WFTM Podcast 17.1: Just the Books Please

It’s our very first split podcast! This week in books and comics, we’ve been reading the first volume of Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman¸Three Days in April by Edward Ashton and discussing banned books, Moon Night and a return of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories written by Ann M. Martin. Join Leslie and Fernando as they geek out about books and comics!

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 17.1?

Where we just talk about books and comics!

News:

Ann M Martin is going to write a new Mrs. Piggle Wiggle story!

Moon Knight is coming back in 2016

It’s Banned Book Week!

What We’re Reading:

Three Days in April by Edward Ashton

Wonder Woman Volume 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang (spoilers starting 32.07)

What We’re Reading This Week:

Fernando: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden and Robot Uprisings

Leslie: Uprooted by Naomi Novak and Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer 

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

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.

Trailer Park Friday: Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, The Fault in Our Stars & Book Trailers Galore

I am so done with today. I just want to curl up somewhere with a book and some cookies and pretend like today never happened. But first I bring you trailers!

It's nearly the day where everyone crowds around their television to watch hours of commercials (or a football game, whatevs), but for whatever reason, people are putting out their Super Bowl ads out early or creating commercials for their commercials. That includes a teaser for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which comes out May 2.

This is a Wonder Woman short film that shows the potential for a WW movie if only Warner Brothers would stop being stupid and/or lazy to create one. It's very stylistic and doesn't have much of a story, but the visual are good. Except the ending - that part didn't make sense to me. It was directed by directed by Sam Balcomb of Rainfall Films, and you can see some of Rainfall Films other movies on their Youtube channel here.

This next confession is probably going to get me thrown out of the book blogger community, but I've never read The Fault in Our Stars (or any John Green for that matter). I know it's a book that will make me cry and I haven't yet had the courage to read it and be depressed for days on end. This trailer is reinforcing that fear of this book and there is not enough money that would make me see this film in a theatre. I only ugly cry at home, thank you very much. The film adaptation comes out June 6.

Read More

Leslie's Favorite Reads of 2013: Time Travel, Aliens and, Of Course, Zombies

I actually hit my goal of reading 100 books in 2013, barely squeaking out that last book just a day or two before the end of the year. Despite the long list of reads, I found myself having a difficult time remembering enough awesome books I’d read to justify a Best Books of 2013 list. Nothing immediately jumped to mind like with last year’s list when Feed, Robopocalypse, Dearly, Departed and Cinder refused to let my brain go months after reading them.

Of the 100 books I read, I rated only 1 with a single star and five others with 2 stars. That seems pretty good, right? Another 26 got three stars, though looking at the list, some of those might need to be demoted. The bulk of my reads got 4 stars with 44 books landing in that category. And yet there aren’t that many in the list that I would be happy to revisit.

What was even more bizarre that, of the 24 books I rated 5 stars, not many of them truly got me excited to write another word about them. Most of the year was spent reading the second books in series that didn’t live up to their predecessors or the final books in series that just made me depressed with boredom. Despite that, I was able to pull together a list of 8 books that I could honestly recommend with a happy heart and a clear conscious.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – This was one of only three books that came to mind when I started to compile this list. I was happy to find that Meyer recreated the magic of Cinder despite adding an entirely different story line and a new set of characters. It was difficult to put the book down from beginning to end and it even distracted me from an on-going illness, so you know it must have been good.

Something Strange & Deadly / A Darkness Strange & Lovely by Susan Dennard – I thought I’d read SS&D ages before, not as my first read of 2013, but Darkness was going to be on this list anyway. Dennard created a new sort of zombie thriller with steampunk elements, highly amusing side characters and a truly amazing heroine with a mind of her own and an attitude that was a match to any of her male counterparts. Though Dennard made me wait 200 pages until the dashingly ungentlemanly Daniel made an appearance in the sequel, it didn’t dampen the fun and excitement of the story. I have high hopes for the final book in the series and hope it will break me out of the series ending blues I’ve found myself in.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – The world needs more alien books where the aliens are both creepy and yet certain “bad guys” are steeped in shades of gray. Yancey got my heart pounding and in return I beat the book against my couch repeatedly in my strange way to encourage the characters to RUN FASTER. Despite being the first of a series, there were answers without the explanation police stepping in and yet still so much mystery that I need more NOW!

Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman – I discovered Angry Robot publishing in 2013, which is probably the most fortuitous moments of my blogging career. Though vN and iD didn’t make this list, they were some of the most unique and intriguing reads I’ve set my eyes on in ages. Newman’s start to her faerie series, The Split Worlds, left me a little speechless with its vivid world building and her ability to somehow make faeries living concurrently with the real world make sense. It was one of the books I truly couldn’t put down. I can’t believe I haven’t made it on in the series, but that’s definitely a goal for 2014.

Three by Jay Posey – Speaking of Angry Robot, I couldn’t leave this book out of my top of 2013 with a clear conscience. I was blown away with this book and Posey’s narrative style. It is nothing like I’ve read before and takes played out tropes from horror and western genres to mold them into something new and creepy and exciting. And then the ending knocked me off my feet, leaving me stunned and with no idea of where this series is headed. That, of course, just left me wanting more.

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill – Another book where I had no expectations or idea where things were going to go. That worked out for the best with this twisty time travel story that actually made sense. I wasn’t really able to write much of a review of the book back in August and I write one now because this is one book best read blind. Having no idea what to expect or any preconceived ideas on plot made this an incredibly pleasant surprise.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas – I wasn’t overly enthusiastic for Throne of Glass, probably because by the time I read it, the entire blogosphere was going nuts over it and too many people were comparing it to Game of Thrones. Despite that – because I am a completest that can’t stop a series in the middle – I picked up the sequel and was delighted by its mix of romance and wizardry. Putting Celaena in the awkward position of working for the man she hates most while she falls for the head of the guard made for an exciting set up. COM built extensively on the mythology started in TOG, which combined with the action to become a fun ride full of adventure and drama.

Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chang – What is a favorites list without one comic series? I read a lot of DC comics this fall, catching up on all my favorite characters’ adventures in the New 52. Unfortunately the Bat Family stories got incredibly convoluted and twisted together, and while Batwoman and Nightwing remain my favorites and Batman & Robin started winning me over towards the end, it was Wonder Woman that really surprised me. Azzarello and Chang surround Diana with mythological gods and fantastical wars between super-powered deities to great and surprising effect. It thrilled me while at the same time making me depressed that no one seems to be able to create a viable film showcasing the awesome that is Wonder Woman. This is unlike any of the other DC comics I picked up this year and it benefits from going a little out there.

In retrospect, my reading list for 2013 was severely lacking in science fiction, which could explain my general blah-ness towards the year’s books. It’s all heavy on YA romance fantasy, so perhaps some adjustments will have to be made for 2014.

What are some of your favorites from 2013? I need some great books to add to my 2014 TBR mountain.

Comic Review: Wonder Woman Volume 1 & 2: Blood & Guts by Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang

I had a bit of a Wonder Woman-filled weekend, watching the DC Original Animated movie and then reading the first two volumes of the newest on-going comic. Based on the titles it seems to be appropriate to review these two volumes of the New 52 Wonder Woman series together.

Wonder Woman Volume 1: Blood
Wonder Woman Volume 2: Guts
Written by Brian Azzarello
Illustrated by Cliff Chiang & Tony Akins

DC Comics
144 pages
Comics / Superheroines / Mythology

Find Volume 1 & Volume 2 on Goodreads

Order Volume 1 & Volume 2 from Amazon

Volume 1: Blood

The first six issues of the critically acclaimed new WONDER WOMAN series are collected in hardcover! Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, has kept a secret from her daughter all her life – and when Wonder Woman learns who her father is, her life will shatter like brittle clay. The only one more shocked than Diana by this revelation? Bloodthirsty Hera – so why is her sinister daughter, Strife, so eager for the truth to be told? Superstar writer Brian Azzarello creates a new direction for one of DC's best-known heroes, with spectacular art by Cliff Chiang and Tony Akins!

Volume 2: Guts

Wonder Woman goes to hell! After playing Poseidon, Hades, and Hera against each other, Hades strikes back by kidnapping Zola and trapping her in the Underworld. It's up to Wonder Woman — with a little help from the God of Love and the God of Smiths — to break Zola out. But what is Hades' real game, and once you get into the land of the dead, how exactly do you get out?

I hate to admit this, but I don’t know much about Wonder Woman other than what’s out there in the public pop culture consciousness. The television show was before my time and for whatever reason I gravitated to Batgirl, Batwoman and a slew of Vertigo heroines before Wonder Woman every time. With the opportunity to review the up-coming third volume in the current on-going series and several reviews saying the series is pretty awesome, I thought this weekend was a good time to educate myself on all things Princess Diana of Themyscira.

For lack of a better analogy, Wonder Woman is the Justice League’s Thor. Her background and on-going family life is steeped in mythology and feuds between all-powerful gods. I suppose that may be one of the reasons barring Hollywood from turning this recognizable character into a profitable television or movie series. By the end of the second volume, it’s not Diana’s story. It’s the story of Hera’s jealousy of her husband Zeus’s extra-marital affairs with mortals. It’s the story of Poseidon and Hades fighting for the throne of Zeus after he goes missing. It’s the story of Apollo coming in to mess everything up with the help of his sister Artemis. It’s Strife causing… well, strife and chaos for enjoyment. It’s Eros with a pair of golden guns instead of arrows, Demeter quietly plotting in the forest, Hermes being a part-time badass, and then there is Hephaestus and Aphrodite being the unlikeliest pairing.

Read More

Random Tuesday: Doctor Who Fancasting, Fables the Movie, GOT Reactions & More

You want to know something random? We've been watching Downton Abbey (finally) and I'm finding it more addicting then many other shows on television that should appeal to my genre-loving nature. Costume dramas aren't usually in my wheelhouse, but this is kind of awesome in that adorable yet sad sort of way. Will no one ever be happy?*

*We're only in the middle of season 2, so no spoilers please.

Something else that's random? People are dying in every show that we are currrently watching. I'm ready for something fluffy and fun that does not have people dying. Any suggestions on a good television series to watch? Preferably on Netflix.

Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who after saying that he and Steven Moffat were coming back for season 8. Whatevs. Of course fan casting is alive and well and everywhere.

DC Comics' Fables is being turned into a movie. This will be a nightmare or AWESOME. There is no inbetween.

If you haven't seen the last episode of Game of Thrones, don't click here. If you have, click here to see the best Twitter responses to the episode. Then be sad with me in the comments.

A hospital in Brazil turned their children's cancer ward into the Hall of Justice and are treating kids with "superformula". When I first read this story, I may have gotten something in my eye.

Also this:

Rock Star Wonder Woman by Charles Hobart

Winner Winner Chicken dinner.... Win a copy of Clash of Kings

Well we are midway through our week and I must say it has been a blast so far. But it would not be a Fern week with out a give-a-way. I spent some of the day yesterday trying to pimp out the the article below by tweeting with the hash tag #WhereisWonderWoman. It was a futile attempt. But then I had an idea, ask the wonderful audience to help. 

I really believe in the #WhereisWonderWoman idea, Hollywood needs to step up and make a well written female superhero movie. So, here is how you enter the contest: tweet out your thoughts on the Where is Wonder Woman article, use the hash tag #WhereisWonderWoman and also place a comment in the article itself. 

If you don't think you can come up with an original post just retweet my post:

As you may know I am a huge Game of Thrones fan and I happen to have a new copy of The Clash of Kings waiting to be won. Even if you are not the biggest fan, I'm sure you know someone who is. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Saturday.

Enter the contest by Tweeting a comment about the Where is Wonder Woman article with the hash  tag #WhereisWonderWoman OR Retweet my tweet above AND also place a comment in the Where is Wonder Woman article. The Winner will receive a copy of  The Clash of Kings. Contest ends on Friday, March 15 at 11:59 PM, so your comment and tweet must happen before then.