Knight Terrors: Robin features Tim Drake and Jason Todd as they –like the rest of the world– have been thrust into their worst nightmares. In this dream, at least they have each other…well kind of.
I’m not sure what I was really expecting to get out of this issue. It’s fine, it’s not poorly written and the art is well done, with some scenes that really shine. However, there’s almost no real substance to this book. It’s over almost before it begins, feeling much like set up instead of an actual story it’s telling. In fact, it ends letting readers know that things will be concluded…at some point.
What’s equally disappointing, is that the book promises we’ll have the Robins together, and even maybe fighting each other (not that I wanted that), but that doesn’t really happen either. For a shared nightmare, they spend so little of the narrative together, or even bothering to try and be a team. Almost the exact moment they are together and realize it’s a dream, they’re dragged apart. The story doesn’t try to bother telling an interesting shared nightmare, instead just focusing on the two individually. And the individual nightmares aren’t really anything to write home about either.
The nightmares it chooses to put both Robins in are pretty standard if you know the characters. In fact, you could easily guess what parts of their lives they’re reliving. For Tim, he’s stuck reliving the day his dad is murdered by Captain Boomerang, while Jason’s nightmare is even less a surprise: he’s facing off against a twisted Red Hood/Joker who is trying his best to recreate Jason’s murder. The story doesn’t seem to have anything to say about these events either. No real rebuttal from either character is given, nor is it claiming to showcase a new element in these nightmares. They feel very standard and out of the box. Exactly what you might expect if you imagined what Tim or Jason might have a nightmare about. I don’t think it has time to do something interesting either, since it has to focus on two characters. If it was just about one of them, it might work better.
What does work well here is the art. The creative team does a really good job overall here, from atmosphere to clearly letting readers know which part of the nightmare in, and in creating really solid characters. Miguel Mendonca’s art looks really good in this book. He creates some really lovely atmospheric moments, like Tim and Jason’s arrival into the nightmare, and in giving the characters, particularly Tim, growing desperation and sorrow on their faces.
Something else I liked about the art was the coloring–done by Adriano Lucas. He created distinct colors for Tim and Jason’s sections, and the greater dream as a whole. Tim’s has a green tint to it, while Jason’s is more red. Tom Napolitano’s lettering is really nice too, with some nice moments of onomatopoeia that help you feel more like you’re in the place the action is happening.
I can’t tell you who the audience for this book is. It’s not particularly scary. Nor is it a good introduction to either character. It doesn’t push the greater Knight Terrors narrative forward either. Unless you just want to see your favorite Robin or Robins struggling against fears you probably already know they have, there isn’t anything here. I can see how it might be interesting with a second volume, if it brings the two together to overcome things, but as it stands it feels unfinished and frankly disappointing when you reach the end.
- You want to see Jason and Tim face their fears
- And you don’t mind those fears being unsurprising
- Jason has a white streak in his hair which does rock
I’ll reiterate the fact that I am not quite sure who this book is for. While it’s not poorly done, it also doesn’t choose to do anything interesting with the time it is given. It simply lays out both Robin’s fears pretty much as clearly as they come, and ends. My tune about this might change with a follow up, especially if it features some teamwork between Jason and Tim, but as it stands I found very little here to engage me.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.