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Knight Terrors: Shazam! #1 (of 2)

Comicscore Index
Universal acclaim

Based on 9 critic ratings.


Of all Earth’s heroes, Billy Batson is the only one in double danger-because he and the Captain are each haunted by their own set of nightmares! And if the World’s Mightiest Mortal can’t survive his own fears, what chance does the rest of the Shazamily have?

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
25 pages
Amazon ASIN

Cover Artist

9 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    First Comics News

    I’ve recently given up on the whole DC/Marvel crossover events that they like to put out during the summertime that equals large amounts of $$$ for them, but I can’t help myself when it comes to the tie-ins but Knight Terror, that features a villain named Insomnia who basically forces the world into a state of endless slumber, forcing them to relive their darkest nightmares, seems to have the best tie-ins. This one puts the focus on Mary Bromfield as she finds herself in a nightmare within a nightmare that finds her without a way out of them; This story is entertaining due to Mark Waid showing Mary’s fears when it comes to her family but things get both dark with a sense of weirdness in the form of Billy Batson dressed up as Black Adam (At least this series did a better job of the characterization of B.A. than that Dwayne Johnson movie could have done); Roger Cruz is a godsend on the art chores as he conveys every dark aspect from Waid’s script to make it feel chilling and yes, he does a perfect job of doing that. The emotional elements that are presented in Mary’s Knight Terror (At least she’s not dreaming about Cobras- heh heh!) are enough for fans of the current Shazam! title to enjoy while at the same time, making Mary Bromfield the glue that holds the family together ……and no, I’m not following that up with a Dom Toretto reference. Sorry!

  • 100

    But Why Tho?

    Knight Terrors: Shazam #1 makes the mind spin. Stripping away any ability to recognise what’s real or not, the repetition in this issue seeks to disorient. That effect is achieved tremendously, with both the main character and reader traveling through in a daze. It’s almost numbing, the opposite of bracing for what is to come. That means the final pages hits like a freight train. Family has been targeted in the Kight Terrors tie-ins already, but it hasn’t been done with the force and ferocity that is seen here.

  • 96

    You Don't Read Comics

    Mary may be more or less oblivious about the situation that she’s in, but she remains an admirably heroic figure throughout the issue, which ends up being really, really impressive in its own right. She knows that she’s caught in a dream, but she refuses to acknowledge it until she has to. There are things to be done regardless of the situation with the world around her. It’s an interestingly skewed look at superheroism that ends up being really, really fascinating on closer inspection, even though…ostensibly, it’s just another superhero horror story.

  • 94

    Comic Watch

    Knight Terrors: Shazam! #1 is well-crafted addition to the Knight Terror event because it not only segways smoothly from the current Shazam series but also at the same time provides just enough information to give a connection to the overall event being told throughout the DCU. Waid continues to show with this book why he is one of the best writers in the industry today, not only because of his comic book knowledge but he understands how to make a tie-in book worth pick up off the shelves.

  • 85

    Geek Dad

    We’re in the second week of Knight Terrors now, as our top heroes experience disturbing illusions courtesy of the new villain Insomnia. That’s put some of these books in an odd situation, as they’re forced to take two months off—even with only two issues in the case. That’s the case for Shazam!, which is mid-arc with Mark Waid and Dan Mora. Mora is off, but Waid’s sticking with the title for the tie-in, but with a different Marvel. Mary takes the lead here, and this issue has something unique. It’s the first of these tie-ins that doesn’t feel like some sort of twisted vision or alternate future, but rather like a true nightmare.

  • 85

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Knight Terrors: Shazam! #1 is a grim, dark, psychological nightmare for Mary Marvel that turns her worst fears against her. Waid’s writing is in top form, and the art team delivers solid work, but this issue barely has anything to do with Insominia, so file this one under “optional” for Knight Terrors.

  • 80

    Comic Crusaders

    Knight Terrors: Shazam #1 has a lot going on, and it can be confusing, but in a good way. The dream within a dream angle is very cool. And bad Billy Batson is also lowkey cool. But it comes down to this, Mary’s love for her family is her strength and her weakness. Insomnia knows this and is using her fear of losing them to try and get what he’s looking for. But does Mary even know where the Nightmare Stone is? Is there a part of this Billy Batson that is actually trying to help her? This is a unique look at the Shazam family and it all concludes with the most intense final panel in the series so far.

  • 75


    Overall, this issue is a very fun, promising, and twisty detour that stays true to its premise and isn’t without its weight, even if there’s plenty of room to play with that we’re given. Thankfully, proceeding issues present that chance since the stage has now been set for what could be a unique and effective play on the dynamic of the siblings Shazam in the long run.

  • 70

    Knight Terrors: Shazam functions as a continuation of recent Shazam family storylines as it draws in the current series’ writer, Mark Waid, and addresses Mary Marvel’s place at DC Comics in the wake of The New Champion of Shazam. Unlike other installments in this event, the first half of this story quickly and effectively establishes the nature of this nightmare reality, seeming to provide Mary with nightmares inside of nightmares with no hope of escape. Even when Mary is uncertain, there are sufficient details for readers to quickly discern that none of this is happening with consistent logic based in reality. The story works best when emphasizing Mary’s personal fears as she relates to her family and a vision of Billy dressed in Black Adam’s typical adornments. Although it’s unclear what the exact stakes of this tale are, readers already invested in the Shazam family will find plenty of emotional attachments to follow as Mary falls deeper into her own night terrors.

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