Giri’s Half-Dozen: A “Big Hero 6” Retrospective (Part 4)

Hello, my friends.  Their heroics have stretched from Japan to a Japanese-influenced American city, but a particular power of six still has enough heroic juices for one last hurrah around the C-Cubed.  As such, I welcome you all to the final entry of…

Big Hero 6!

Over the course of twenty years, they’ve stopped a vengeful spirit of nuclear past, tangled with a possessive felon and started over in the House of Mouse to prevent technological terror from a misguided figure.  Now, they look to delve into expanding their protective power over their city as we delve into our final subject for this retrospective simply called…

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Published in October 2017 (I assume, since that’s it’s listed publication date as I couldn’t find out how many copies were initially sold), this is the team’s most recent comic book entry to date.  For this entry, we have an anthology of sorts, except that Alessandro Ferrari is our writer throughout this entire comic.  How will San Fransokyo’s finest handle their superheroics within this collection of short stories?  Let’s fist-bump our way in and find out.

We open on our first story called “My Best Friend” (Pencils: Roberto Di Salvo) as Hiro tells Aunt Cass that he’s going to do a quick video recording session before lunch.  After reaching his work station, he begins his video diary entry by talking about his robotic comrade ultimately deciding to “start from the beginning”.  From there, he launches into the early events of the film.  He begins with his brother Tadashi introducing him to his classmates before he heads towards an illegal bot fight meeting.  Afterwards, he introduces his creation to Hiro by ripping some duct tape off of his arm.  From there, Baymax comes to life and proceeds to heal the abrasion with an antibacterial spray.  After Hiro is impressed with Baymax’s make-up, Tadashi tells him that he sees his creation going on to help lots of people.

As Hiro continues his video log, he leans back too far and falls down.  Upon hearing an ‘OW’ from his human companion, Baymax springs to life.  Hiro lets him know that he’s just talking about their initial meeting and invites him to stick around for their all-important second meeting.  Following Tadashi’s death, he’s in the middle of his depressive moping when a piece of his fighting robot falls off and lands on his toe.  His cry of ‘OW’ springs Baymax to life.  He proceeds to inadvertently cause some minor grief towards our young lad before he attempts to stuff his brother’s creation back into its recharge station.  He falls off and discovers some minor movement from under his bed.  He takes out a microbot from his hoodie pocket and wonders why it’s moving around since the rest of his invention was supposedly destroyed in the school fire.  Baymax detects that its trying to reach a particular destination, to which Hiro casually tells him to go investigate.  A short time later after realizing what he just did, he sees Baymax casually walking through traffic in an attempt to find out where the microbot is trying to go as he hurriedly chases after him.

After arriving at a rundown shack, Hiro and Baymax make their way inside before coming across a machine that has successfully reproduced the lad’s invention much to his confusion.  Suddenly, the microbots come to life as Yokai sends them after our heroes.  Fortunately, they’re able to escape.  When they try to report this incident to the police, the officer doesn’t entirely believe them.  As Hiro tries to have Baymax properly back up their claim, his robotic comrade starts to run low on power as he ultimately has to sneak him back up to his room.

Later, he manages to get his personal robot upstairs and placed into its recharge station before lying down in exhaustion.  Sometime later, Baymax comes along and mentions how “Tadashi is here”.  However, Hiro doesn’t believe in the notion of his brother living on through peoples’ memories and finds his brother’s loss to be too hard on him emotionally.  As such, Baymax places his hand on the lad’s computer and instantly downloads every piece of information the world wide web has on “personal loss”.  From there, he contacts Tadashi’s friends before giving Hiro a hug.  With some newfound comfort, Hiro gets to work on setting his sights on capturing Yokai.  As such, he creates a battle armor for Baymax.  Over the course of the film, he would recruit Tadashi’s friends into his heroic cause, giving them their own battle suits and even gave his robotic comrade an upgraded armor.  From there, the mini-adaptation ends with him vowing to capture Yokai the right way alongside his newfound allies.

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Following some informative pages about our six heroes, we move on to a single-page tale that proves that even the most ludicrous move can turn out to be “The Special Move” (Pencils & Ink: Claudio Sciarrone, Colors: Otto Schmidt & Diogo Saito).  Down in Hiro’s workshop (located in the family garage), he looks to give Baymax one final move and aims to have it be “something powerful”.  He downloads it onto a specialized data chip and installs it into his robotic companion.  However, it turns out that it was battle moves, but “ballet” as Baymax gracefully dances throughout the workspace.

We then reach a special story that takes place prior to the film’s student showcase as our lad’s invention will cause some trouble before our foe even comes along and create their own “Tech Nightmare” (Pencils & Inks: Cladio Sciarrone, Colors: Diogo Saito).  We open with Tadashi and his classmates coming across Hiro who’s currently sleeping after working all night preparing for the upcoming event.  However, Tadashi mentions that they’re controlled by a neural transmitter as his young brother slept with it on his head.  Because of Hiro’s dreams, the nanobots come to life and prepare to harm his older sibling and his classmates.  GoGo wants them to wake the young lad up, but Tadashi says that his brother is a heavy sleeper.  After Wasabi is unable to open the garage door, Honey decides to take matters into her own hands as she throws her Power Purse which hits Hiro on the head and wakes him up.  From there, the microbots fall onto the floor as he wishes to show the group what he’s created.  However, they’ve already gotten their fair share as they take their leave as the tale ends with Tadashi telling him that despite the lack of a proper rehearsal, his invention is still a success.

Our next story sees our team engage an absurd adventure that’s fueled with an “Adventurous Imagination” (Pencils & Ink: Claudio Sciarrone, Colors: Cladio Scarrone & Diogo Saito).  We open on Akuma Island just off the mainland coast as our team investigates an abandoned facility.  Fredzilla then delves into an overblown narration as he accidentally sets off a silent alarm.  Suddenly, they fall down a trap hole and are suddenly ensnared in plasma coils before they’re met upon by their felon named Dr. Rat.  Fortunately, Wasabi cuts himself and his teammates free as they engage their foe.  Afterwards, GoGo snaps Fred out of his fantasy as it turns out that they fell down a ramp, fell into some spider-webs and the only adversary they faced was a plain rat.  Despite that, the tales ends with him still having his chipper attitude as he takes his leave.

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For this one-page tale, our quickie story gives a comedic flair out of a particular “Roast Hero” (Pencils & Ink: Claudio Sciarrone, Colors: Cladio Scarrone & Diogo Saito).  Hiro and Baymax are hanging out at Fred’s mansion as they see their teammate demonstrating his pyro power.  Suddenly, Fredzilla gets an idea for what else he can do with his ability.  As such, the payoff ending sees him roasting several marshmellows at once as Baymax states that this will help “fight crime on an empty stomach”.

Our final tale sees a early minor foe get some sort of sympathetic attention as we find out who will prevail, though not in the way he might think, as “The Winning Robot”.  Hiro and Baymax are confronted by Yama who looks to get his revenge on the young lad after losing their illegal bot battle in embarrassing fashion.  As such, he introduces his new robot called Big Yama as Hiro feigns some impressive praise before he and Baymax make a run for it.  Yama chases after them when he suddenly gets incredibly exhausted and ultimately passes out.  Because he hears the guy say ‘OW’, Baymax is compelled to provide medical attention to him against Hiro’s wishes.  He scans Yama’s body and tells him that he’s suffering from heat exhaustion.  As such, Baymax activates the Ammonium Chloride cold packs on his skin and proceeds to hug him.  During all of this, Hiro notices the controls to Big Yama and manages to reach for it.  Afterwards, a fully-recovered Yama reaches for his controls to resume his attack, but ends up seeing his creation fall apart.  As Hiro reveals that he took out the main component, the story ends with him and Baymax running off and escaping.

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On an interesting final to end this comic on, a single page shows how co-director Don Hall developed the version of Baymax we all know and love.  He spends some time at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as he oversees the study of robotics,especially with mechanical limbs encased in vinyl and performing simple tasks from brushing teeth to handling different objects in other ways.  This gets used in designing Hiro’s robotic ally and helps him become a helpful healer who can also throw down with the best of them.  Not a whole lot here, but it’s still some interesting stuff.

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For this final comic, it’s light & enjoyable entertainment for both kids and fans of these characters.  While I question its partial adaptation at the beginning which doesn’t go all the way with it, the other ventures from a one-page build-up to a kiddy joke to some relatively funny adventures that sees our team involved in odd situations.  While not really in line to show some further development to these characters, these extra ventures are coupled with colorful artwork, decent pacing and keeping the familiar tone of the film.  Of course, this isn’t even close to being the end for these six heroes.  They already got their own cartoon series and come early 2019, another comic called “Baymax Returns” will hit the shelves.  More than likely, I’ll revisit this team in some form some time down the road.  Until then, I would like to wish this team a Happy 20th Anniversary!  It’s amazing how far they’ve come and with the various changes they’ve gone through over the years.  Now that I’ve brought them even more exposure by bringing their history into the light, it excites me even more to see how Disney will help the team moving forward.  Either way, it should be a Japanese-sized six-pack of fun for all to enjoy.

Big Hero 6 (created by Steven T. Seagle & Duncan Rouleau) is owned by Marvel Comics, the film is owned by Walt Disney Studios and the comic published by Joe’s Books.

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