Warning! Spoilers ahead for Knight Terrors: Zatanna #2
- The Justice League’s traps in Knight Terrors: Zatanna #2 are reminiscent of the death-traps seen in Indiana Jones movies and old pulp magazines.
- Zatanna uses the magic-powered maze in the Hall of Justice to elude the Sleepless Knights, Insomnia’s agents.
- The spiked maces in the maze do little to stop the Sleepless Knights, but Zatanna uses the distraction to cast a spell and trap them while she plans to stop Insomnia.
The Justice League recently showed off some of the defensive capabilities they’ve installed at the Hall of Justice, and the traps they’ve set are pulled right out of an Indiana Jones movie. The League’s ingenious traps are shown off in Knight Terrors: Zatanna #2, where Zatanna faces the forces of the big bad of the whole Knight Terrors event, Insomnia.
A two-month-long event, Knight Terrors sees hero and villain alike subjected to their darkest fears and anxieties thanks to Insomnia, an entity who can enter and control the dreams of his victims. Insomnia is after the Nightmare Stone, the dark counterpart to Doctor Destiny’s Dream Stone. While most of the heroes fall victim to Insomnia’s ploy, a few manage to stay awake through the chaos. While in the Hall of Justice, Zatanna is able to cast a spell to protect her against Insomnia while the other heroes succumb to his nightmares. Summoning the help of the Doom Patrol’s Robotman, Zatanna rushes to stop Insomnia from acquiring the Nightmare Stone from the Hall of Justice’s trophy room.
The Justice League’s Hidden Traps Are Right Out of Indiana Jones
Knight Terrors: Zatanna #2 by Dennis Culver, David Baldeon, Rain Beredo, and Pat Brosseau picks up with Zatanna fleeing through the Hall of Justice’s secret Justice League Dark maze, which is primarily powered by magic. Pursuing her are the Sleepless Knights, Insomnia’s horrifying agents tasked with retrieving the stone from the Hall of Justice. Fortunately for Zatanna, the maze has defenses of its own. “The only thing that’s keeping me safe is the magic of these tunnels,” Zatanna muses at one point. “They were enchanted to confound our enemies.” As the Sleepless Knights follow her deeper into the maze, one of those “old-fashioned” traps kicks in: a series of giant spiked maces swinging from out of nowhere.
It’s a scene ripped straight out of an Indiana Jones movie — as well as the old pulp magazines and movie serials that inspired Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1982. Such death-traps were staples in entertainment from the early twentieth century, popularized by the movie serials that ran at local picture houses. The precursor to television shows, each chapter of these serials would always end in some manner of peril, with the heroes caught in some trap or other in a bid to get the movie-goer to spend another nickel the following week to see how the heroes would escape. Such death-traps went on to influence countless storytellers, including George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, who would perfect the “cliffhanger” trope into a cinematic art-form unto itself.
The spiked maces ultimately do little to stop the Sleepless Knights in their pursuit of Zatanna, but the magic-wielder is able to use the distraction to cast a spell and trap them within the maze while she figures out a way to stop Insomnia. Much like the cliffhanger serials of old that inspired Indiana Jones, fans will have to keep buying Knight Terrors to see whether or not the Justice League and the rest of the DC heroes can overcome Insomnia in time.
Knight Terrors: Zatanna #2 is on sale now from DC Comics.