The Flash Annual #1 (DC Comics)

Runners Up: Deathstroke Annual #1 (DC Comics), The Silencer #1 (DC Comics)

DC is making quite the happy habit of taking seemingly uneventful weeks and packing them with important details for the still mysterious contemporary universe. Since Rebirth, there have been only a few issues that have addressed lingering plot holes as directly as The Flash Annual #1. Here, Wally West (the original, that is) shines and progresses more so than in any issue of his usual home, Titans. This is not to say that his impact hasn’t been felt, but since he is at the center of Rebirth, it is odd how little he has been developed since. Joshua Williamson continues his ever interesting run and affirms the elder Wally’s position as a Flash just as important as Barry Allen. As someone who picked up comics in the nineties, I have a hard time kicking the feeling that Wally should still be THE Flash. I suppose it’s no different than the reasons Allen was brought back, but I enjoy when Wally’s run is treated with reverence as it is here. Wally’s absence is one of the many reasons that my interest in the New 52 slowed over time. Christian Duce does some wonderful work here. He’s had a couple of shots at the character recently, but this is undoubtedly the best of the bunch. Even for those not looking for more Wally, there are a couple of very important moments for the series going forward here. Don’t miss this one if you’ve been following the regular issues.

Running through Deathstroke since The Lazarus Contract, Slade’s super team excursion Defiance comes to an end in Deathstroke Annual #1 by Christopher Priest, Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz. In just over a year, Deathstroke has proven that his greatest strength is the unexpected. At story’s start, few could have predicted anything like Defiance, yet it was one of the most entertaining arcs in the character’s history. As that chapter comes to a close, there are even more surprises. I won’t say much, but if you’re looking for more clues about the DCU,  here’s another tale you might want to look at.

John Romita Jr., Dan Abnett and Sandra Hope bring us The Silencer, and boy was I surprised. Not that I thought this book wasn’t going to be fun or something, but I was really impressed with how interesting it turned out to be. Much like its “New Age of Heroes” contemporary Damage, check this one out if you love fast-paced action.