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Whether it's our discussion of a recent convention, a hot new book, or a movie based on a comic, it'll be right here in our "Comics" section.

Splash Page Issue 3: Big Hero 6

by G.C. Rodriguez


     Did you see the previews for this movie and think, "Nah. It's Disney. It's probably really kiddy and something I can just catch one day on cable?" If you did, shame on you. This movie was ridiculous.'s based on a Marvel comic series! Frank Landau took his precocious son to this movie and they had a blast, but since he took him on opening day of the movie, then it's wasn't what he would consider an "AAR." I get to do this splash page. Suck it, LANDAU!

Landau: You're just jealous that you didn't get invited Rodriguez: To hang out with you and you're kid while he eats popcorn and drinks a slushie?......maybe. If I come to the next movie, will you buy me Sour Patch Kids? Landau: Sure thing, buddy. 

Landau: You're just jealous that you didn't get invited
Rodriguez: To hang out with you and you're kid while he eats popcorn and drinks a slushie?......maybe. If I come to the next movie, will you buy me Sour Patch Kids?
Landau: Sure thing, buddy. 

     Big Hero 6 the movie is loosely based on the comic book series of the same name. When Disney acquired the rights to Marvel's properties,  their CEO encouraged his creative team to look through the Marvel catalog and find adaptable works.  Since Big Hero 6 was a relatively obscure title,  Marvel didn't have any issue with Disney taking liberties with the characters and basic premise. In fact, Joe Quesada and Scott Lobdell, Chief Creative Officer and the head of Marvel Television respectively, worked with Disney on the project giving their insight and ideas.

     The movie takes place in the amalgamated city name San Fransokyo. We are introduced to our main character, Hiro, a 14 year old prodigy who has already graduated from high school, as he is participating in back alley robot fights. His older brother, Tadashi, is concerned because he feels Hiro is wasting his talent and potential. Tadashi takes his younger brother to the robotics lab at his University, The San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. Hiro is enamored with what he sees; an entire school devoted to new and innovative technology. He is determined to win the annual technology expo, the prize being a scholarship to the school. Hiro creates microbots,: a swarm of tiny robots that can link together in any arrangement imaginable to build structures, moving parts, etc. The microbots are controlled by a headband that allows the wearer to control the bots with their mind. He blows away the competition and wins the scholarship.


The below paragraph contains plot points that could be considered "spoilers." If you still haven't seen the movie and are intrigued, skip the next paragraph until you get to the picture of the very cuddly Baymax.


      Unfortunately, a fire breaks out at the expo and Tadashi perishes trying to save his mentor, Professor Callaghan, the head of the robotics division. Hiro is devastated and even after winning the scholarship, does not go to the school and stays withdrawn in his room.  While in his room, he accidentally activates Baymax, a big, inflatable "health care companion" his brother had invented. Baymax senses Hiro's sadness and tasks himself with helping Hiro feel better. While trying to help Hiro, Baymax finds one of Hiro's microbots actively trying to leave the apartment. Hiro is baffled by this development as he thought all of the microbots were lost in the expo fire. Hiro and Baymax follow the microbot to a factory full of his creation someone was mass-producing them and that they are controlled by a mysterious masked man. The rest of the story focuses on Hiro's obsession with this masked man and his obvious involvement in his brother's death. For what most people would deem a kid's movie, this was a deep aspect and it was handled excellently. At one point Baymax even asks Hiro if killing the masked man would make him feel better. Woah....



OK, spoiler over. Here's that cuddly picture of Baymax I promised.

look at 'em! He's so adorable!

look at 'em! He's so adorable! Frank Landau has warned me, this movie is still relatively new (by his old man standards at least) and we don't want to give away any more spoilers. I won't reveal any of the rest of the plot. I promise. I will just give you the run down on the super hero team known as.... BIG HERO 6!

     When Hiro runs from the mysterious masked man controlling his microbots, he runs into Tadashi's friends from the institute. They help Hiro escape from the masked man and they decide they want to help him stop this masked terror.

Here's our bad guy. His name is Yokai. Frank mentioned how weird he thought it was that this guy has a name but it's never mentioned in the movie. Weird.

Here's our bad guy. His name is Yokai. Frank mentioned how weird he thought it was that this guy has a name but it's never mentioned in the movie. Weird.


Hiro creates superhero suits for the entire team based on their abilities and areas of expertise. He even upgrades Baymax's programming with a martial arts chip and some pretty boss armor. Here's a run down on the team members:


Hiro Hamata:  Hiro's battle suit functions mostly as body armor to protect him from damage. It also allows him to hold onto Baymax while he is in flight. His suit does have a number of enhancements, especially his helmet, which has a heads-up display (HUD for you gamer nerds) and a communications array that allows him to contact team members no matter the distance. His most prominent ability is his ingenuity and creativity. He created Baymax's battle suit, his combat training chip, and all of the other team members power suits. He is incredibly intelligent and inventive.


Baymax:  In his original, squishy, inflatable vinyl form, Baymax was intended to be a a healthcare providing robot. Tadashi designed him strictly to help mankind. He is designed to hold massive amounts of data for the purpose of his programming, so he is upgrade-able. He is automatically summoned by the sound of distress (like someone being hurt) and does not deactivate until the patient says "I am satisfied with my care." He is also equipped with a plethora of medical procedures and equipment, such as defibrillators equipped in his hands and a bacitracin spray. His cuddly, safe-looking design doesn't allow for him to be very mobile, in fact in this form he walks like a penguin. 

  After the first interaction with Yokai, Hiro knows this is the man who stole his design, among other things. He realizes that Baymax needs both a physical overhaul and a programming upgrade if he wants to be able to defeat this possible enemy. Hiro designs the red battle suit for Baymax which enables him incredible strength, flight, and a scanning system within his helmet. The scanning system is able to find anyone in San Fransokyo based on their medical condition (temperature, heart rate, etc). Baymax also has incredibly powerful rocket fists. 


GoGo Tomago:  GoGo was at the Institute working on a bike that would have intense, almost unimaginable speed through the use of electro-magnetic fields holding the wheels in place. This technology was seen in Hiro's design for her super suit. The discs act as wheels and a mode of transportation but are also weapons, very similar to the discs from another Disney movie, Tron.  The discs, since they are magnetic, automatically return to GoGo after they are thrown. 


Wasabi-No Ginger: Wasabi's suit contains a pair of retractable plasma blades housed in the forearms. These blades are razor sharp and can slice through most, if not all, materials with relative ease. While at the Institute, Wasabi had created the technology for his suits main weapon through laser induced plasma. He has a background in martial arts so he is able to hold his own in a fight even if he is a bit neurotic and OCD. 


Fred:  Hiro creates Fred a suit that enables him to show off two of his biggest loves: Japanese monster movies and comic books. The "Fredzilla"  suit is based on a Kaiju, or japanese monster. The suit has the ability to make Fred jump incredibly high and contains a flamethrower in the mouth of the suit. It is a fire-resistant exoskeleton. Fred also showcases his ability as a sign spinner, which doesn't seem like much of a skill, but proves useful in battle.

Honey Lemon:  Honey is a chemistry fanatic! Hiro integrates her love of chemistry into her battle suit, equipping it with a special purse  that has a miniature chem lab inside. It has a touch screen with the periodic table on it that is capable of creating various weapons she can throw called "chem-balls." Honey can create chem-balls that can harden around an enemy and slow them down, cushioning foam that can help a teammate who is falling, ice to freeze enemies, and smokescreens for camouflage.


     If you haven't seen the movie, take advantage of your holiday time off and go see it! Seriously, it's that good. It's a Disney movie, and has a kid feel to it being animated, but the movie tackles some serious issues like personal loss and vengeance. It teaches valuable lessons and is enjoyable regardless of who you are. It's fun, it's touching and in the end, there isn't a dull moment through the entire movie. And for you Shamalan fans, there's even a twist! Check it out in theaters or when it comes out on DVD.




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