November is finally over and I couldn’t be happier. This month was so full of crossover tie-ins, annuals, and mini-series that I definitely had to review way more books than usual. Still, I found some time to check out a few non-bat titles to deliver yet another installment of “Break from Batman.” This segment is all about encouraging Bat-fans to try out other quality comics and get everyone excited about reading. I’ll share with you the best books from November that I had time to read and then I hope you and your fellow readers will do the same in the comments section below. Together we can make a nice list of must-read titles that are worth taking a break from Batman.

Here are the best books I read in November that took place outside of the Gotham City limits…

AlexAda

Alex + Ada #1

Image Comics

New Reader Friendliness: High

I’m so sick and tired of dystopian future stories that it’s not even funny. So to finally get a futuristic comic that’s not only pleasant, but actually believable was a real breath of fresh air. The level of technological advancement in the world of Alex + Ada actually feels totally plausible, yes, and there aren’t any zombies or dune buggies in sight, but the environment isn’t the only reason I enjoyed this book. This story about a lonely guy who falls for a robot shows a great deal of potential to be funny, thought-provoking, and emotional. Did you see the trailer for the upcoming movie “Her“? This looks kind of like that but with even more of a sci-fi edge.

Unity

Unity #1

Valiant

New Reader Friendliness: High

If you keep up with these “Break from Batman” articles then you know by now that I fully endorse X-O Manowar. I think it’s the most bad-ass comic book you can read. The main character from that series, Aric, is a Visigoth who has not only found himself stranded in our time, but he wields the most powerful weapon in the universe. Recently, Aric freed the descendants of his long-lost people and brought them back home to what used to be the land of Dacia. However, the world isn’t just going to stand by and let the Visigoth conquer a big piece of land for his own simply because he claims it is his birthright. So what we get with Unity #1 is the assembling of a super-team made up of characters from across the Valiant comics line who come together for the sole purpose of defeating X-O Manowar. It’s awesome. Get it. Not only is this issue really cool, but it’s a terrific gateway to the entire Valiant universe so you can start reading other great books like Eternal Warrior, Archer & Armstrong, and Harbinger. And if you’re not reading X-O Manowar then I honestly don’t know what to say to you. It’s fantastic.

Manifest

Manifest Destiny #1

Image Comics

New Reader Friendliness: High

In 1804, Lewis and Clark began their expedition to explore the uncharted regions of the American frontier. This is a story many believe to already know well, but the twist is that these historical figures were actually embarking on a journey to wipe out whatever monsters lingered in the wilderness so that the New World would be safe for westward expansion. I thought that issue #1 was a great debut that was beautifully illustrated, engaging, and totally fun.

Quantum1

Quantum & Woody #5

Valiant

New Reader Friendliness: High

Modern comics don’t get much funnier than Quantum & Woody. In fact, as far as I know, they don’t. I can always count on laughing out loud more than a few times while reading about the adventures of the world’s worst super heroes. This issue kicks off an all-new arc and is a great jumping on point for new readers. There’s even a Batman reference!

ArcherArmstrong15

Archer & Armstrong #15

Valiant

New Reader Friendliness: Medium

Two immortals go on a time-traveling pub crawl to taste the best beers throughout history. It’s just as great as it sounds.

XOManowar19

X-O Manowar #19

Valiant

New Reader Friendliness: Medium

No surprise here, X-O Manowar continues to impress. Be sure to read this issue after Unity #1 as the two books tie themselves together exceedingly well. Issue #19 essentially deals with the aftermath of the absolute disaster that was the Russian army and Unity’s first attempts at attacking Aric and his X-O Manowar armor. I want a crossover event where Aric invades the DC Universe or Marvel Universe and I want it now.

RocketeerSpirit3

Rocketeer/The Spirit: Pulp Friction #3

IDW

New Reader Friendliness: Low

Mind-control, mobsters, jet-packs, gumshoes, and teleportation through television! This team-up of two classic characters is pure pulpy goodness and the cartoony artwork only adds to the fun. This is an incredibly enjoyable read and if you’re a fan of either character then it’s an absolute must-buy. I’m a huge fan of Mark Waid, but I’m honestly having more fun with his Rocketeer/Spirit material than I am the current Daredevil arc.

Saga16

Saga #16

Image Comics

New Reader Friendliness: Low

Saga continues to be a charming sci-fi fantasy series with a cast of colorful character who I have really grown to care about. While things have been relatively peaceful over the past few issues, this chapter finally catches the narrative back up to the present and some strange new developments with The Will’s subplot have definitely piqued my interest.  However, it’s still a comic that should be read from the very beginning. I don’t think there’s any way a new reader could have any clue what’s going on if they hopped aboard with this issue.