X-O Manowar #14 (Valiant Comics)

Runners Up: Shadowman #2 (Valiant Comics), The Flash #45 (DC Comics)

Aside from being a beautiful book from start to finish, Matt Kindt and Ariel Olivetti’s X-O Manowar is also a wonderful jumping-on point for new readers to both this volume, and the character in general. While this issue is meant to serve as a lead-in to the upcoming Harbinger Wars 2, it is also an incredibly well constructed summation of this current iteration of X-O Manowar’s history. This is done in a both haunting and stylish manner, making the issue much more from page one. Read the text foreword, you’ll even get an idea of what’s happened in recent issues. I hope this issue gets the attention it deserves, and results in a big hunt for back issues. If you love this tale and haven’t read any of the series, don’t just start here, you’ve missed a great run. X-O Manowar has been one of the most inventive title on the racks for months and with this momentary pause, I hope it gains a bigger following.

Valiant also brings us Shadowman, from Andy Diggle and Steven Segovia. Though Diggle has had notable success in the past, I think he is still somewhat underrated. Perhaps he’s not as consistent as a Gaiman or Morrison, but he certainly has runs on their level. While this story is still in its early stages, it appears that he may have another here. Grab an issue #1 before they start exploding in price. Also, Segovia’s work is fluid and engaging. Working with one of the coolest designs in modern superheroes, look here for some of the most dynamic panels in comics today.

DC Comics adds another big piece to the still lingering Rebirth puzzle with this week’s issue of The Flash. Joshua Williamson and Christian Duce wrap up Perfect Storm by reuniting The Flash family as it stands, and hinting at the return of a few others. Though Perfect Storm wasn’t Williamson’s strongest work, it did re-establish the status-quo for the title and activities revolving the speed force. Some criticize the run for adding too many speedsters, but I can’t help but think that at the end of this all, we may have the coolest Flash cast ever.