DC's Knight Terrors event sends heroes into their worst nightmares this summer

Knight Terrors art
(Image credit: DC)

Update: DC has now confirmed its Knight Terrors summer event for July and August. First announced at Pittsburgh's ComicsPRO convention, Knight Terrors was previously teased in a partially obscured timeline of upcoming DC stories, seen below.

(Image credit: DC)

The event will consist of a core Knight Terrors title along with with a number of two issue limited series, each of which feature a DC character being sucked into the "Nightmare Realm" to confront their darkest fears head on. 

Writer Joshua Williamson and artist Howard Porter will spearhead the core Knight Terrors title, with Guillem March also contributing. Other creators will be named at a later date. Porter will also provide the cover for Knight Terrors #1, seen here.

"I love horror comics, and it’s been a blast bringing the energy to Dawn of DC. Knight Terrors showcases the horror side of our heroes as a brand-new villain confronts them with their worst nightmares," states Joshua Williamson in DC's announcement. "It’s a fun and horrific event that brings together all of the heroes and villains of DC, along with some surprises!"

(Image credit: DC)

Before Knight Terrors begins in July, it will be previewed in a special release for May 6's Free Comic Book Day. Titled Dawn of DC Knight Terrors Free Comic Book Day Special Edition, the one-shot will give readers a glimpse of what's ahead in the event in a story from Williamson and Porter.

It will also feature art from Chris Bachalo, who returns to DC for the first time in 20 years, and a cover from Jason Fabok, seen here.

Here's a gallery of covers for some of the planned Knight Terrors one-shots by Francesco Mattina. Read on afterwards for more information about what was previously teased about Knight Terrors. 

Original story follows...

To be clear and upfront, DC has not announced nor confirmed it will be publishing a mid-year event titled 'Knight Terrors' in 2023 as part of its year-long Dawn of DC editorial initiative. 

What it has revealed is that in mid-2023 it will publish an event in between the upcoming Lazarus Planet and what appears to be a late-year Brainiac-centric event that will likely feature the return of the Justice League, the title of which begins with "KNIGHT TE…" as first shown on a timeline of DC stories for 2023 released back in late 2022.

And now, a new timeline released by DC on January 25 shows even more evidence of an upcoming 'Knight Terrors' even with the inclusion of a partial logo for the still not officially announced story.

Here's the original timeline:

The original Dawn of the DCU timeline (Image credit: DC)

To the naked eye, its original 2023 timeline actually reads "KNIGHT TI…" but run it through a few filters in Photoshop and the "I" is revealed as an "E". After that it's not exactly top-notch detective work worthy of the Dark Knight to figure out "Knight Terrors." Run "night te" through Google and "night terrors" is the first term to come up. Add in the "K" because well … Batman, and it's probably a pretty safe bet that's the event's title, even if it's not 100% certain. 

The second logo, seen below, reveals some similar details when brightened up, seemingly confirming that there's a story coming called 'Knight Terrors,' or at least something that shares almost all those letters in that order.

Here's a look at the new logo from the timeline that includes new Titans, Green Lantern, and Cyborg titles launching in May run through a basic Brightness and Contrast filter.

new January 25 Dawn of DC timeline (Image credit: DC)

Yes, it seems to read 'Knight Terrors,' but that's still a far cry from figuring out what the event will be about, although we have some ideas, and Newsarama figures you might too. 

The Bat-obvious

Taken at face value, a premise involving Batman - DC's undisputed star attraction - isn't very hard to imagine.

The 2020-21 event Dark Nights: Death Metal introduced a whole host of horrific Batman variants from the Dark Multiverse, the Dark Knights of Evil led by the original Dark Universe-corrupted reflection of Batman, The Batman Who Laughs. The Batman-Joker hybrid was last seen in 2021's Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point crossover and subsequent one-shot Foundation in which DC seemed to tease his eventual return.

A new invasion of Dark Universe Dark Knights (i.e. 'Knight Terrors') seems somewhat logical, even if a bit 'been there, done that' just a couple of years removed from Death Metal.

Scarecrow (Image credit: DC)

DC readers probably also can't help but think of Scarecrow and his fear toxins (which more or less produce waking night terrors) when you try to come up with something or someone involving "terror" in the Bat-verse.

However, a reinvented Scarecrow was one of the antagonists of the 2021 Batman 'Fear State' crossover storyline, so like the Dark Universe Dark Knights of Evil, it sounds a little too soon to bring him back to menace the entire DCU.

More literally

Trying to expand the focus beyond the more obvious suspects from the Bat-verse, real-world night terrors happen predominantly to pre-adolescent boys but are also fairly common in all children three to five years old.

Damian Wayne (who is lately figured prominently in Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, Batman vs. Robin, and currently in Lazarus Planet), is young but misses the cut-off for pre-adolescence.

 Jai and Irey West (Image credit: DC)

Wally West's kids Jai and Irey and Clark Kent and Lois Lane's recently-adopted twins Otho and Osul-Ra from Warworld likely qualify. Could a 'Knight Terrors' event be some sort of plot or threat against superhuman children and/or children of superheroes?

DC did say Dawn of DC will be "embracing the next generation of new heroes" and the current Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths is all about legacy in the DCU, so a plot focused on the newest generation of heroes doesn't seem out of the question.

The longshot

Finally, when thinking about nightmares and terrors in the night, the world of The Sandman and Dream/Morpheus comes to mind.

a page from Dark Nights: Metal #1 (Image credit: DC)

Morpheus is the lord and personification of nightmares as well as dreams, after all, and as much as writer Neil Gaiman reinvented the franchise, every once in a while DC reminds us Dream is originally a DCU character that sometimes interacts with Batman, Superman, and the Justice League.

Could the increasingly meta-minded publisher finally go for a full-fledged DCU-Endless crossover event involving the two realms clashing? Perhaps a leveled-up Corinthian invading Earth-Prime would be enough to do the trick?

That seems unlikely if not entirely out of the question, and we can't help but think of James Tynion IV's horror work including the recent Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country series not even a couple of years removed from his high-profile DCU work.

That's all just early speculation and a few educated guesses, however.

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George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)

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