Comic Books


Batman and Robin have found The Absence, but a deathtrap awaits them. How do you prove a negative? How do you escape nothing? When there’s nothing at the center of a life, madness can stick its claws in!

Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Scott McDaniel and Rob Hunter
Cover by Patrick Gleason
Variant cover by Gene Ha

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.1%


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Avg Rating: 3.3
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. That’s clearly not their logo. As 18 previous issues of the covers have shown. Still, that’s a nice tease with Gleason’s take on the duo.

  2. Looks like they changed the logo, reminds me of the Supes/Batman symbol.

  3. @TheNextChampion  DC is showcasing the character logos, not the book logos. The book logos are on the books every other month. Those are indeed the character logos.

  4. @conor: I get that but….you’ve had 18 issues with A logo. I would assume that would be their logo.

  5. @TheNextChampion  Again, that’s the BOOK’s logo, not the CHARACTERS’ logos.

  6. @conor: Okay don’t get so defensive about it.

  7. thats also not really this Robin’s logo though

  8. @TheNextChampion  I’m not at all. I’m emphasizing words.

    @leigh  Yes, it is. They haven’t made a new one for Damian.

  9. I personally was hoping for Absence to be on the cover so her logo would be a bloody sack.

  10. @TheNextChampion HA!

  11. Like this cover a lot.

    @Conor actually, Damian’s logo is a stylized R (instead of the swoop on the top of the R, it’s on the return of the R) inside of a closed yellow circle. As seen on the cover above and on B&R #1.

  12. @PraxJarvin  That’s not a logo (which is a real thing in the real world and is trademarkable) that is a symbol on a costume.

  13. @conor Oh, whoops, I misread your original comment. Thought you meant they didn’t make a new symbol for his uniform. You’re right, they have just been using Tim Drake-Wayne’s Robin Logo (Just shy of 2 decades old now I think.) Seeing as how they’re using Quitely’s redesigned R symbol so consistently across books, I’m a bit surprised they haven’t changed it over yet.

  14. After all the debate this cover has caused, I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when we start discussing the logos they picked for books like Zatanna (a top hop) or The Spirit (his name)

  15. I’m still having fun with this one.  It’s a great story and that villain is over the top.  What’s not to like?

  16. Is it me or do the capes on the cover seem, like really big and flowy, more flowy than usual

  17. @RoiVampire: That’s pure Gleason baby.

  18. Regardless, I dig the cover. Looking forward to the climax of the Absence story (or not) and ready for some Tomasi B&R!

  19. This story wasn’t as bad as I thought it was gonna end up being like, but I’m still very glad this is the end of it!!

  20. I think the Logos are a ploy by DC to divert attention from the fact this arc is not nearly as good as the previous ones. Conspiracy!!!

  21. @TNC – They’re pitting us against eachother so that we argue about Logos! Can’t you see that!!!

  22. 2 more days until everyone reads this It’s nice to know this story will wrap up

  23. I really like the covers DC is doing this month. Curiously, I am not picking up as many DC books this week as I usually do.

  24. Getting dangerously near the chopping block…

  25. @djd  I think that’s what Gleason was going for, most likely. That’s the feeling I got when I saw this cover, too.

  26. Damian really needs to trim those long laces.  He’s going to snag them on a fence or a loose screw somewhere while jumping from rooftop to rooftop.  Safety first, gentlemen.  

  27. @ctrosejr  I just hope he double knots those suckers. Don’t wanna trip over your own costume while you’re chasing the riddler down an alley. You’ll get a question mark cane upside your head as your picking yourself up off the pavement.

  28. I still don’t really get what the idea behind these covers is really. They should do a month where all the DC covers look like Smiths / Belle & Sebastian record sleeves.

  29. @AmirCat: I agree! lol

  30. @ResurrectionFlan  I’d be down with that!!! I’d love to see an all indie record cover tribute on all the DC covers one month! My vote for the Superman/Batman cover that month would be Suede’s debut album. 🙂

  31. I’d like to take a moment to be thankful for the debate over whether a book is good or not, or why. It puts things in perspective when held up against debates such as the current Heavy Ink Comic row where its president advocates murder as an acceptable tool against democracy. Give me DC v. Marvel all day, Indie v. Big 2; just respect Paul Cornell’s wishes and buy his material from someone other than Heavy Ink.

  32. Thank god this crap is over with. Bad issue all around and I’m pissed Cornell took back the bloody sack so quickly. Again, that should be her logo. Bring on Gleason and Tomasi!


  33. @TheNextChampion  It was supposed to be a one-off gag. Prolonged exposure would’ve ruined the joke.

  34. So I haven’t read a Paul Cornell book in quite a long time. I like his writing.

    But I got a feeling today that I haven’t felt since the last time I read one of his books.

    His dialogue confuses me unlike any other writer.

    I don’t think it is the grammar. It is something strange that gets me hung up on character interactions in dialogue . . .

    I have to reread speech bubbles two to three times and still I’m a bit confused and just move on.

    It probably happened three to four times in this issue.

    What the fuck is up with that?

    I don’t think he gets how people speak with each other quite as well as most writers . . .

    I enjoyed this issue anyway 3/5. 

  35. @comicbookchris: Was it a joke? Yes

    But was it also the perfect example to show just how bat-shit crazy this lady was? Yes.

    Having her commit to actually kill Bruce’s old girlfriends and have a bloody SACK of their body parts was just a sight to see. Maybe it still shows how crazy she is because she took the time to make the sack and giant scissors (someone was playing Clock Tower). But still….it was one of the only good things about this entire arc and I just didn’t like it that Cornell cop out to it that it was all fake.

  36. It wasn’t a cop out. Cornell knows about comedic timing, and knows that if you overly discect or overexpose a funny scene, it loses all of its value. Family Guy is a prime example of something exercising both of these mess ups.

  37. I thought this whole story was pretty weak. Cornell seemed more interested in trying to be clever than telling a good story.
    About 80 times on each page there was a lame attempt at clever word-play about “nothing” or “what’s missing” by Absense. *rolls eyes*

  38. My last post had the absence of correct spelling.

  39. Personally, I enjoyed the brief arc as a fun diversion. He had two issues to tell a story, I was told a decent story and I am happy enough with that. I could wish for better art, but it wasn’t horrible. I could wish for the story to have had a little more play to explore nuance, but it was given 2 issues. It was adequately entertaining.

  40. Batman & Robin “lost” in this arc, correct?

    That is kind of refreshing.


  42. One thing that bugs me about the plot is:

    If her goal was to kill the robbers who ruined her life, why did she have to go through all of these diversions? I’m pretty sure the jails at Gotham have lack of security to begin with and why didn’t she just kill them while Dick and Damien were pre-occupied at the Church in the first issue? 

  43. @TheNextChampion  Because she also wanted to get Bruce’s attention. She wanted Bruce to show up which is why she drug it out like this.

  44. This one didn’t work all that well for me.

  45. I think this arc would have benefitted from not being rushed to bridge a gap between Morrison and Tomasi. I appreciated all the ideas and concepts Cornell was playing with, but they seemed to be handled badly in story form. And Batman lost! That’s great.  3/5

  46. I liked this just fine…wasn’t anything too heavy plotwise, but had some clever moments from Cornell. I hope that he comes back to writting Batman, but is a little more prepared next time.

  47. Bring on tomasi. This arc really fell flat. It was boring and irrelevant. 

  48. The only bit I didn’t like was Dick and Damian fighting a Bruce inspired villain. The early issues were a build up to the return of Bruce, and now a Bruce villain. I’m really ready for these two to have independent adventures.

  49. Really impressive issue concerning the villainess.  What magnum240 says makes sense but the fact she somewhat played that Bruce bit as a distraction was well done.  I agree in hoping to see the team face more villains without the connection to Bruce but it’s hard to separate out the rogues gallery when so many all started with Bruce.  Nevertheless, good story and now to see what Peter J. Tomasi brings to the title (hopefully some of that Nightwing goodness before that title got canned).

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