Batman #54 (DC Comics)
Runners Up: The Immortal Hulk #5 (Marvel Comics), Nightwing #48 (DC Comics)
Tom King, with the legendary Matt Wagner, returns to the top of our little chart here with this issue of Batman. King, along with the other Bat-Writers, has been doing a wonderful job of re-instating the long history of Batman‘s supporting cast into continuity. Here, we see a tale divided by two eras, one where Dick Grayson is just beginning his journey as Robin, and one where he helps Batman balance his grief with his crusade. Be on the look out for some of the more, um, unique patients at Arkham Asylum. Wagner is one of my favorite artists and he’s especially skilled at bringing Batman onto the comic page. There was a bit of controversy concerning this one, with Brennan Wagner’s original colors being replaced last minute by Tomeu Morey, but honestly, the book looks great. If you’d like a taste of what the younger Wagner’s colors would have looked like, check out the equally as gorgeous cover.
Bruce Banner’s life is just getting worse and worse over in The Immortal Hulk, but boy is it entertaining. Al Ewing writes with the team of Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose and Paul Mounts on art. Since it’s on the cover, I’ll mention one big thing. Ewing’s utilization of Sasquatch is pure genius, and shows the Marvel knowledge that fans hope the writers have. Plus, it really hammers home how much of a villain The Hulk must seem to Canadians, bub. Though the “Immortal” aspect of the title is rather novel and executed quite well, the team is also bringing a classic, Peter David-esque feel to the storytelling. I think this is a spectacular balance and will surely have fans salivating for the next issue after the final panel.
Though I can’t say that Ben Percy’s first arc on Nightwing was one of my favorites, holy crap was this issue fun. Amancay Nahuelpan and Nick Filardi render a motorcycle race for the ages…yes, I said motorcycle race. Seriously, do I have to keep going? It’s Nightwing in a mystical motorcycle race where the winner can get an answer to any one question they have! Like, just go buy it! Jeez, Silencer is in it too, which is pretty cool.