We’ve finally got word of the first big screen animated collaboration between Disney and Marvel: Big Hero 6 is coming to movie theaters!
Okay, you could be forgiven for not knowing about the premier Japanese super team in the Marvel Universe, since they’ve had very, very few appearances – limited to two short lived series, and a few guest spots, including a recent appearance in an Amazing Spider-Man spin-off special.
The fact remains, though, this team is about to be bumped up to the big time; so we figured a little education is in order.
Big Hero 6 is a government sponsored superteam made up of superhumans with very, very Japanese names – and powers. No, we’re not talking “Panty Flasher” and “Hatai Girl,” or anything, but you’d be pretty close with those guesses. First appearing the pages of Alpha Flight – Canada’s super team in the comics – Big Hero 6 was led by former villain Silver Samurai, and for the most part, their line-up has stayed the same:
GoGo Tomago – Able to transform her body into explosive energy, she’s also a bit of a hothead.
Honey Lemon – A blonde haired blue eyed girl who used magic to transform her appearance, Honey Lemon carries a pouch able to access anything she can imagine. One time, she pulled a woman named Sunpyre out of her purse, and then Sunpyre worshipped her as a god. Good times.
Hiro – The heart and soul of Big Hero 6, and eventual leader, Hiro is a 13 year old genius who built a robot called Baymax – who is also his best friend. Baymax, meanwhile, can transform into a dragon because why not.
Wasabi-no-Ginger – A chef who uses his knives for fighting, naturally.
Fred – A recent addition to the team, Fred is an American kid who can transform himself into Godzilla, mainly because they didn’t have one of those yet.
Additionally, at times the team has teamed up with the only other superhuman in Japan, Sunfire, who has the power to get really hot and fly.
Since there haven’t been a lot of Big Hero 6 stories, there’s not really a lot of plot we can pull from… But there are some constants. First of all, Big Hero 6 is winky. They are superheroes who are one degree shy of realizing they’re in a comic book, and as you might be able to tell from their names, it’s all very tongue in cheek. Beyond that, like their Canadian counterparts, Big Hero 6 has always had to deal with shady government officials, and villains joining – then leaving – their ranks.
As for opponents? Well, that’s a big question mark, as their main bad guy might be, well, a little too much for a kids film. Everwraith – said bad guy - is the embodiment of the spirits of all those killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So you might see how that doesn’t seem like the focus of a fun romp at the movie theater.
Still, there’s a lot to like about Big Hero 6, including their earnestness, the visuals – for a time, their home base was a theme park – and most of all, Hiro, who is a kid pretty much every comic book fan can relate to. If you have a chance, go back and read the recent mini-series by Chris Claremont in particular, as it has more fun and enjoyment at being a comic book than most other books on the stands.