Writer: Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad
Art: Daniele Di Nicuolo, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: July 18th, 2023
Pigs, pigs, pygs…and clowns! Dick Grayson wakes up in jail to realize a nightmare has come to life. And the only thing making it worse is his past coming to haunt him in the form of humanoid pigs as Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1 by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad kicks off. Let’s dive into the issue to see if we can help Nightwing figure out who framed him. Or, will it be his cellmate and other unlikely villains in jail who will help him solve the mystery first?
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So, the Knight Terrors Event continues with Nightwing… stuck in a nightmare. Shocker, I know. However, is his nightmare any different than what we’ve seen in any of the other Knight Terrors comics? No, not really. It’s not that Cloonan and Conrad necessarily do a bad job. It’s just that every last Knight Terrors tie-in has the same premise and therefore it’s become tiring. If you try to decouple this story from the rest showcasing Dick alone having a nightmare, Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1 probably wouldn’t be half bad. Nevertheless, with almost every hero getting their own tie-in, the overall premise has become taxing.
Now, let’s focus specifically on Nightwing’s nightmares. Are they logical for him? Truthfully, I don’t think so. The big reveal and worst fear of Dick’s doesn’t make sense nor does it jive with the character. However, the nightmare of his on the last page has a bit more merit yet it feels more like a Barbara Gordon nightmare than his own. Plus, the side villains in Knight Terrors: Nightwing doesn’t seem to make sense either. What connection do those specific villains have to do with Nightwing?
Anyone who has followed Daniele Di Nicuolo’s comic book trail would notice the affinity for anime as well as the highly influenced panel progressions. The Manga persuasions are dominant throughout along with his bold color choices, sharp character design, and emotional expression through movement and panel orientation. His style lends itself perfectly to a comic dedicated to nightmares adding that extra layer of terror and ambiguity to the comic. By and large, Di Nicuolo’s illustrations and colors were a strong highlight of Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1.
Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1 is the product of its surroundings. If you’ve been following along with the entire event so far, you’ve probably realized that each tie-in is basically the same. How many nightmares can we read before they all run into one another? Again, this isn’t necessarily Cloonan and Conrad’s fault. They’re working with the cards they were dealt. Nevertheless, their nightmare for Dick should match a bit better. Or, it should hit more close to home with the current comic. Or, at the very least, the nightmare should feel like one Nightwing would have. And sadly, it really doesn’t. Joshua Williamson wants this to be like “Nightmare on DC Street”. However, without much setup for this villain, why it’s happening, and nightmares to match, this event (as well as this issue) is just falling flat. MAYBE (and again I repeat MAYBE) this event would have been better suited for the month of October just to add a bit more flare and feeling to help beef up the moment. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!