remember from the recent fun run of Batgirls, shows us that she can also write horror, as there is no fun to be had here for Dick. Although as much as it is meant to be a mess of the mind I did want a little bit more structure to the story. But that’s just me. You judge for yourselves.
Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1 gives us a hero who is trapped in a prison of his own worst fears and nightmares. I wonder if this will change anything in his life once the Knight Terrors event is over? We’ll have to wait for part two to find out!
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment.