Mild Mannered Reviews - "Superman" Comic Books

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Knight Terrors: Superman #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 18, 2023
Cover date: September 2023

"Man of Screams"

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Tom Reilly
Cover: Glen Melnikov
Variant Cover #1: Filya Bratukhin & Jason Wordie
Variant Cover #2: Dan Mora
Variant Cover #3: Dustin Nguyen
Variant Cover #4: Francesco Mattina
Variant Cover #5 Christian Ward

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Click to enlarge

Dr. Destiny's body found its way into the Hall of Justice and Deadman followed with a warning that it was a manifestation of a weakening of the barriers between the dream world and the real world. Superman, soaring through the skies, orders Mercy Graves to conduct an investigation at Supercorps. Superman is attacked by nightmarish ghouls and knocked unconscious.

A villain from the realm of dreams called Insomnia has attacked the waking world to find the Nightmare Stone. A magical object of unimaginable power hidden in the dreams of someone in our world. The entire world's population has been plunged into a coma while Insomnia searches for the Stone and in the meantime everyone is being forced to face their darkest fears.

Now it is Superman's turn...

Clark wakes up in the Daily Planet newsroom. Lois and Jimmy are urging Clark to finish his big story before the deadline. Clark is confused, every time he blinks everyone around him changes appearance. Clark immediately realizes something is wrong but a tidal wave appears from nowhere and drowns everyone. Clark is devastated as he was somehow unable to become Superman.

Insomnia reveals himself and demands the Nightmare Stone, but when Clark reveals he does not have it Insomnia proceeds to torture Clark with visions of different eras. He tells Superman that he will be the last man on Earth at the end of time. He was born from the death of Krypton and death followed him to Earth.

Suddenly Kara Zor El breaks into Superman's dream after escaping her own. Every Supergirl there ever was appears as an army of rotting corpses ready to kill the cousins. Another nightmare scenario instigated by Insomnia to overwhelm him.

In the real world Superman washes up on a beach trapped in his dream. Aquaman, Mera and other Atlanteans rise from the ocean and see all the comatose people including Superman.

Why are they unaffected?

To Be Continued...

3Story - 3: It is not great but not awful either. I would have preferred this not to be a tie in, that would have made the story much more engrossing. The story does the job to make Superman part of the Knight Terrors storyline and what Williamson does is extremely creative and thought provoking. The scene where Insomnia looks into Superman's psyche and has obsession with being attached to death was an interesting one and it was an aspect of the character I'd never thought of.

Beyond that, Insomnia's manipulations were reminiscent of the villain Dominus (cue you all dashing to Google to see who that is). Dr. Destiny, Deadman, the Justice League, all the meat of the story, is glossed over. I am a bit disappointed as I thought we'd seen the last of these types of tie-ins.

5Art - 5: Where the story fell flat for me, the art excelled to stellar levels. Every panel is an Easter egg. Tom Reilly saved the book for me because he engaged me as a reader with all the brilliant little nods to every single character. In the end the book was a lot of fun.

3Cover Art - 3: It is spooky and atmospheric but showing Superman falling asleep doesn't really sell how bizarre the nightmare visions are, though it does have that supernatural vibe.

3Variant Cover Art #1 - 3: The art style is amazing, I find myself staring at the cover intensely examining every inch of the art as if I'm trying to find Waldo hidden somewhere. It's really interesting as a piece of art but as a variant cover? I am not sure it works.

3Variant Cover Art #2 - 3: Creepy as hell. I really liked Insomnia's transformation into how Superman really sees his dark side, the Man of Screams. I wish this cover was more than concept art because it would have been great to see the art fleshed out a bit more.

3Variant Cover Art #3 - 3: I like the black and red style, moreso after seeing the other variants across the DC books. They work really well as a series of character profiles. Personally just like a few of the other variants it doesn't fit the story but I love the style and darkness.

5Variant Cover Art #4 - 5: In terms of all the covers this issue, this one is the only one I really felt captured the darkness, peril and scale of what was happening in the story. To me, this depiction of the Man of Screams is to Superman what the Batman Who Laughs is to Batman a truly terrifying hall of mirrors depiction of Clark Kent.

3Variant Cover Art #5 - 3: Much like the main cover and the Mora sketch cover this one by Ward is a cover focusing on the spirts and ghostly supernatural side. Superman is susceptible to the supernatural and here he appears possessed or in the grips of spirits. Creepy. Though I think the white space makes it seem less threatening.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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