In this review of Knight Terrors: Angel Breaker #2, Angel Breaker and Raptor face a nightmare made flesh in a terrifying Kobra base.
Knight Terrors: Angel Breaker #2 begins at the Kobra Kult Seminary in Ohio, where Angel Breaker, Raptor, and their remaining three Kobra trainee kids face Angel Breaker’s nightmare made real by Insomnia’s power, Nanny Gillo. The Asclepius Drive, derived from Dr. Destiny’s Dreamstone, keeps them awake. After convincing the kids to team up, they go to the Blood Gate, where they can get the secret training program that Angel Breaker desires. However, Nanny Gillo, taking different forms, starts murdering the kids one by one as Raptor and Angel Breaker fight off the flashy base defenses. The two adults split up, taking a kid each. After arguing about heretical theology, Raptor’s kid is devoured by a humongous snake (appropriate for a Kobra base). Raptor discovers the snake is actually Nanny Gillo, and flees.
Angel Breaker and the final kid find the Blood Gate. They reach the Asclepius Drive, but Nanny Gillo hypnotized Angel Breaker. Raptor snaps her out of it, but the last kid stole the drive and nearly gives it to Nanny. Raptor saves him, but Nanny takes Angel Breaker’s form and backstabs him. Angle Breaker fights Nanny, finally cutting her in half with her flaming sword, perhaps fulfilling her prophecy of defeating a great evil.
Angel Breaker sends the final kid to the super heroes with the Asclepius Drive to help, as she and Raptor succumb to the Nightmare Wave of Insomnia without its proximity.
Tim Seeley and Acky Bright wrap up their Angel Breaker tale with flair. Though the two-issue format is incredibly frustrating to work with, even when the characters are as extensively developed as Batman, Superman, or the Robin, it’s a whole other level of difficulty when your main character is basically a shirtless placeholder of a figure in their only appearances so far. Angel Breaker’s creation in the Shadow War event was disappointing, to say the least. Her voice and backstory are barely sketched, and she seemed mostly to exist to sell very provocative (though clearly effective) variant covers for Shadow War Zone.
Seeley manages to give Angel Breaker a lot more depth in these two issues. Her desire to be the best female fighter by downloading the skills of all the female heroes of DC, while perhaps a bit too much like Prometheus, is a fun one. And the texture of her nightmare of Nanny Gillo is a nice bit of setup and resolution with the potential of prophecy. All in all, I’d say Angel Breaker has a lot more use left in her after Seeley has wound her up and given her a bit more spring to her step. As a fan of Seeley’s Nightwing run (and its unofficial sequel Suicide Squad: King Shark), it’s nice to see the character of Raptor get used a bit more here as well.
Acky Bright’s art continues to be clear, appealing, and appropriately horrifying for a Knight Terrors tie-in. Angel Breaker is a fun assassin character, and seeing Bright put her through her burning-sword paces gives you the idea of a lithe and deadly ballerina. Raptor’s gear has a very nice texture as well, showing all the pieces Seeley put into it at work. And the work of Nanny Gillo in tricking the kids with their desires, then destroying them, is very appropriately scary and disgusting. All in all, a very nice piece of writing and art put together, as expected from Seeley, and Bright more than holds up his end of the creative bargain.
Matteo Lolli’s main cover captures the conflict between Angel Breaker and Nanny Gillo well, though it doesn’t really stand out as much as it might (the black and white art of this cover features as the 1 in 50 incentive variant). Ivan Tao’s painted cover B, featuring a skeleton Angel Breaker is much more eye-catching, though has nothing to do with the actual story. Stephen Segovia’s cover C, featuring Angel Breaker crouching while humongous nightmare spiders spin their webs around her, symbolically fits the heist/slasher movie feel, but no actual giant spiders appear in the book – perhaps Segovia should have stolen some of the snakes from the Catwoman covers last month, as one does appear! Chuma Hill’s 1 in 25 incentive variant features Angel Breaker lounging seductively (fitting for her shirtless costume) on a red cloth full of bones – a nice contrast of sex and death.
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.