Batman #38 (DC Comics)
Runners Up: Justice League #36 (DC Comics), Iron Fist #76 (Marvel Comics)
A good week in comics made for a difficult selection process this time around, so I decided that I would pick the three books that will likely stick out in my mind over the coming year. First and foremost is Tom King and Travis Moore’s Batman, which features a one and done story entitled The Origin of Bruce Wayne. Don’t worry, this isn’t some post-Rebirth alternative origin for Batman, it is something very different. The Origin of Bruce Wayne grounds The Bat in his detective roots, exploring a series of murders and their connection to a boy whose parents also fell prey to the mean streets of Gotham. Here, after a lot of higher concept stories and even a little comic relief, King brings Bruce Wayne back into the darkness. It is as distanced from the last two issues as it could be and further proves the writer’s understanding of the character. If you think it starts dark, wait until the last few pages.
Christopher Priest and Pete Woods continue their re-invigoration of Justice League with issue #36. Here, The League faces the scrutiny of the government as someone continues to undermine their operations. Things go especially poorly for Batman in this issue and Dick Grayson steps in to help The League sort out the situation. In many ways, this arc feels like a more appropriate follow up to Batman v. Superman than Justice League turned out to be, aside from the distinctly living Superman, of course. In fact, a certain judge in the story seems pretty similar to a certain Senator June Finch. Two veterans, Priest and Woods are doing a great job on what can easily be DC’s flagship title in the coming months. I can’t wait to see what happens.
Over at Marvel, Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins continue to add some great moments to the catalogue of Iron Fist. Admittedly, I was a bit worried that the addition of Sabretooth to the cast was little more than a Marvel Legacy stunt. Who knows, it may well have started that way. Regardless, Brisson and Perkins have triumphed in making Wolverine’s arch nemesis into an intriguing member of the cast. Througha few arcs, Brisson has brought the fun, Kung-Fu treachery we hope for and strengthens the legacy of the character with each issue.