Comic Books


The Absence has come for Batman and Robin, and, as they hear the tale in a burning church, our heroes start to realize the scale of the horror they’re protecting Bruce Wayne from. The Absence is on a mission, and it can only end in fire and destruction.

Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Scott McDaniel and Rob Hunter
Cover by Guillem March
Variant cover by Gene Ha

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.2%


ComicBookGuy3712/30/10NoRead Review
Ajacks712/17/10YesRead Review
TheNextChampion12/15/10NoRead Review
Avg Rating: 3.4
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. I like how there are so many different “flavors” of Batman out there these days.  There’s something for everyone.  This is more of the silly, campy style Batman.  Batman, INC. is “sexy-time” Batman.  Etc.

  2. Very cool cover. The variant here is really cool too!

    @ ctrosejr – I agree. I’m not complaining though. 😉

  3. This lady is just super creepy.  I really wonder how that hole works with her brain.  She still seems kinda smart and with all her motor functions.

  4. maybe her brain is located somewhere else in her body…(insert corny joke)

  5. This is all right, but with so many Bat books it may not make the cut for me. Cornell is weaving a good bat tale, but the McDaniel art does nothing for me.

  6. I feel the same way. I felt such a disconnect to the story due to the art of last issue. I’ll end up dropping this is the artist isn’t changed soon.

  7. well this is the creative team for only 4 issues i believe and then Tomasi and Gleason are taking over I thought

  8. Last issue was so bad, SO BAD. I think I’m just gonna buy these just so I can get to Tomasi and Gleason’s run.

    So bad… 

  9. I thought the last one was interesting. Think it could go either way. Haven’t decided yet.

  10. Everything about the previous issue felt rushed and slapped together. I thought Cornell’s characterizations were a little too cutesy. I’ll try this series again when Tomasi takes over, maybe.

  11. I didn’t like last issue. Only buying this cause I put it in my pull list thinknig it’s still gonna be Morrison. 🙁

  12. I skipped the last issue because it looked bad.  I should remember to take it off my pull list.  I’m looking forward to Tomasi even less.  But there are so many Batbooks now, different strokes for different folks, I guess. 

  13. I was worried that Gleason wasn’t going to be the right fit for this series. But considering how bad Scott McDaniel is, there is no way he can be any worse.

  14. Buying this arc solely for the covers.  I loved Cornell when he first came over to DC at the start of his ACTION run, but ACTION isn’t even as fun as it was in the beginning, I didn’t understand a word of a single plot point in either issue or Knight & Squire that I read, and it looks like this isn’t going anywhere I would really like to go either.  Send Cornell back to MARVEL!

  15. I liked the first issue of this for the most part. It’s certainly not as brilliant as all of Knight & Squire and some issues of Action, but it was an ok read. McDaniel’s art really brings me back to the day of Dixon’s Nightwing and Robin series, and that’s not a bad thing.

  16. I think I’ll wait to see what you guys think about this issue. Not impressed by the last.

  17. Last issue was a total mess. Art was unacceptable, story seemed to be all over the place, and it just left me bummed. This series has been great, and so far last issue was the first to bum me out. Even through the Tan era, Morrison still told a good story. Cornell is a great writer and I’ve always liked his work, but this just left me unsatisfied.

  18. #17 didn’t rock my world, but I wasn’t expecting much. Morrison is never an easy act to follow, and I’m not a huge McDaniel fan. I haven’t read much Cornell, but he seems to have a decent grip on the boys, and I applaud his efforts to creat a new villain.

    Sidenote: I think it’s wonderful that Morrison’s stint on the Batbooks has ushered in a new era of very original (and kinda scary) villains. As great as Batman’s villains are, the Batline has always suffered from a serious reguritation problem. Think of all the great threats Morrison & Co. have churned out in recent years, both original and revitalized; Dr. Hurt, The Black Glove (what’s left of them), Professor Pyg and the Doll-O-Trons, Flamingo, Red Hood, Scarlet, Mario Falcone, Black Mask II, The 99 Fiends, and now Absence. A lot of Morrison’s creations will be ignored of course, but still it’s exciting to have a fresh, dangerous rogues gallery and not have just another Two-Face or Scarecrow story.

  19. I loved last issue. The whole bit where Damian is telling Dick to not be so funny was great.

  20. I hated last issue, and see no reason to think things will get better.  Ya gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em….for B&R, the time is now to fold, so I’m out.

    Luckily with Detective, Batwoman, Batman Inc., there is no shortage of good Batman…hey, even the cartoon Brave and the Bold is fun! 

  21. I also loved the last issue.  Best Bat book out that week (there were a lot).  Is it Morrison?  No.  But, it was a very good, fun issue.  Can’t wait for this one!

  22. @Wheelhands I loved the Morrison epic, but the only characters he created that I think will stick are Dr. Hurt and Pyg (and his Doll-o-Trons, I suppose). Most of the rest are just Morrison madness that are fun when he writes them, but not exactly well rounded characters/villain ideas. Of course Damian is sticking around, as well.

  23. I believe I have crossed a threshold where I will buy anything that Paul Cornell writes.

  24. @AlanRob  Same for me

  25. @JimBilly4: Oh absolutely. In fact, I wouldn’t be suprised at all if no one touched Dr. Hurt besides Morrison ever again. Almost everything the guy introduces gets universally ignored. Damian is an exception, and I couldn’t be happier about it. That little bastard is the single greatest installment in a terrific run. What I really meant was that I’m excited by the fact that an effort is being made by all the bat writers to give Dick his own gallery of new baddies, rather than just recycling the classics.

  26. @WheelHands  I hadn’t even thought about that but you’re right. Dick hasn’t really taken on any of the classic on a real case that i know of

  27. @RoiVampire: There was the confrontation with Two Face in the cave during Winick’s little arc, but the less said about that the better.

  28. @Urthona  If we’re talking poker analogies, then issue #18 is the “flop” in a Texas Hold Em game. Too early for me to fold, and I’ve got an ace/queen in the hole. The whole thing could go south, but I came to play.

  29. @comicbookchris Remember how inventive McDaniels was with his layouts in the Nightwing days? I miss that in his art.

  30. This one did even less for me than the last. Could’ve used more Dick and Damian in this one. The entire issue was an origin story, and not a very strong one. I thought Absence was a concept with potential when I first saw her, but she’s kinda lame. The pollution in Gotham River cauterized the GAPING HOLE IN HER HEAD?! And she can still function because she never had a brain to begin with? Even if that is a real condition, I seriously doubt it’s anything like that.

    I like Cornell and all his quirkiness, but this story just doesn’t interest me. Usually in that case I look towards the art, but McDaniel’s doing less and less for me these days. I’m willing to cut Cornell a little slack, as Morrison set a very specific tone with this series, and a hand-off like this can always be turbulent. Still totally on board with this title, but lookin forward to the next arc.

  31. Strike two Cornell. Take another swing and then let Tomasi give it a try.

  32. I actually thought this was a HUGE improvement over the last issue. This feels like Cornell and McDaniels had a lot more time to work with and it shows. Writing was a lot more solid and the ideas Cornell plays here are funny and sick as always. Plus I even gotta admit that McDaniels did some nice work here. Although the final pages look a bit fugly and I don’t care for his ‘Neal Adams’ vibe with Dick and Damien. Otherwise, I think this was a good issue.


  33. @TNC

    I agree. This was very silly but not in a bad way. I actually thought the whole issue was quite funny. 

  34. The script was great and a massive improvement over the first issue.  Art is still weak though.



  35. Eh I think I have come to the end of the line on this book. Taking it down to Batman Inc. and Red Robin.

  36. Did not pick this up after reading the last ish. Sad for me, because I used to be a HUGE McDaniels fan when he was on Nightwing. That book was really something special. I’m not sure if I’ve changed, or if he has, but that comic did nothing for me. If the art had wowed, I may have stuck around for the story (which felt like filler, but filler can be fun!). Alas, this was not the case.

  37. What a great issue! This is Cornell writing like the A-lister that he is.

    Plus, the last page is also possibly the greatest panel in comics history.

  38. This issue was fantastic!  I thought it was a huge step up from the last one.  Yes, it was some amazing silly fun…I love that the Bat books are so varied.  @comicBOOKchris, I totally agree about that last page!  

  39. Solid issue but I don’t care for the art too much. The fill-in bits in the middle were rough.  But it got the job done and there were some good bits here and there.  The last page makes the issue.

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