Knight Terrors: First Blood #1 Review

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Howard Porter
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Troy Peteri
Publisher:  DC Comics
Price: $5.99
Release Date: July 4th, 2023

A new villain emerges in Knight Terrors: First Blood #1, and you’re immediately shown how powerful they are when they take out one of the Justice League’s most powerful adversaries in the first three pages!   Who is this villain and how does he know the deepest fears of every hero?  And what’s the secret of the Nightmare Stone?

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Knight Terrors: First Blood #1 Review.

The Story

I remember back in the 1980’s when a major crossover event was something to get excited over.  “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, “Secret Wars” and even “Contest of Champions” truly felt massive.  It was worth buying an extra book or two each month because you were hanging on every page of the event, genuinely shocked by what was happening in them. Well, those days are over. For the last few years, major crossover events have been flying out of DC and Marvel so frequently that one crossover starts before any ramifications from the previous crossover can even be explored.

Knight Terrors: First Blood #1 kicks off the next major crossover, which will run through July and August.  Given the horror-themed nature of the crossover, I’m surprised DC didn’t release this in September and October instead, to coincide with Halloween.
Sadly, I found the book tepid.   There were a couple of bright spots though. Deadman, a character who’s always fascinating, is front and center in the story from beginning to end.  The villain of the story occupies both the realms of Death and Dreams, which Deadman says at one point in the book are “Connected, you know, related.  Like a brother and sister.”   This is the best Deadman we’ve gotten in ages.  He’s in his zone, knows what’s going on when even Batman’s struggling to understand, and makes some hilarious jokes as he watches Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman grasping for answers as to what’s happening.

The other bright spot of the book is the new villain that debuts here, who seems powerful and will be a good challenge for the heroes.  Even though he’s wrapped in mystery, a subtle clue is dropped here and there about his past.  At one point he opines that he’s “going to make the heroes pay for what they did to me”, which sounds like he’s someone who has encountered the heroes before. For the most part, though, the book fails to generate enough interest to make me want to run out and buy any of the other 22 books (just this month!) involved in this crossover. And why is Harley Quinn involved in this?  I love Harley Quinn, but she seems totally out of place here, as she gets as deeply involved in this as Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman.  Harley’s become DC’s version of Wolverine and Deadpool, they just toss her into everything.  Sometimes less is more and that applies to major crossovers too.

The Art

Howard Porter’s art on Knight Terrors: First Blood #1 resembles Bill Sienkiewicz’s work on Moon Knight back in the 1980’s.  Sometimes it looks almost impressionistic, other times it’s as highly detailed as Neal Adams’ work. His art gives the book a layer of creepiness, with twisted expressions, nightmarish dreamscapes filled with twisted creatures, and a suitably scary looking villain.

Final Thoughts

Knight Terrors: First Blood #1 is a bland beginning to the newest DC crossover, with the DC Universe being attacked by a nightmarish villain.  Deadman has some great moments and the mystery of the villain’s past is intriguing, but overall, the book fails to generate any excitement for the other tie-in books.


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