Monday, July 25, 2011

The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot Review

The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot
Dark Horse Comics
Oversized Softcover Trade Paperback
80 pages
$14.95 (1996)
ISBN 9781569712016

Contributors: Frank Miller, Geof Darrow, Claude Legris, and Bill Spicer

Reprints: The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot #1-2 (of 2)

Synopsis: Japanese scientists unwittingly unleash an unholy monster from the Earth's distant past on the unsuspecting populace of Tokyo.  The creature is the size of a skyscraper, possesses the combined multi-species memories of the dinosaurs, an accelerated bio-manipulation power, and is bent on subjugating mankind to its will.  Japan's only hope is the untested boy robot Rusty and his nucleoprotonic power source. 
The unstoppable creature rampages through the city and bats away the insignificant boy robot as if he were a gnat.  The Americans send in the last line of defense for the planet -- the Big Guy!  Can even the power of the "robot" champion of Earth prevail against raging primeval fury?  Will Rusty break out of his depression over failure for long enough to help?

Pros: Larger format offers better viewing of Darrow's incredibly detailed artwork, Miller's writing remains pulp, very well done

Cons: Simple story with few surprises, no sequel (although a 26-episode television cartoon aired in 1999-2001)

Mike Tells It Straight: Miller and Darrow follow up on their smash hit Hard Boiled  with this very well-received two-issue series.  The collected edition comes in two flavors - this oversized color version and an even larger king-size edition in black & white.  This edition is by far the more appealing and improves on the original standard comic issues with superior page size to appreciate Darrow's incredibly detailed artwork.  The king size version loses points for being B&W without Claude Legris' wonderful color work (although preferable for those focused primarily on Darrow's artwork). The story, action and dialogue are very simple - showcasing the widescreen comic format before it became a widespread panic with Warren Ellis' The Authority  or Planetary.  The animated series was pretty good too and gives much more detail on the characters than this incredibly brief intro story.  Recommended for the stunning artwork and be ready for a quick read!

TO BUY and Recommendations: