Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Knight Terrors Night's End #1 Review


Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Howard Porter, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, Trevor Hairsine
Colors by: Rain Beredo
Letters by: Troy Peteri
Cover art by: Howard Porter
Cover price: $5.99
Release date: August 29, 2023

Knight Terrors: Night's End #1 brings the Summerween event to a close as Insominia unleashes nightmares across the globe to destroy humanity using its own fears.
Is Knight Terrors: Knight's End #1 Good?Oof! Knight Terrors: Night's End #1 is a stinker of an ending for an ill-conceived event. When reviewing these arcs, regardless of how well or poorly they start, you always hold out hope that the creator can stick the landing. Joshua Williamson not only didn't stick the landing, he fell off the mat and dislocated a hip in the fall.

When last we left Insomnia in Knight Terrors #4, Deadman foolishly gave Insomnia exactly what Insomnia wanted - the Nightmare Stone. In an act of brutal self-sacrifice, Insomnia killed himself to gain possession of the Nightmare Stone to make his personification permanent in the real world. Insomnia unleashes all the nightmares across Earth, so it's up to Deadman, zombie Sandman, and the Justice League to stop him.

There's been some confusion among reviewer circles because Knight Terrors #4 was thought to be the end of the event, and this issue is just a prologue. On the contrary, Knight Terrors: Night's End #1 concludes the event and ends by teasing two other events - Gotham War and Beast World. If you've fallen, like several other comic fans, into event fatigue, the rest of 2023 is not going to get any better for you.

What's great about this comic? I'll give Williamson this much credit - all the toys don't go back into the toybox where he found them. Deadman earns a new status quo (sorta), and the villain receives a just punishment for his crimes. The end of this ill-conceived event may not be satisfying, but it is somewhat complete.

What's not great about this comic? Nearly everything else. I don't use the phrase "ill-conceived" lightly. It's very obvious that either Williamson was directed to spin nothing into something against his better judgment, or he bit off more than he could chew. Very little of this ending (much like the rest of the event) makes sense.

The closest the tie-ins get to connecting with the main arc is through the creation of the Nightmare League, presumably to scare the world with the nightmare visage of the Justice League. The Nightmare League are not the main opponents in this issue, and in fact, they're barely visible or appear in any substantial capacity.

Mera's discovery about the Nightmare Wave working through sound doesn't come up or provide any value to the final fight.

Insomnia is ultimately defeated by an attack from Deadman and Sandman's use of the Dream Stone. However, it appears Deadman could have stopped Insomnia at any time but waited until the final fight for no obvious reason(???)

When the fight is done, the world is somehow now scared of superheroes, even though the Nightmare League only shows up for two panels and is quickly defeated by Zatanna.

Somehow, Bright sneaks into the middle of the fight to steal the Nightmare Stone when nobody is looking???

The list goes on, but the ending feels like a jumble of ideas slapped on a page just to be rid of it. It's impossible to measure what DC Comics was thinking with this event, but it's abundantly clear whoever made this decision misjudged the concept on every level.

How about the art? When a comic story is bad, you can usually buff out the rough edges with good or great art from DC and Marvel. However, the art in this issue ranges from sloppy to terrible. When you have a small team of artists (see credits above) working on a single comic, there's no excuse for the art looking as smudged, sketchy, and poorly rendered as you have here. As with the writing, this comic looks like the artists just gave up on trying for quality, slapped whatever they had handy on the page, and went home.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

Follow @ComicalOpinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Bits and Pieces:

Knight Terrors: Night's End #1 delivers one message loud and clear - the true nightmare belongs to the person who spent money on this mess. The story execution makes little sense, most of the ideas set up in the previous issues and tie-ins don't pay off, and the art is terrible. DC Comics owes everyone who paid money to buy this event an apology.


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