Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Guiseppe Camuncoli, Caspar Wijngaard, Stefano Nesi, Troy Peteri, Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, Brad Anderson, and Frank Martin
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: August 22nd, 2023
Insomnia searches the nightmares of all the heroes for his precious Nightmare Stone and keeps on coming up empty-clawed! Wesley Dodds, Batman, and I must return to the haunted Arkham Tower to confront Insomnia, but…now I know why Insomnia hates the heroes. And I gotta be honest: I’m having a hard time not relating. Maybe Insomnia is owed his revenge. Let’s dive into Knight Terrors #4 by Joshua Williamson and see how this shakes out.
The realization of where Insomnia is strikes as Damian, Sandman, and Deadman take off to stop this nightmare once and for all. However, when you think of a “nightmare” at DC Comics, where would you think that “nightmare” to be? Well, you guessed it! Arkham Asylum.
Now, some odd little parts throw off the mojo of Knight Terrors #4. Readers get glimpses of Deadman’s love interest, Damian falling asleep while walking upstairs, and an explanation from Deadman as to who Insomnia was all top the charts as poorly placed story beats with no teeth and pointless direction. They were merely thrown in to add fluff without explanation. For example, Deadman leads us to believe that Insomnia has been in Arkham for quite some time AND has been dubbed “Insomnia” by the media for equally as long. So, how does Batman, let alone Damian, not know that? They work in conjunction with Arkham. Knowledge of this man and what happened to him should have been on the forefront of Batman’s mind.
However, it gets worse. Knight Terrors #4 delivers a super-quick summary as to what happened to Insomnia. We get to see what triggered him and set up this villain. And it turns out, Williamson makes the focus sheer stupidity. Insomnia is portrayed as this golly-gosh, ho-hum, fanboy who left his family in harm’s way because he thought the Justice League would save them even when he was told to evacuate. So, losing his family was a tragedy that he let happen out of sheer boneheadedness but blames the League for it.
Readers, Insomnia was a regular guy who lost his family. He blames the Justice League for not saving them even though it was his own fault for not attempting to evacuate. The loss drives him to insanity which then leads to him unleashing nightmares on the world. Now, I know what you’re thinking… there appears to be a huge gap. How did he gain the ability to put everyone in nightmares in the first place? Well that my fine readers is a great question not answered in the main Knight Terrors series. So, a crucial aspect of the entire plot and premise was not revealed in the main book? Yup. Again, this just adds more fuel to the fire that’s called “Knight Terrors”. Gaps in the plot as well as explanations make this issue and series difficult to get into.
In order to try to find a positive within these pages, I’m looking toward the covers. The variants especially are amazing. Now, they’re not worth the cover price BUT a few of them would make solid posters for anyone’s collection or space. In terms of the actual footage inside Knight Terrors #4, I feel the art team just went a bit too far. Some of the flashbacks were too light and busy. Insomnia looks too much like the Joker. The Deadman fireplace pages were too cluttered and almost muddy in design and frankly made the issue tough to read. When the story lacks, I lean heavy on the illustrations to save the book. Sadly I can’t even do that this week.
Knight Terrors #4 is rough. Plot points are practically silly. Explanations are nonexistent. The art is messy. The event is trivial. The motivational outcome of this event doesn’t exist. Explanations of abilities, powers, and how they were developed are missing. And within the pages itself, Williamson plays this entire event off as if it’s just slapped together (whether that’s his intent or not). Moreover, this horror comic isn’t scary. Deadman isn’t a lead character. And, any rules that once existed (if they even ever existed) are gone! Readers, for something set up as the Dawn of DC, there is almost nothing promising coming from Knight Terrors #4. There is no dawn. Listen, Williamson is a talented writer but this is very uncharacteristic of what he’s capable of. If you’ve been following along to this point, you won’t be pleased with this final issue that requires you to buy another separate issue in order to see it through. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!