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BEST BETS: WWE, Buffy & More November 2016 Highlights

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BEST BETS: WWE, Buffy & More November 2016 Highlights

Unfortunately for your wallet, November’s serving up a lot of great comics. The good news is, there’s a lot of solid reading material to distract you from the mayhem of the election. Boasting #1s with characters who don’t often go solo, in addition to adaptations and continuations of beloved TV properties, November’s pull list may be more difficult to decide on than the choice you make in the voting booth. Luckily, CBR is here to help narrow things down.

Rounding up the highlights, CBR News has whipped up a list of BEST BETS for November, breaking down the titles you should (or must) buy three months from now.

RELATED: BEST BETS: “Jessica Jones,” “Big Trouble/Escape from New York” & More October 2016 Highlights

10. Optimus Prime #1

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For the first time ever, Optimus Prime — legendary leader of the Autobots — will star in his own ongoing series, launching in November from IDW. Written by John Barber and drawn by Kei Zama, the new “Optimus Prime” series spins out of the hotly anticipated “Revolution” crossover, which kicks off in September. We expect Optimus to play a pretty major role in the crossover, so it’ll be interesting to see how the character is affected by the events of the series, and what exactly his place will be in the overarching Hasbro shared universe after the dust of “Revolution” settles.

The solicit text for “Optimus Prime” #1 teases, “REVOLUTION is over-but the danger to Earth is just beginning. As OPTIMUS PRIME pulls Earth into the larger universe, he’s painted a target on Earth… and a new alien incursion begins when a corkscrew shaped craft drills into our world! The next evolution of TRANSFORMERS is here! OPTIMUS PRIME’s past on CYBERTRON haunts his present on Earth! Amazing artist Kei Zama (Scarlett Witch) makes her debut with veteran writer John Barber (Transformers)!”

9. Thanos #1

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Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Mike Deodato Jr. are set to launch a new ongoing series in November starring the classic Marvel Comics antagonist, Thanos. Simply titled “Thanos,” the series will explore the supporting characters in the Marvel villain’s life, like Thane and Starfox, who haven’t had much to do in comics for a while, in addition to a major element from the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe: The Phoenix Force. As teased in art for the series, Thanos seems to set his sights on finding the omnipotent power, which most recently played a big role in the “Avengers vs. X-Men” crossover, in his new solo series. But will the Mad Titan find success in locating the entity? And if he does, will it kill him?

Lemire previously told CBR of the new series, “It’s his journey, but it’s also the journey of Thane and Starfox and other characters, and their relationship with Thanos. But it also has a huge canvas and huge potential, so I want to try and balance it where you get a bit of both. Certainly, where it’s going with some things that I am setting up in the first arc has the potential to be a massive, universe-shaking story. If I do my job right, you will get both: a deep character study of Thanos, and also setting up a massive Marvel story.”

8. Super Powers #1

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The Eisner Award-winning creative team of Art Baltazar and Franco are reuniting at DC Comics one again — after successful stints on “Tiny Titans,” “Superman Family Adventures” and “Billy Batson and the Magic of SHAZAM!” — for a new Justice League-centric series titled “Super Powers.” Named after the popular ’80s toy line, the series aims to give kids an accessible, fun and comedic take on DC Comics’ greatest heroes. In light of the darker portrayal of the Justice League in the DC Films universe, “Super Powers” embraces everything silly, light and awesome about the publisher’s flagship characters.

The solicitation for “Super Powers” #1 reads, “Aw yeah, the World’s Greatest Heroes are back in a new, all-ages miniseries—except for Batman! Superman helps out by cleaning up in Gotham City, where he discovers a clue that sends Wonder Woman into space to find the Caped Crusader. Her journey brings her a step closer to Batman, but can she uncover the truth behind his disappearance? From the award-winning creative team that brought you TINY TITANS and SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES!”

7. Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four Artist’s Edition

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IDW’s latest entry in its Eisner Award-winning Artist’s Edition line sees the original work of Jack Kirby’s “Fantastic Four” reprinted in an oversized hardcover. Packaging The King’s original interior art pages from “Fantastic Four” #82-83 (guest-starring the Inhumans) and the 48-page “Fantastic Four Annual” #6 — all of which he worked on with the legendary Stan Lee — the latest IDW Artist’s Edition is a must-have for fans of Kirby or anyone who wants to see comic book art at its best, by one of the greatest creators ever to work in the business.

“Kirby’s inventive story-telling set the bar that Marvel has honored for decades,” Marvel exec David Gabriel said in an official press release. “We couldn’t be prouder to see this fantastic work made available in this new prestige over-sized format that pays tribute to Jack ‘The King’ Kirby’s exemplary talent and skill.”

6. Invincible Iron Man #1

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Riri Williams is donning the Iron Man armor in the fallout of “Civil War II.” Taking on the Ironheart codename, Riri will have a leading role in her own ongoing series from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Stefano Caselli. Introduced as a brilliant 15-year-old M.I.T. student in the current “Invincible Iron Man” volume, Riri engineered her own Iron Man suit, and in the new series, looks to get her hands on a Stark Industries-made version of the suit. As teased in the solicit text for the first issue, Riri’s Ironheart armor seems to operate using A.I. that’s based on the personality of Tony Stark — so we know that, while the character might not make it out of “Civil War II” alive, he’ll be around in some form.

“Iron Woman seemed old fashioned to some,” Bendis said in a statement. “Iron Maiden looked like a legal nightmare. And Ironheart, coined by Joe Quesada, after I told him my planned story for Riri, speaks not only to the soul of the character but to the Iron Man franchise as a whole. Tony first put on the armor to save his heart. Riri puts it on for different reasons altogether but still heart-related. When people see her story, you’ll be amazed at how simple and brilliant Joe’s suggestion.”

5. Batman/TMNT Adventures #1

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The classic animated take on Batman — as developed by Bruce Timm and the now-legendary team at Warner Bros. Animation — is making a comeback in comics this fall alongside the animated incarnation of the Ninja Turtles in “Batman/TMNT Adventures” #1. Brought to you by the “TMNT: Amazing Adventures” creative team of writer Matthew K. Manning and artist by Jon Sommariva, “Batman/TMNT Adventures” sees villains from the Caped Crusader’s Rogues Gallery escape to New York City, the home turf of the Ninja Turtles.

The series marks the second “Batman/TMNT” crossover this year — after the last miniseries by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II — this time, representing the characters in a form more true to their animated versions. With the other crossover already proving that Batman and the Ninja Turtles go together very well, this new take shows a lot of promise, especially since it brings back the beloved visual aesthetic of the DC Animated Universe alongside the popular new animated take on the Ninja Turtles.

4. AD: After Death #1

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The long-awaited independent series “AD: After Death,” from writer Scott Snyder and artist Jeff Lemire, is finally kicking-off in November at Image Comics. The high-concept futuristic series follows future where death has been cured. Aside from the intriguing concept, “AD: After Death” is a must-own simply because of the creators attached to it. Snyder has proven his chops time and time again on series like “American Vampire,” “Severed” and “Batman,” while Lemire — who, for the first time, is drawing a work he didn’t write — has showcased his incredible creative abilities on “Animal Man,” “Essex County,” “The Underwater Welder,” and many, many other works.

“Getting older, watching your kids grow too fast, some nights it just feels terrifying, how quickly it all goes,” Snyder said of the series. “So what if there were no death? What if it was curable? What if you could live many lives, take many paths, and never worry about running out of time? Never worry about saying goodbye to anyone, anything? These are the questions at the center of AD. They’re questions Jeff and I have talked about it as fathers and friends and creators, and it’s a book I feel we could only do together. Jeff is one of my favorite artists, and favorite people on the planet, and luckily, he’s also the perfect person for this book in every way. I’m honored and thrilled he agreed to do it. It’s going to be something special, and I can’t wait for you all to see it.”

3. Comics Feel the Impact of Election Season (Catwoman: Election Night #1, Flintstones #5, Faith #5)

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The United States presidential election is getting a big nod this fall in three politically charged comics hitting stands November 2 (only six days before voters head to the booths), with DC Comics’ “Catwoman: Election Night” #1, “Flintstones” #5, and Valiant’s “Faith” #5, which will feature a cameo from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. While the former two are set to offer a satirical mirroring of the current political climate, “Faith” looks to have the titular super-heroine team-up with the former Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady.

Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani told CBR of “Faith’s” Hillary Clinton cameo: “The idea of teaming her with Faith, who in many ways has become the first lady of comics, felt very fitting. A presidential election is one of the most significant moments in our society and culture, and Faith is the very reflection of that same society and culture. Faith represents the comic book reader more than any other character out there, and we knew that it would provide a great storytelling opportunity that our fans would connect with.”

2. WWE: Then. Now. Forever.

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As part of their new partnership, BOOM! Studios is releasing new WWE comics. The first entry in the line, the one-shot “WWE: Then. Now. Forever,” collects a brand-new story featuring the Shield, and the six one-page WWE comics that were released at Comic-Con International: San Diego. The one-page comics feature stories with Triple H, John Cena, Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods, among others, while the bulk of the one-shot boasts a story featuring the Shield. The 20-page “The Breaking of the Shield” reveals the back-story behind Seth Rollins’ betrayal of Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns at the urging of Triple H and the Authority. The issue looks to be a must-have for WWE fans, and a welcome return of the property to comics.

“Here at BOOM! we’re thrilled to be a part of WWE’s return to the comic book medium,” BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon said when the partnership was initially announced. “The WWE Universe is a passionate fanbase, and we aim to provide them with the comic series they’ve always wanted — a series featuring their favorite Superstars and storylines, a series that highlights the incredible history of the brand. An authentic series that matters.”

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 11 #1

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Buffy’s coming back to comics in November. This fall sees a continuation of Joss Whedon, Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs’ Vampire Slayer saga with a twelve-issue “Season 11” of the cult-favorite series. Published by Dark Horse Comics, “Buffy the Vampire: Season 11” sees Buffy and the gang take a well-deserved break, until a supernatural threat emerges in San Francisco that cuts their vacation short. Based on Season 8-10 of the series, we trust that Whedon, Gage and Isaacs are delivering the goods for their new Buffy outing, fit for the incredible legacy of the property.

RELATED: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”: 11 Things We Need From Season 11

“Buffy fans have been wonderful to Rebekah and me throughout season 10, so I couldn’t be more excited to keep our creative team together for season 11,” Gage previously said in a statement. “True to form, Joss is not content to just rest on his well-earned laurels, so season 11 will shake things up with a story that’s shorter, bigger, more epic, and presents what may be the greatest challenge Buffy and the Scoobies have ever faced.”

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