PopCultHQ received an advance review copy for the Second Edition of BIG GUY AND RUSTY THE BOY ROBOT from Dark Horse Comics. Available now at comic book shops & April 18th in bookstores, the creative team for this trade paperback collection features writing from Frank Miller & Geof Darrow, illustrations from Geof Darrow, colors from Dave Stewart, and letters by Bill Spicer & Peter Doherty.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
BIG GUY AND RUSTY THE BOY ROBOT TPB (Second Edition)
“Rusty Fights Alone!“
“Terror Comes Forth on the Fourth!!!!!!”
Genre: Superhero, Science-Fiction, Action/Adventure
Format: FC, 112 pages; TPB, 7” x 10”
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Age range: 16+
Comic shop release date: 3/29/23
Bookstore release date: 4/18/23
Collects Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot #1—#2, and one 9-page story from DHP3 #1.
Front and center, America! Here comes action! Here comes adventure! Here comes The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot–a roller-coaster ride through the minds of Geof Darrow and Frank Miller, the tag team that set you reeling with their hard-hitting series, Hard Boiled! Everything you remember about being thirty-eight-years-old and watching monster movies is right here, but with all the magnified detail that you always wanted to see.
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
BIG GUY AND RUSTY THE BOY ROBOT TPB
Anyone who grew up in the 90’s will remember how much fun the animated series was. The wholesome quirky and yet out of this world nature of Big Guy and Rusty and their adventures made it a staple of 90’s pop culture iconography. Now, fans of the show and the original comic can go back to the beginning and the brilliant partnership that started it all. For this dedicated comics fan, the most standout thing was the overwhelming nostalgia the whole TPB brings, and the blast from the past feeling it will give to everyone.
Writing: Frank and Geof clearly had a lot of fun working on the script for this series. There’s so much intensity and spirit throughout every page, it is downright delectable. Every page is jam-packed with action that is so close to bursting out of its panels it is insane. There is a true spirit of adventure within the writing, of the sort that gives a callback to the thrilling adventures of Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and other science fiction thrillers. The writing alone is a major reason to give this book a read.
Art: Geof Darrow goes 100% all out with the artwork in this book. It is fun, it is exciting, it is page-to-page of pure thrills, chills, and robot spills. His layouts bring all the details of each panel to bear, whether it is the chaos and destruction the monster leaves in its wake or the first time readers see Big Guy in the cockpit of his ship. Whatever the scene, Geof leaves readers wanting more and, on the next page, he gives them more.
Colors: Dave Stewart is one of the legendary names in the colorist field. Over the years, he has worked on some of the biggest books in the biz – from Darwyn Cooke’s DC: New Frontier to Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. It comes as no surprise to this reviewer that Dave had been attached to a comic that still has strong ties to the community even now in 2023. His color choices for the whole series are awesome. Big and Rusty look as they do in the animated series with their color palettes, which is comforting In and of itself. The real trick of it all is the colors used for the monster, its sundry minions, and the utterly insane destruction and chaos left behind. Dave does it all, and more, pairing his colors with Geof’s art. The mashup is magnificent.
Letters: Bill Spicer went to town on the lettering for these two issues.
<Editor’s Note: While Bill Spicer did provide letters on the two-issue, main storyline collected in this trade, this collected edition also included a 9-page story from DHP3 #1 entitled “Terror Comes Forth on the Fourth!!!!!!” The letterer of record on that story is Peter Doherty.>
The best way to describe his work is like having a movie with the subtitles on. You hear the dialogue and see the action, but the subtitles can help aid in the viewing experience and add to it. With Big Guy and Rusty, we get that in spades. Something to pay attention to with his work is with the giant monster and Big Guy himself. These are two very explosive and loud characters and that comes through in a big way thanks to the lettering. A tip of the hat to Bill and his contribution to the comic.
If you were a kid in the 90’s, you will remember how fun the animated series that adapted this comic was. Everything about it was meant for youngsters. And now as adults, you can relive that childhood thrill thanks to the second printing of the trade paperback. The entire creative team deserves major applause for what they did to bring this comic to life. Not only does this comic earn its high rating from this reviewer, it earns a place on my bookshelf.
5 out of 5 Stars
About Dark Horse Comics:
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics is an excellent example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and transform a company with humble beginnings into an industry giant. Over the years, Dark Horse has published the work of creative legends such as Yoshitaka Amano, Margaret Atwood, Paul Chadwick, Geof Darrow, Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Faith Erin Hicks, Kazuo Koike, Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Kentaro Miura, Moebius, Chuck Palahniuk, Wendy Pini, Richard Pini, and Gerard Way. In addition, Dark Horse has a long tradition of establishing exciting new creative talent throughout all of its divisions. The company has also set the industry standard for quality licensed comics, graphic novels, collectibles, and art books, including Stranger Things, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, Minecraft, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Dragon Age, James Cameron’s Avatar, Game of Thrones, Mass Effect, StarCraft, The Witcher, and Halo. Today, Dark Horse Comics is one of the world’s leading entertainment publishers.