WFTM Podcast Episode 5: Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na... Comics!

In episode 5, Fernando and Leslie talk about a lot of comics, including The Dark Knight Returns, The Long Halloween and Gail Simone’s Batgirl. They also talk about the new Guardians of the Galaxy cartoon on Disney XD, Robopocalypse concept art, What’s Happening with Noelle Stevenson This Week, how bad Terminator: Genisys is and more.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

What We’re Watching:

Terminator: Genisys

What Leslie’s Reading:

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

Batgirl Volumes 4 & 5 by Gail Simone

The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale

What’s Making Us Happy:

Fernando: Women’s World Cup Soccer

Leslie: Rocket Podcast

 

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com

 

Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License

 

Random Tuesday: Happy 200th Sam & Dean! Sci Fi Book Things! Amazon Pilots! More!

It is cold and I am grumpy. I really shouldn't be because we got Comic Con tickets on Saturday and then we saw Big Hero 6, which was all kinds of lovely. But it's cold now and I hate the cold. I can't feel my toes. Let's find some random things to distract me.

This guy named Scott Park made a post with all these awesome female characters from great genre films and television. It's called Hall of Heroes and you can buy a copy of it at his Society 6 store if you love it as much as I do.

io9 has an exclusive look at Scott Westerfeld's upcoming post-apocalypse graphic novel, The Spill Zone. It includes an essay that Westerfield wrote and some sneak peeks at artwork from the book. The Spill Zone will be released by First Second at some indeterminate point in the future.

Continuing on the trend of science fiction books and io9, those awesome people have compilled a great list of awesome opening sentences in scifi books. Are there any ones missing?

Tonight is the 200th episode of Supernatural, which is insane to think about considering I've seen most episodes more than once and all of the first five seasons more times than I can honestly comprehend. EW asked 10 of the cast members which episode is their personal favorite. Of course Jared likes a silly one and Jensen liked a sad one.

Amazon has announced the 7 pilots for their 2015 "pilot season". The only one that jumps out to me is the adaptation of The Man in the High Castle, but perhaps someone out there might be interested in the other six that could be coming to an Amazon Prime account near you.

DC Comics announced some massive multi-verse crossing event called Convergence written by the guy behind White Collar (don't even ask me how that happened). I yawned. Then I heard about the Nightwing/Oracle part and now I'm all:

My fangirl shipper heart has grown three times and I'm very excited!

Speaking of being excited, Ms. Gingerhaze - Noelle Stevenson - is going to be writing her very first comic for the big 2 with a story in Marvel's Thor Annual. It will come out in February and you should buy it. Congrats to her and all her amazing, well-deserved success!

That's it from me this week. If you haven't seen Big Hero 6 yet, go see it. It's awesome.

Trailer Park Friday: The All Superheroes All the Time Edition

No preamble. No waiting. You've probably already seen it a bajillion times, but here's the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's kind of creepy. We will be taunted about this movie until we can see it on May 1, 2015.

To balance the Marvel goodness out, lets toss in some DC action. As part of a NYCC wrapup video the comic book publisher released, they included a clip of the upcoming Justice League cartoon movie. While I dread the upcoming slaet of DC live action movies, I'm always game for an animated film. This one is called Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. It will be released on DVD and streaming sometime in early 2015.

There's also a bit about upcoming DC comics and LEGO Batman 3 in this video.

Speaking of LEGO Batman 3, I am so excited about Batman in space. WB Games released a short video talking to some of the voice talent behind the new game, including Stephen Amell (Mr. Arrow of course) and Conan O'Brien (yeah, really). It comes out November 11 and you should preorder it right now!

And finally the very first trailer for the new series version of the comic series Powers came out last week at NYCC as well. This is going to be a not-so-child-friendly comic book show that's a little more violent and "adult" than most of the comic book shows on the air. It stars Sharlto Copley (the dude from District 9) and will be streaming on the Playstation Network (which I didn't even realize was a thing...) starting in December.

 

So what do you think of the Age of Ultron trailer? Are you obsessed with the LEGO games like I am? Let me know in the comments!

What We're Watching: Gotham Pilot Review

Gotham
FOX

Begins Monday, September 22

So technically this is a “What We Watched” and a “What We Will Be Watching” column this week. Back in July we were lucky enough to see the pilot for Fox’s new Batman-related crime drama Gotham. This show focuses on a young Jim Gordon as a police detective discovering exact how far corruption goes in Gotham. How many guys are there really? Who’s corrupted? Who can be trusted?

As expected with anything even remotely Batman-related, Gotham looks gloomy and dark, all shades of gray for both the scenery and the characters. This show will introduce some of the famous Batman villains before they were the big bads that they will become. In the pilot alone, we get a quick shot of baby Catwoman (Kittengirl?) stalking the roof tops, stealing milk from passing strangers. The Penguin is an awkward bumbling henchman of Fish Mooney, a female mob boss who I believe was created solely for this show. Finally a pre-Riddler Edward Nigma is given a brief moment of screen time as a police forensic expert that doesn’t like to give straight answers. It’s also been said that someone that could potentially become the Joker will be slipped into every episode, so perhaps he was the standup comic trying out for Mooney in her club.

The pilot revolves around the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents as they walk their son home from the theatre. It plays out just as one would expect from the comics, but this time, we get to see the immediate aftermath, the failings of the city’s police and the determination of its newest detective to do what’s right. David Mazouz plays little Bruce in an understandable state of shock, only to then start showing signs of menace and a need for revenge as he reappears later on in the show. Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon seems like a solid moral center for a show that can easily go off the rails into cartoon-land. He scowls a lot, but there seems to be a flicker of hope in him that he can have a positive effect against the corruption around him.

My only real complaint about the pilot is learning that Pamela Isley – the future Poison Ivy – has been renamed Ivy Pepper for no apparent reason. She only has a tiny cameo in the pilot, but the ridiculous name change is going to make me grumpy every time she comes on screen. Camren Bicondova as little Selina Kyle makes up for it though with impishness as she clambers over roof tops. In just a few moments, she conveys both Selina’s carefree “I take what I want” attitude along with an empathy for little Bruce after his harrowing experience.

Jada Pinkett Smith looks like she’s having fun chewy scenery as Fish Mooney and Robin Taylor is perfect as awkward Oswald Cobblepot, who dreams of power but doesn’t yet have the guts to do what is necessary to obtain it. This show won’t hurt for fun villains even if Batman’s rouge gallery doesn’t exist just yet. Meanwhile Donal Logue is perfectly happy trying to out-chew Smith as Detective Bullock, the less than squeaky clean partner of Gordon, who attempts to show his younger charge the ropes to maneuver through the corrupt streets of Gotham and the compromises to integrity that need to be made to prevent yourself from getting killed.

The writers are playing fast and loose with canon, but in the pilot, it didn’t bother me much (except for the Poison Ivy name change). Using Renee Montoya as a fed, who potentially had a relationship with Gordon’s fiancé messes up serious canon timelines, but the fact that Montoya is there at all excites me. Overall the show has huge promise, both for one off episodes and an over-arching storyline. It’s not going to be your standard Batman show, but rather a look at the sickness that was so prevalent in Gotham when Bruce was a child that it created Batman in time. This is probably the new show I am most excited about this season and I can’t wait to see what Easter eggs the writers and producers slip into each episode.

Random Tuesday: American Gods Is Back On, Lots of Batman Things & Good Books

No preamble today, just the best random thing I've heard this week - Starz has picked up the American Gods adaptation and Bryan Fuller has signed on to be co-showrunner. This thing just might happen after all.

Speaking of book to television adaptations, did anyone watch The Leftovers on Sunday? It felt really bland and empty to me, so I was wondering if anyone else had thoughts about it. Share in the comments if you watched it!

I haven't read this review of The Girl With All the Gifts because I'm currently reading the book, so I'm just going to leave this here for when I finish. I'm about half way done and all I can say is I do not recommend reading it while eating or right before bed. Even the author warned me! 

So first FOX picked up the Egyptian adventure series Hieroglyph and then they cancelled it months before it was even supposed to air. FOX business practices are weird.

Samantha over at I <3 YA Fiction is discussing bookish pet peeves. Go weigh in on insta-love, love triangles and more items that drive Samantha nuts. My worst pet peeve is probably asshat love interests that need to be punched in the face and yet are somehow desirable.

io9's compilation of many of the fantasy and science fiction books coming out in July. Because our TBR piles needed some new additions, right?

Because Gotham didn't already have enough comic series associated with it, DC is launching two more, including a YA-aimed series taking place in Gotham's most prestigeous boarding school. I rolled my eyes, then saw that Becky Cloonan is writing it and now... I'm probably going to have to read it.

Also in Batman, this is the cover for Batman Eternal #15, created by Dustin Nguyen. I want a big copy, so I hope he has prints for sale at SDCC. You can follow Dustin over on Tumblr.

Speaking of DC, the television branch associated with Warner Brothers announced yesterday that they are doing a MASSIVE panel at Comic Con that will cover Arrow, Constantine, Gotham and Flash. It will include screening both Gotham and The Flash, and I am already having panic attacks at the thought of what I will have to do to get into that panel. Comic Con doesn't start for more than three weeks.

 

I'm going to go lurk on some Comic Con news sites. What awesome random things have you found recently?

Random Tuesday: New Lunar Chronicle Book, Strong Female Characters, Wonder Woman & Other Randomosity

First of all, just a reminder, we're giving away a copy of Geek Dad Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share by Ken Denmead. Submissions are being accepted until 12:01AM on Monday, June 23. You should definitely go over there and enter.

With the World Cup keeping my other half distracted for long stretches of time, I've recently rediscovered Twitter and have been spending far too much time over there discussing Game of Thrones, geek things and what television shows Joe Hill should introduce to his kids. I'm always looking for new people to chat about random things (even when it's not Tuesday), so tweet me something silly and random.

Now to random things!

Bookish people and nerdish people are always talking about Strong Female Characters(TM). The Dissolve (a site introduced to me on Twitter) has an article about Strong Female Characters quickly being taken over by Trinity Syndrome. It's an interesting read and another POV in the whole SFC discussion.

Simon & Schuster has announced the first round of releases from SAGA, their new genre imprint. It includes a couple of new books and some re-releases that come out early next year. io9 has all the pretty covers over here.

I hate Mondays, but this news about a secret prequal to Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series tiding us over until the release of the final book in November 2015 made yesterday a really good day. The cover is a bit more ostentatious than the rest in the series, but considering it's about crazy Queen Lavana, I suppose it makes sense. Can't wait to add it to my collection next January.

Many channels save all their scifi and fantasy programming until the summer. Here are a ton of shows starting or returning over the next few months. (from io9)

HBO lost the rights to adapt Neil Gaiman's American Gods. The president of programming finally came out and said why they never made it into a series. (from The Mary Sue)

I can't fathom that this list of release dates for DC Comics big screen adaptations has much truth to it, but if it does, Shazam is a strange choice to do before Wonder Woman. (from io9)

A mother discusses her young daughter's lack of interest in Wonder Woman and what that says about the state of the currrent state of comicbook media. (from Comic Book Resource)

It makes my heart incredibly happy to see all the success Noelle Stevenson aka Gingerhaze is experiencing lately. I've never met her and yet I'm oddly proud of this stranger whose work I'm very fond of. So have a Gingerhaze She Hulk.

And finally, to be truly random, have some adorable pictures of a stray cat wandering into a lynx enclosure in a Russian zoo.

 

What random things have you come across lately? Any awesome television you're looking forward to watching this summer?

Mini Review: Wonder Woman Volume 4: War by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang & Goran Sudžuka

Wonder Woman Volume 4: War
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang & Goran Sudžuka

DC Comics
I received an advanced e-ARC of this comic from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Released March 18, 2014
144 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

Wonder Woman's father, Zeus, has disappeared. Her family - aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, gods and demigods - form a pantheon of the most powerful beings in the universe. Intent on seizing Zeus' throne, they will destroy anyone who can stand in their way - including Zeus' infant son, who might just have the power to ignite the apocalypse.

But even as Wonder Woman and her few remaining friends scramble to protect the life of her youngest brother, her eldest has arisen. Known only as the First Born, he has spent an eternity in exile, his might and malice growing by the millennium. Now he will burn Earth and Olympus alike if it means he can be king of the ashes.

The final battle is about to begin! The New York Times best-selling team of Brial Azzarello (Joker, 100 Bullets), Cliff Chiang (Green Arrow/Black Canary), and Goran Sudžuka (Y: The Last Man) cry havoc in Wonder Woman: War (collects issues #19-23) - a high-octane, heartbreaking blend of action and emotion that's made Wonder Woman one of the most acclaimed comics in the industry!

I’ve really enjoyed the New 52 reboot of Wonder Woman even if I have a hard time connecting in with the version of WW in the New 52 Justice League. I like how they’ve filled her story with mythology and gods personified, giving her real adversaries with power and strength to match her own.

The storyline has been fairly straight forward: Zeus has yet another love child with a human and then disappears, assumed dead. This new baby now stands to fulfill a prophecy about taking over Olympus and gaining complete control over the entire pantheon, perhaps ending the world. Of course that makes all the other children of Zeus upset and everyone wants to kill the baby. Wonder Woman refuses to let that happen.

The first three volumes had some fun action bits, twists and turns, and even a couple of surprise plot twists that caught me off-guard. But for some reason this fourth volume left me a bit unimpressed. It introduced the first son of Zeus as the major advisory and he’s a pretty bad dude. Because this set of comics focused on him and Wonder Woman’s inevitable clash, it was missing the snark and fun interactions between Wonder Woman and her mythological allies or the fun plotting of seeing the bad guys now led by Apollo.

This volume just left me with a “meh” feeling, giving me nothing to get excited about, though that won’t stop me continuing the series. Wonder Woman and her friends are still great characters. This First Born thing just might be one of the plot points that might drag a bit more than I’d like, a phase that all comics go through. The final pages opened a giant door for interesting storylines in the next volume that I’m looking forward to reading.

 

I received an electronic ARC of this graphic novel from the publisher in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.