Author: J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Brian Ashmore

Titan Books
RRP 24.99
ISBN 1 84023 595 0
Available now

Two years ago, an attack on Wayne Enterprises by the Children of Maya - a group of urban terrorists - left behind blood, bodies, and a furious Bruce Wayne determined to bring those responsible to justice. After stalking his prey across the US and Europe, the Batman has a lead on Jennifer Blake, architect of the Wayne Enterprises bombing. Now, Batman finds all his precious concepts of crime, punishment, justice and retribution turned inside out as he questions human nature and whether a mass murderer could be worthy of absolution...

Absolution doesn't get off to a promising start - I had a real job reading some of the tiny panels. This also meant I had a job taking everything in. I also thought that the whole narrative was a little too self-indulgent, a little too pretentious but, more importantly, a little on the dull side.

The artwork was also something I took an instant dislike to. It looks like the artist has taken photos of models to capture the images he wanted to portray and has then painted this photos in order to achieve an almost photographic quality to his story telling. I've never liked this form of artwork - it has always stood out as a lazy attempt at realism - but what's the point?

While a lovely repro job has been done for this story I couldn't help asking why? It is wasted on a mediocre story and £25 is a lot to spend on a very thin comic book.

Even hard-core Batman fans may find their minds wandering. Avoid.

Darren Rea

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