Once upon a time (back in 1995), writer Frank Miller and artist Geof Darrow, who were collaborators on the comic Sin City, got together on a limited series for Dark Horse called Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot. It was a tribute to giant robots and tiny ones and the great comics, movies, and tv shows of the past. It was a tribute to the debts they owed to Japanese anime and monster movies. In short, it was two issues worth of fun.
These two issues are available in graphic novel form from Dark Horse, and quite probably at your local comic shop or bookstore.
Summary (includes spoilers)
We begin the story at Itsibishi, a Tokyo company doing an experiment to create life. The experiment becomes possessed, turns into a sort of evil Godzilla, and stomps its way through downtown while using its drool to turn humans into small dinosaurs and its demonic telepathic powers to discourage human resistance. All efforts to stop it fail, including those of the Japanese military. A two-star general calls on Rusty, the untested Japanese boy robot, but he gets splatted, too. The cabinet is reluctant to admit that Japan needs help, but then the monster splats them. With almost his last breath, the president of Japan activates his Big Guy signal...and somewhere in the Persian Gulf, the signal is heard.
Big Guy flies his rocket plane to Tokyo and begins kicking butt... well, actually, getting his butt kicked. What with not wanting to kill civilians and all that demonic mind control, the Big Guy is in a heap of trouble. Then, when things are looking up, the drool takes over his hand and he must discard it. But at last he wins by plugging a subway lasso into his wrist (instead of Rusty). Big Guy flies the giant lizard into space and the US nukes that puppy in orbit. In gratitude, the nation of Japan presents Big Guy with Rusty.
Here are the last two pages of the comic, as formerly seen on www.spe.sony.com/tv/kids/bigguy/. Here's panel 1, panel 2, panel 3, panel 4, panel 5, panel 6, panel 7, panel 8, panel 9, panel 10, and panel 11.
Big Guy also guest-starred in issues #6 and #7 of the comic Madman back in 1995. Jill Weber let me read hers (thanks, Jill!). The story takes place in the Madman universe, not the BG&R one. In fact, Rusty does not appear.
The hero Madman sees Big Guy coming to take a friend of his into government custody. He objects but can't stop the Big Guy. He then goes back in time to stop Big Guy (thanks to a handy mad scientist and time machine) and finds out that bigger things are afoot. Big Guy and Madman team up to fight baddies. They part as friends, with Madman esteeming the Big Guy as a mentor.
As befits the title, this storyline is whacked. It's also fairly clear that people know the Big Guy is a human in power armor, but how or why they know this is unclear. However, the Geof Darrow cover is pretty nice, so you might want to keep an eye out.
The Worlds of the BG&R Comic and TV Series
When you read the comic and then watch the TV show, the differences are clear. While much of the materiel may be the same (the S.S. Dark Horse, Big Guy's plane and weaponry) as are Big Guy and Rusty's personalities, everything else is very different. But there are some interesting links, and Geof Darrow in his role as adviser took it upon himself to design many of the TV show's monsters and vehicles, while others were taken from the pages of the graphic novel.
So let's take a look at some of these hidden similarities....
From the fake cover art:
Parallel Quotes (all by Frank Miller)
And one you'll never see on television:
BIG GUY: I've only got one God, mister, and He sure as shootin' ain't no overgrown iguana!
Most of the pictures and wallpaper on the old site are from the comic or the comic's universe.
Dark Horse Comics is perfectly willing to sell you all kinds of Big Guy comics merchandise.
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