You might be excited to see “Big Hero 6” available in your Marvel Unlimited account after watching the sweet, touching animated film from Disney. There’s a 5 issue miniseries from 2008 that – in theory – offers the comic origins of the film. Is it worth a read?
First things first: this is not the Big Hero 6 you’re looking for.
That said, the Big Hero 6 available on the MU is a fascinating bit of background on the source material for the film, and even occasionally generates some inside jokes within the movie. I have to admit, after reading Big Hero 6, I assumed almost none of it would appear in the film (minus Hiro and Baymex), but it actually turned out that much of the comic did make it to Hollywood, if in an adapted form.
Possibly the strangest revelation about this Big Hero 6 miniseries is that it’s written by all-time X-Men legend Chris Claremont, in what essentially amounts to his take on Manga. Claremont plays fast and loose with Manga sensibilities and abstract realism, to the point that a member of Big Hero 6 is named Wasabi No-Ginger, and it’s because he’s a world class chef, not because he once spilled Wasabi on his shirt.
That’s the other thing – Big Hero 6 in comic form begins with our team already assembled, and occupying the same world as Reed Richards and the Avengers (which is to say Marvel Universe Earth-616). This is obviously an enormous difference between the film, and means origin story characters like Tadashi don’t actually make an appearance in the book.
Likewise, Baymax is far from the adorable, marshmallow-y heart and soul of the comic. Instead, he’s basically a really bad a-word Transformer-Butler. And while we all need more Transformer-Butlers in our lives, I prefer the animated movie version by a mile.
Otherwise, the heroes of Big Hero 6 are strangely similar. Even Fred, who becomes the comedic goofball heir to Stan Lee in the movie, is actually pretty spot-on with his desire to have giant dragon flame powers. In the comic, Fred actually wields the astral form of a monstrous lizard beast.
As far as plot, Big Hero 6 the comic book miniseries is completely and utterly different, and I barely even have any idea what happened. There’s a long stretch of the series where the Big Hero 6 team infiltrates a high school and helps them… win… maybe lose… a football game. Like, American football. It’s almost half of issue four. It’s about as fun to read as physicists analyzing the deflation rate of a pigskin.
There’s some sort of evil presence Claremont uses to sex up the young ladies (*shudders*) but the reveal is so late in the miniseries that I had checked out a while ago.
For the most part Big Hero 6 as a comic is harmless fluff, which makes it all the more incredible that the movie is so substantive. Like I said, it’s a strangely interesting bit of background, and if you like comic book history, it’s weird just knowing Chris Claremont was in any way involved.
But you definitely don’t need Big Hero 6 in its current incarnation on Marvel Unlimited, and in most cases, the comic is probably just going to confuse fans of the movie.