My personal favorite from the new 52 DC relaunch, simply because it did its best to carry over stories from before Flashpoint. There is a reason the best selling DC books before the relaunch were the ones being the most innovative. But anyway, this issue worked not only as a brand new introduction to Bruce Wayne returning to Gotham as the one and only Batman, but this issue was jam packed with story. Whenever a splash page was used like the opening scene with Batman in Arkham, it was made up for in later pages with a more condensed panel structure such as the socialite speech which Greg Capullo didn't even break a sweat with. And the clever exposition tool of a Bat-computer contact lens lets everyone picking up the issue for the first time know who Bruce's allies are in a clean, simple manner. And what would a Batman issue be without Damian throwing out an insult at someone in the family? We were also given four extra pages for our three bucks, which was just a nice thing to see when you'd be lucky these days to get two extra pages of story for another dollar. It feels like a broken record at some point, but Snyder is easily the best writer in comics today.
When the first arc of the new Daredevil series ended, I expected the next issue to involve something dark happening simply because it's Daredevil. What would it be, Deuce the Devil Dog getting run over by a crazed Milla in Kingpin's Cadillac? Matt's mother being gunned down during Christmas service? But surprisingly, not only did these two things not happen, we got an issue that was essentially world building the new status quo for Matt Murdock, and I couldn't have been happier. From the way the new consultancy angle helps with the secret identity genie that (happily) won't go back into the bottle, to the exercise room where Matt and Foggy try to Hanz and Franz their way to a healthier life, it was all fun stuff. But what really sold me on the issue was the idea of Matt having a courier deliver a full set of new clothes to his next appointment across town while he swung over in his Daredevil attire. It's a nice moment, brilliantly illustrated by Marcos Martin, that has that great effect of sticking in your head whenever you think of original story points in comics. Those kinds of little moments are what make comics great.
This might seem like an odd choice, as it was at the end of a series that might still be in question as to whether or not it carried over into the DCnU, but it's got everything going in its favor for best single issue of the year; a self contained story, a meaningful guest appearance by fellow caped crusader Squire, great humor, and an incredibly interesting story. Steph's called over to London by Batman, but before she can get ready for that job, it's up to Batgirl and Squire to stop Dickens-themed villain The Orphan from stealing The Greenwich Mean, which is literally the sword in the stone. To say this issue has fun with British history and literature would be an understatement. But on top of it all there is excellent banter between the two heroines, Perez has quite possibly never drawn a better looking issue and should be the regular artist on a book immediately, and it has the most important thing a comic can deliver: fun. You certainly get a full story for your money. The only downside to this issue is the sad realization that Stephanie isn't Batgirl anymore, in that sad moment of realization that comics need to stop looking behind and start look forward. This might actually be one of the best single issues I've read ever, definitely give it a shot.