The Flash #47 (DC Comics)

Runners Up – Detective Comics #981 (DC Comics), X-O Manowar #15 (Valiant Comics)

Flash War has begun, and it’s looking like it’s going to be a hell of a ride. As I’ve mentioned in recent picks, a lot of the focus in the book has shifted to the original Wally West, currently sharing the mantle of The Flash along with his Brother-in-Law, Barry Allen. Though Barry has been enlightened in many ways to the complex crises of the DCU, he still retains a lot of his New 52 history. Wally, on the other hand, remembers more and more of his Pre-Flashpoint past every issue, and it is starting to haunt him. In the past, I’ve theorized that Wally had been left out of The New 52 not only to update the Kid Flash concept, but as sort of an escape plan that came to be in DC Rebirth. Whether that was intentional or not, he certainly has acted as a bit of one since. Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter really take the reigns of the current continuity in this issue, but that’s not even the most impressive aspect of it. As with many of the great Superhero tales, the team has found a way to both engage fans of classic runs and acknowledge some of the, well, less popular aspects of 2011’s debated relaunch. I feel like I’ve said this one hundred times, but Williamson has really been building something here since Rebirth. This is undoubtedly part of that payoff and he’s bringing some old friends along for the ride.

James Tynion IV, along with Eddy Barrows, ends his run on Detective Comics with both the conclusion to the Batmen Eternal arc and a satisfying epilogue for the entire run since Rebirth. Detective has embraced the “Bat-Family” aspect of Gotham since its return to original numbering, and reintroduced many of the turn-of-the-millennium concepts that enriched it for many years. Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and Jean-Paul Valley have all taken back their classic roles, or at least and approximation thereof. By issue’s end, Bat-Fans will have some cool hints of the future of Batman’s experimental team, and they are pretty intriguing.

Though admittedly an interlude while Harbinger Wars II takes the lead in the Valiant Universe, Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine have managed to craft another unique tale for Aric. This issue of X-O Manowar takes our hero back into his memories and allows Kindt to craft a nice, barbaric tale. Kindt has admitted Conan‘s influence on this run, and it is as evident here as anywhere else. I hope when Marvel relaunches Robert E. Howard’s signature character next year, Kindt is in the running.