Catwoman #1 (DC Comics)
Runners Up: Green Arrow #42 (DC Comics), X-Men Gold #31 (Marvel Comics)
So, this probably isn’t the Bat-Family book you expected to see here, but I think it’s the one that is most deserving. That said, you definitely should check out Batman #50 before diving in, as that book succeeds in the specifics and not just its ending. I can’t really say anymore without blowing a few secrets, but this is certainly the first tale to take place in the post Bat-Wedding DCU. Since Joëlle Jones joined the DC roster, I have been hoping for her to take over a major title and here, she finally stretches her legs. Not only does the maverick artist ink and pencil this issue, but she also writes it. She is backed up by Lady Killer collaborator Laura Allred on colors, who receives a cover credit for the issue. While this is a rare honor for a colorist, Allred deserves it as her skills help to create pages that stand-out from most contemporary books. Jones does a wonderful job of not only picking up where Catwoman’s most recent appearances left off, but of creating an intriguing point from which Selina Kyle’s solo adventures can resume.
Quite frankly, after Benjamin Percy’s exit, I hadn’t been expecting much from Green Arrow. Boy, was I wrong. Mairghread Scott and Matthew Clark have crafted one of my favorite GA tales ever in the last two issues. One of the most difficult task whilst writing Oliver Queen is acknowledging his progressive views while still creating an formidable adventure. Scott does this masterfully and even arrives at a conclusion that, while a bit hard to swallow, makes an interesting comment on superheroes on the whole. Scott will soon bring her talents to Batgirl, and I’ll definitely be reading. Hopefully the pair will be given an opportunity to return to the character even with Shawna and Julie Benson taking over writing duties in the next issue.
Last up is X-Men Gold‘s first issue since the big wedding, and Marc Guggenheim leaves the hype in the dust to continue this finely crafted narrative. Rachel Summers’ history was one of the focal points of the book prior to the wedding hoopla, and this issue jumps back in without missing a step. Pere Perez gets to draw some classic X-Men action here, and does a wonderful job of conveying Guggenheim’s nostalgic script. This book has taken a lot of inspiration from Excalibur and here takes that even further back into X-History. My one big gripe is that I wish Gambit and Rogue had stuck around instead of moving into their own title. If they had, this issue might have ranked a little higher.