Overview: In Knight Terrors: Batman #2, Batman voyages deeper into his own nightmare, resolving inner turmoil even more fearful than the death of his parents.
Title: Knight Terrors: Batman #2
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Guillem March
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Cover Price: $3.99/$4.99
Release Date: August 1, 2023
Please Note: This comic book review may contain spoilers
With Deadman (Boston Brand) in control of his body, Batman can’t take control of his nightmares. He can’t fight, wake himself, and take control of the situation. Instead, Batman has to relive his own nightmares. Knight Terrors: Batman #2 opens with a young Bruce Wayne in Crime Alley. Joe Chill has killed Thomas and Martha Wayne, and Bruce demands vengeance, leaping at them, his hands transformed into bloody claws. As Bruce tears at Chill, Chill shreds away, leaving only Batman, who confronts the young Bruce he believes to be Insomnia (Knight Terrors’ new villain) in disguise.
Guillem March is on art duties for this Batman tie-in to Knight Terrors, and it’s more than appropriate. March’s gritty, shadowy linework is exceptionally horror-inspired. Tomeu Morey, arguably one of the best colorists in the business, finds a way to add a rich blend of colors without oversaturating this nightmare world with vibrancy. While it’s definitely a colorful issue, the hues are muted, embracing the dark and shadowy aesthetic of this nightmare.
Because Batman can’t regain control of his body, he resolves to dive deeper into his dreams, embracing both the catalog of events and the fantasies, some of which are reflected in panels as references to iconic Batman stories. As Batman dives deeper, readers are treated to a glorious two-page spread, showcasing both memories and elseworlds dreams. It’s eye-catching and, frankly, cool. The centerpiece of the spread is Deadman lording over a chained Bat-mask, controlling it like a marionette.
Batman drops down to the “Black Door.” Enticed, Insomnia believes the answers to what he’s looking for, the Nightmare Stone from Dr. Destiny, lies inside. Insomnia brings Gun-Bat with him, the creature that was hatched in Knight Terrors: Batman #1. Batman threatens Insomnia, ordering the villain to leave or be faced with something truly scare. In response, Insomnia sends Gun-Bat at Batman.
The Caped Crusader rips the gun off of Gun-Bat’s head, surmising that this creature wasn’t born from his own nightmares. Rather, it was a tool created by Insomnia to manipulate Batman. Insomnia leaves, being pulled away by events in the main Knight Terrors books. Batman opens the Black Door, finding not something created by Dr. Destiny. What lurks inside is something of his own creation.
Once again, Batman is in Crime Alley, but this time, what lurks behind the door is a different fear. If young Bruce Wayne saw what he would become, would he be scared?
This is the meat and potatoes of this tie-in. What follows is a conversation between Batman and his younger self. Batman tells young Bruce about how he would be isolated and in the dark for a while, solely focusing on his quest. But others would find him. These others would be friends, working hand in hand with him. When young Bruce tells Batman that the Caped Crusader’s life sounds like a dream, Batman hugs his younger self and says, “It’s your family.”
For longtime Batman fans and readers, this might tug at some heartstrings. It’s a beautifully executed scene, one that puts a different twist on the exhausting premise of Batman, once more, visiting Crime Alley in his nightmares.
After the two embrace, the young Bruce asks why he dons a batsuit. Shortly after, Batman feels Deadman’s control loosening, and Batman is pulled skyward, toward a bright light.
When Batman awakens in his body, he’s in Arkham Tower, and the world is cast in its own nightmare. Giant monsters roam Gotham City, and Batman believes he’s still dreaming at first. Robin (Damian Wayne) shows up, telling Batman that no, this is the real world, and the heroes lost.
The rest of the story will be told in Knight Terrors #3 and #4. As for this issue, it’s a touching end to Batman’s nightmare. For readers who are checking this book without the context of Knight Terrors, it runs the risk of feeling unearned. Without the parallel story of Deadman, Insomnia, and other heroes running in the background, Batman’s struggles seem relatively easy to solve. That said, the powerhouse duo of March and Morey make this issue gorgeous with such vivid, jaw-dropping art. With it being a “nightmare” issue, the art team has carte blanche to do what they will with the material, and they definitely don’t disappoint.
Editor’s Note: DC Comics provided TBU with an advanced copy of this comic for review purposes. You can find this comic and help support TBU in the process by purchasing this issue digitally on Comixology through Amazon or a physical copy of the title through Things From Another World.