Greg Hunter

Author Archive

Late to the Rack: A Godzilla Vs. Barkley play-by-play

In Comics on January 22, 2010 at 3:04 AM

DC Comics recently announced plans to re-release 1978’s Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali, a beloved piece of pop cheese, in a new hardcover edition. With any luck, this will inspire Dark Horse Comics to reprint their major contribution to novelty comic books featuring famous athletes, Godzilla Vs. Barkley. This single-issue special was put out in December 1993, not long after Barkley was awarded the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award but before Shut Up and Jam!. The story—scripted by Eisner-winner (but not for this comic) Mike Baron—follows Matthew, a spirited preteen, as he cajoles his hero into facing certain death.

Poking fun at a comic like Godzilla Vs. Barkley might seem about as challenging as dunking on a five-foot tall hoop. Baron and his collaborators are no doubt aware of how goofy their premise is, so why bother? Well, the funniest thing about GVB is not the actual Barkley-Godzilla face-off–though Barkley does get in a couple good jabs about Godzilla’s breath. It’s the comic’s relentless depiction of Charles Barkley and Matthew as total creeps. At the end of a story about a superstar athlete, the plucky boy who inspires him, and Godzilla, Godzilla looks like the best person. Read the rest of this entry »

TV Review: Caprica

In Film and Television on January 16, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Esai Morales (left) and Eric Stoltz

For the duration of Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica, two constants propelled the narrative forward: the fleet was always looking for something, being chased, or both.  The show was sometimes overstuffed, but never stagnant.  Battlestar spinoff Caprica–premering January 22 on SyFy, available now on Hulu–is set fifty-eight years before the near-obliteration of the human species that inaugurated BSG.  It promises to trace the rise of the Cylons, humanoid machines that did the chasing in BSG, and as such, Caprica is unavoidably the beginning of a story we already know the ending to.  Caprica‘s premiere hints at what might give the show momentum, but also where it might stall. Read the rest of this entry »

The A-Team Trailer Leaks, or Planning Your July in January

In Film and Television on January 9, 2010 at 6:07 PM

The A-Team teaser trailer leaked early yesterday–most of the sources still up don’t allow embedding–and its minute and a half of footage basically satisfies earlier speculation here on The Gutter about what the film will be. (Liam Neeson gets to mug, but not too much, and Rampage Jackson fails to fill Mr. T’s unfillable shoes.) Now, though, an even more important question: is there any need to check out The A-Team this summer now that we’ve already seen Bradley Cooper fire the guns of a tank in free fall? (Sub-question: is there a term for the moment in a film trailer that almost certainly shows us the best a film has to offer?)

A Toy A Day Keeps The Doldrums Away

In Comics, Games, Personal Tech, The Internet on December 20, 2009 at 5:42 AM

Revisiting your childhood playthings means preparing for disappointment. Play-Doh doesn’t taste as good as you remember, or you realize that Legos are basically lots and lots of choking parts. So how does a member of the working world blow off some steam without tarnishing the past–or worse, resorting to the incessant clicking of a Newton’s Cradle?

Stop it!

Luckily, there’s a blog for that. Toy-A-Day posts downloadable blueprints for paper toys you can assemble yourself with some simple cutting and folding.

Cut loose, DIY-style, and without the baggage. Even if you’ve outgrown Doctor Octopus (I haven’t), you can make your own Mr. Natural!

Or Gorbachev.

Comic Preview: Dark Reign: The List – Spider-Man

In Comics on November 17, 2009 at 3:14 AM

The appeal of Marvel comic books, from the sixties onward, has partially been that characters from different parts of the Marvel universe routinely interact, many living in the same town. Marvel tends to be slightly better at having a shared universe than competitor DC, and Marvel’s ambitious “Dark Reign” storyline takes this phenomenon about as far as it can go.

For the past year, Norman Osborn (formerly the Green Goblin, still evil) has presided as head of U.S. national security, backed by a group of villains disguised as heroes. (Osborn received the job through a series of circumstances too convoluted to summarize, and which required Marvel readers to suspend more disbelief than usual.) The effects of the new status quo have been felt in nearly all individual Marvel titles. Read the rest of this entry »

Late to the Rack: Asterios Polyp

In Comics on November 13, 2009 at 4:46 AM

Well, I wasn’t exactly late to the rack with Asterios Polyp. I bought the graphic novel when it came out this past summer, encouraged by the superlative-filled reviews that came out along with it. Then, knowing I’d only be able to read it for the first time once, I kept it on my shelf for two months, waiting for what felt like the right time. Since I started the book, there have been other times when I’ve been reluctant to pick it up, and for different reasons. Asterios Polyp is economically told, elegantly drawn, and at times a real disappointment–a disappointment for being very good, rather than great, but a disappointment still. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Alec Baldwin a Cylon?

In Film and Television on November 7, 2009 at 1:07 AM

Two Battlestar Galactica nods on 30 Rock in as many weeks! See if you can spot yesterday’s:

Or try here if the embed doesn’t work.

via Hulu

The Obama Generation Turns Its Eye to Genre Film

In Film and Television on October 24, 2009 at 12:52 AM

20090611_moon_560x375

If you visit this site, and you enjoyed Sam Rockwell’s performance in Moon earlier this year…you’re probably me. Or maybe Tom. (He doesn’t love you like I do, Mr. Rockwell!) But if you’re anyone else: apparently director Duncan Jones has thrown his support behind an online campaign to score Rockwell an Oscar nomination. The petition’s here–wouldn’t hurt, right? (While you’re at it, people are FED UP with the Hillsboro, IL McDonald’s.)

via /Film

Motion Comics: Bad Cartoons or Bad Comics?

In Comics on October 20, 2009 at 1:08 AM

Motion comics are the comic book industry’s most visible foray into new media since, well, maybe ever. These items, playable in iTunes or on most internet browsers, are more viewed than read. True to the name, characters in motion comics move around in panels, and word balloon dialogue is performed by voice actors.

Of all the major comic book companies, Marvel has invested the most in motion comics. A few months ago, popular writer Brian Michael Bendis‘ new Spider-Woman series was launched simultaneously via motion comics and print issues. Spider-Woman is available via iTunes, and can be found on Hulu and YouTube for a limited time as well. Spider-Woman is a curious choice for such a large-scale push–the character has a backstory so convoluted that I can’t see non-comic readers warming to the title, and Bendis’ name is only a draw among confirmed Marvelites. Marvel’s next motion comic series, an adaptation of Joss Whedon’s tenure on Astonishing X-Men, seems like a more lucrative move (even if all Whedon’s dialogue reads like Gilmore Girls for geeks).


Read the rest of this entry »

In Anticipation of Venture Brothers Season 4: Five Ancillary Characters I Hope Reappear This Season

In Film and Television on October 16, 2009 at 10:24 PM

IfancyThe Intangible Fancy
What We Know: The Intangible Fancy is a criminal who presumably can alter his state of matter. He’s closely modeled after the Shadow Thief, enemy of D.C. Comics’ Hawkman, and most likely marks the only time anyone has bothered to parody the Shadow Thief.
Great Name or Great Costume: Great Name.
Likelihood of Reappearance: Low. Like Power Plug (see below), Intangible Fancy has helped fill the background in a few Venture Brothers episodes, but there’s no indication the character will be developed any further. Nor should he be, probably.

PlugThe Power Plug
What We Know:
Very little. Power Plug typically appears when a group of villains is seen doing unvillainlike things, such as attending the Venture family yard sale.
Great Name or Great Costume: Great Costume.
Likelihood of Reappearance: Medium. The Power Plug is and will remain a background character, but has a better outfit than any other background characters.
Read the rest of this entry »