“Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot” was a science fiction superhero franchise that has become a beloved part of American animation culture by nerds like me. Created by Frank Miller and Geof Darrow, the franchise began as a two-issue comic book series in 1995, published by Dark Horse Comics. The success of the comics led to the creation of an animated TV series that ran for 26 episodes between 1999 and 2001.
Frank Miller and Geof Darrow created “Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot” as a tribute to Japanese giant robot anime and manga, which they both loved. Miller, known for his groundbreaking work in comics such as “Batman: Year One” and “Sin City,” provided the story and script for the comic book series, while Darrow, who had previously worked with Miller on “Hard Boiled,” provided the stunning artwork. The first issue of the comic book was published in November 1995 and was an immediate success.
“Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot” takes place in a near-future version of America where giant robots are commonplace. The story revolves around a government agency called the Global Network for the Retrieval of Extraterrestrial Science and Technology (GN-REST), which is responsible for protecting the world from threats both extraterrestrial and domestic. The agency’s secret weapon is the “Big Guy,” a massive robot piloted by a human operator, and his sidekick, “Rusty,” a small but powerful robot with a childlike personality.
The success of the comic book series led to the creation of an animated TV series, which premiered on September 18, 1999, on Fox Kids. The series was produced by Columbia TriStar Television and Dark Horse Entertainment and featured the voice talents of Pamela Adlon as Rusty and Jonathan David Cook as Big Guy. The series also featured the voices of Gabrielle Carteris, Stephen Root, and Kathy Kinney.
Themes in “Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot” revolve around the ideas of friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, and the dangers of technology in the wrong hands. The show often explores the ethical and moral implications of artificial intelligence and the responsibility that comes with creating and controlling advanced machines. Additionally, it deals with issues of power and control, as well as the importance of teamwork in overcoming obstacles. These themes make “Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot” not only an entertaining animated show but also a thought-provoking exploration of complex societal issues.