Knight Terrors: Robin #1 & #2
Writer: Kenny Porter
Artist: Miguel Mendonça
Color Artist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Sharna Jahangir
Welcome to Knight Terrors: Robin #1 & #2. I will miss the summer, but DC has a wicked knack for revving us up for everyone’s favorite spooky season. Enter the surreal, nightmarish wonderland of “Knight Terrors” where we follow our beloved former sidekicks, as they begin another fight for their lives.
Kenny Porter does an excellent job of pulling readers in, as Barbara Gordon worries deeply about Tim Drake’s situation. The story-telling’s captivating as is the horror-esque artwork, all of which makes for a suspenseful combination.
The closeness between the Tim, Jason, and Batgirl is well depicted. It’s clear that Porter knows these characters well as he captures their relationships perfectly with their short quips. Drake’s a younger man and readers are instantly able to tell that Barbara cares about him and his daily tasks profoundly. She knows he hasn’t been sleeping well. In contrast, her interactions with Jason Todd are shorter and far more to the point. Although, we know she cares for him as well, she knows that this affection will be largely ignored. Instead, keeping an eye on his whereabouts and goals for the evening is a far better use of her time.
The enemy in this arc is interesting and alluring. He seems to be inspired by something that most young adults have suffered from, Insomnia. He pulls our heroes into a realm of haze and horror. In Knight Terrors: Robin #1 we get a taste of the world-building. It really becomes a hell perfectly crafted for both of them, and the tension is brilliant.
Found-Family Moments. Awww…
This uneasy narrative follows into Knight Terrors: Robin #2 as Tim and Jason are in the midst of this seemingly inescapable nightmare. Issue #2 differs with the addition of some tender moments and Porter’s fantastic at combining this sort of ghoulish story, yet adding some found-family bonding. Honestly, anytime I know there’s more than one Robin/Batgirl involved, I know I’m in for some emotions. It’s really captivating to see some little Robin/big Robin brotherly support, I especially love Drake yelling out to Todd that no one thinks he’s a failure.
In a situation like this, it’s easy to feel the worst you’ve ever felt, and that’s the goal for deranged villains like Insomnia. This guy wants you at your weakest, and the Robins can’t let each other get to that point. However, any heart-warming moments are quickly put to an end as the narrative prepares us for an even darker turn of events.
What can I say, it’s blood haunting. For someone who has trouble looking into a mirror after watching Insidious, I should not have read this issue at 3 AM. Miguel Mendonça is a multi-talented artist. He does body-horror justice as the images in both issues pull the readers into a surreal land of pure terror. It’s jam-packed with fights and comic-heroic scenes with ghoulish undertones.
I like the swirls that add to the surrealism. It reminds me a little of Junji Ito’s style, as he’s the King of Horror in Comics, I’d say. There’s a bit of a macabre element to everything, and I feel the swirls and body transformations add to that disturbing body-horror feel.
Adriano Lucas is a great color artist. The hues he works with are purple undertones, giving the image of an queasy, uneasy world. Purple in comics often implies that something’s not in our dimension. Blue Sky, black sky, and red sky belong to this dimension, but purple sky is other-worldly. The transitions between purple to neon blue between the panels continue to illicit uneasy feelings for the reader. Excellent job!
Of course, we have another absolute pro in the ranks with letterer Tom Napolitano. His captions and dialog fonts also add to the feelings of unease and horror.
Yes, I am so happy that I was assigned these issues to review. It’s a great way to get an introduction to the “Knight Terrors” event. I’m excited to see where this villain will take our heroes next, and to see more found-family moments. I hope there’s a fun twist or issue release during Halloween month, too.
This was a great read for a hero/horror crossover series with two of my favorite former Boys Wonder.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment