The Comics

Comic cover

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)

Issue One

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.

Issue Two

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 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....


  • A talking monkey named Jenny is riding the shoulder of the head Itsibishi scientist just before disaster hits. She looks much more wrinkled and simian than the TV Jenny (or even the monkeys of "Rumble in the Jungle"). However, Jenny's dialogue is much different than what we're used to. "Edgy. Getting nervous." "Edgy. Really worried. Got jitters really bad." "Trouble. Had a feeling. Jitters." She also chews on a phone cord.
  • The Japanese tankers look very like the American ones on the show.
  • An unnamed two-star Marine general (wearing wings and jump wings) salutes the Big Guy as he leaves the S.S. Dark Horse. A Japanese two-star sends Rusty out to fight.
  • At least one member of the Dark Horse crew is seen wearing a Big Guy logo on the back of his orange vest. ( The colors tell what job they do.)
  • Big Guy doesn't really act or think like a robot - because, as the telepathic lizard finds out (and we get one tiny thought-glimpse), a guy named Dwayne is piloting. And from the narration toward the end, it would appear that people in this world know perfectly well that the Big Guy is a piloted suit.

From the fake cover art:

  • The trampled American flag on the Moon on the "Moon Pig" fake cover was probably the inspiration for the flag incident in ep 109.
  • Captain Chernobyl's armored suit is on the opening credits, but there it contains an alien, not a Russian.
  • Dr. Spiderhead (along with the lizard) clearly inspired Dr. Neugog (103, 122).

Parallel Quotes (all by Frank Miller)

  • ITSIBISHI SCIENTIST: Be quiet, Jenny.
  • RUSTY: Ready and rarin' to go, sir! I won't let you down!
  • RUSTY: Maybe I am just a prototype -- but I'm a pretty darn good one!
  • RUSTY: Power up! Blast off!!
  • RUSTY: I sure as shootin' gotta make good!
  • RUSTY: He's hurt a lotta people! And that's no darn good!
  • RUSTY (thinking): Gotta summon up every watt of my nucleo-protonic power -- punch a hole right through him!
  • RUSTY: Comin' at ya!
  • RUSTY: A failure! A crummy little hunk of junk! That's all I am!
  • BIG GUY: And every blast wastes millions of taxpayer dollars!
  • LIZARD: Crunchy as you are on the outside -- we sense there is something soft and human inside you!
  • BIG GUY: ..No! Shake it off, Dwayne! Folks are counting on you!!
  • BIG GUY: For God and country -- for every baby who's ever gonna cut a tooth and every kid who's gonna study hard and get a good job -- for every last living creature on planet Earth -- I'm going in!!
  • BIG GUY: I brought you some candy!
  • BIG GUY: A good, swift clop in the chops!
  • CALL FOR HELP: An alien spacecraft has landed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- and it's up to some fierce mischief! Hurry, Big Guy! We're losing our cows!
  • RUSTY: I'll make a great kid sidekick!

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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