DC Comics has gone all in with Knight Terrors as their latest big event has taken over the majority of their publishing line. Unlike other events rather than ongoing titles having tie-in comics they have gone on pause and replaced by two issue mini-series. Each title has seen their leads in their own nightmare scenarios. For Nightwing his nightmare turned out to be killing Batman and being sent to Arkham Asylum. It appears he is being joined by Oracle with how the first issue of this Knight Terrors tie-in ended. Let’s see how this story wraps up with Knight Terrors: Nightwing #2.
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad
Artist: Daniel Di Nicuolo
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
After causing a riot in Arkham Asylum, Nightwing works with Scarecrow to navigate through the backrooms of the nightmare scenario they are in. They are able to find Oracle, who has been turned into an android.
As they free Oracle they find themselves inside a circus tent with Tony Zucco as a demonic ringmaster summoning a zombie version of Batman to attack Nightwing. With Oracle’s help Nightwing is able to drive Tony Zucco away.
The Batgirls (Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain) appear and find a way to escape. Nightwing goes to get Scarecrow but Crane decides to stay in the nightmare realm.
Waking up in bed, Nightwing reflects on how he will remember the nightmare he experienced for a long time. End of issue.
Knight Terrors: Nightwing #2 does not overcome the major problem of the latest DC Comics event feeling inconsequential. What Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad do accomplish is telling a satisfying beginning and end to a story that in the end did challenge Nightwing to deal with deeply buried fears.
With Nightwing dealing with his fears of replacing Batman in an extreme way. This fear isn’t what gets tackled as instead Nightwing becomes focused on breaking himself and Oracle out of the nightmare scenario. This is a continuation of the first issue where we saw Nightwing tackling what Knight Terrors is doing to not get consumed by his greatest fears.
By going in this direction it highlights Nightwing’s own growth as he doesn’t get consumed by his own fears. We see how he utilizes the situation that Scarecrow shows him Arkham Asylum to create a distraction that made it easy for them to get into the backrooms of nightmare realm Insomnia put them in.
This then led in well with how Cloonan and Conrad go about touching on Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon’s relationship. This was very much a show rather than tell as we see Nightwing calmly save Oracle so that she isn’t thrown further into her own nightmare scenario. Then we see Oracle use what Insomnia did to her to turn it into a weapon she was able to help Nightwing deal with the nightmare Batman. At the same time, we do see how one problem they are still dealing with is Nightwing having moments where he takes all responsibilities on himself, as we see when he goes back to Scarecrow. It isn’t a deal breaker but something we’ve seen the two discuss at a couple points since they got back together.
Speaking of Scarecrow, there appears to be set-up to have Knight Terrors at least be a springboard to make him a bigger villain the next time he shows up. Given that Scarecrow is coming off leading a big event in Fear State and taking part in Shadows of the Bat this is something needed. There needs to be a new adjustment so Scarecrow doesn’t just fall back to being the villain known as the one just needing one punch to take down. What this new form Scarecrow takes will hopefully be something we see in Nightwing or another Batman title.
The only part in Knight Terrors: Nightwing #2 that doesn’t work is the forced inclusion of the Batgirls. Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain unfortunately don’t add anything to the story. Their inclusion in this story is just because Cloonan and Conrad wrote them in the recently ended Batgirls series. While there were hints of Stephanie and Cassandra having strong character arcs all of that happened in the background. Not seeing those character arcs play out made the Batgirls inclusion in a story that was about Nightwing and Oracle feel forced.
Daniel Di Nicuolo artwork tapped into how the nightmare scenario created by Insomnia in Knight Terrors is ever changing. Just as Nightwing was able to overcome one aspect of his nightmare another curveball was thrown. Nicuolo made each of these changes in setting hit to maintain how this was Nightwing dealing with a personal horror movie story.
Knight Terrors: Nightwing #2 gives this mini-series a satisfying conclusion. While the overall story couldn’t break free from how inconsequential most of Knight Terror is at least provided with several good character moments for Nightwing, Oracle, and Scarecrow. The artwork from Daniel Di Nicuolo added the energy that Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad needed to make this stand out among the army of Knight Terror tie-ins.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10