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Hero Overview

Superman...
~ The Iron Giant's most famous quote

The Iron Giant is the titular deuteragonist of the 1999 animated film of the same name and appeared to have a cameo in the 2018 film Ready Player One.

He is a genial 50-foot tall autonomous robot from another world that crash lands on Earth before becoming friends with a young boy named Hogarth who rescues him from his own internal defensive mechanism.

He is voiced by Vin Diesel, who also portrayed Dominic Toretto from The Fast and the Furious series, Xander Cage from the XXX films, Riddick from the film series of the same name, Shane Wolfe from The Pacifier, Bloodshot from the 2020 film of the same name, and Groot from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Description

The Iron Giant is a large 50 foot robot of alien origin, and the main protagonist of the film of the same name, adapted from the original novel by Ted Hughes, The Iron Man. Though built as a weapon, the Giant's crash landing on Earth reset his programming, leaving him with a childlike sense of wonder. The dent on his head is an indicator of this. The Giant is well-armed but will only use his weapons in self-defense, is capable of flight and can also repair himself via a homing beacon in his head. The Iron Giant has eyes that glow and can change to red when threatened or angry and parts that transform and reassemble. He is also indestructible to virtually anything. The Iron Giant's diet consists only of metal.

Biography

In 1957, the Giant came to Earth and crash-landed off the coast of Rockwell, Maine. After terrifying a fisherman by the name of Earl Stutz who called the government upon his return to land, the Giant wandered into the town's nearby woodlands after eating a few vehicles and set his sights upon devouring a power station. He would have been shocked to death had nine year old Hogarth Hughes not been searching for the culprit who ate their TV antenna and shut the power down. The Giant continued to eat local pieces of machinery and later re-encountered Hogarth, befriends him and then proceeds to follow him home.

The Giant was seen by one of the train's engineers Frank Thomas after the train hit the Iron Giant who was trying to fix the railroad tracks that he was trying to eat earlier. This led to him being hunted down by an obsessive and paranoid federal government agent Kent Mansley, after following the train engineers's suggestion on where to find a phone. Kent leaves only to figure out that the BB gun that he was in possession of was Hogarths since Hog Hug was the only thing left of Hogarth's name on the gun. To try to get Hogarth to tell Kent about the whereabouts of the Giant, Kent rented the room that was for rent at the Hughes's residence.

Slowly, the Giant began to learn, through Hogarth's teachings, how to speak, about right and wrong, life and death, and some elements of culture, specifically Superman who Hogarth thought the Giant could relate to since Superman also crash landed on Earth and had to learn everything. After relocating the Giant to a Junkyard owned by beatnik artist Dean McCoppin, Hogarth spent much of his days having fun with the Giant while keeping his existence a secret. Nevertheless, Mansley called the army and General Rogard after interrogating Hogarth into revealing the Giant's whereabouts, but Hogarth and Dean were quickly able to disguise the Giant as another one of Dean's art projects.

A short time after, the Giant's automatic defense mechanisms activated when Hogarth pointed a toy gun at him pretending he was the evil robot Atomo and Hogarth was almost killed by the Giant's eye beams. The Giant didn't seem to understand what he was doing. Dean was quick to dismiss the Giant, calling him 'a big gun' and ignoring the Giant's stammered protests of 'No, I not gun.' After Hogarth left in pursuit, Dean noticed Hogarth's gun, realized why the Giant had attacked, and went to help.

Unfortunately, Mansley spotted the Giant rescuing two boys in danger and ordered that the army attack immediately. The Giant and Hogarth fled, resorting to flight after falling off a cliff, but in one of the attacks Hogarth was knocked unconscious after the Giant was hit by a jet. The Giant thought Hogarth was dead since Hogarth wasn't moving or responding and the Giant was distraught. When the army fired again, the Giant snapped, activating as many weapons as possible, seeming to relinquish his gentle nature and firing upon the army.

The only available option was to fire a nuclear missile from the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), according to Rogard and Mansley. Before it could be fired, Hogarth recovered and confronted the Giant. The Giant recognized his friend and returned to normal after Hogarth told the Giant that he didn't have to be a gun, and instead that he had to choose. After Dean tells Rogard that the Giant is not a killer and only acts defensive when seeing a gun as Rogard orders his men to hold their fire and is about to abort the missile launch, Mansley ordered that the missile be fired anyway after still believing that the Giant is a threat, ignoring the fact that it was targeted on the Giant and thus everyone in Rockwell would be killed. This prompts Mansley to escape Rockwell in order to save himself, only to be stopped by the Giant and allowing Rogard and his soldiers to arrest Kent for his treachery.

Hogarth explained to the Giant that when the missle hit, everyone was going to die. A saddened Giant looked upon the missile and made his decision by saying "I fix." After telling Hogarth 'you stay, I go, no following', mirroring one of the first things Hogarth said to him, he took off into space, heading straight for the missile. Bracing himself for impact, Hogarth's words of 'you are who you choose to be' rang though the Giant's head, and he said his decision to himself before the crash: 'Superman.'

Some time later, Dean had built a statue in the Giant's memory, which was erected in town, and Hogarth received a package from General Rogard which was the jaw bolt from the Giant, the only part the army could find. That night however, the bolt began tapping against the window as though trying to get out. Remembering that the Giant was self-repairing, Hogarth let it go free, saying 'see you later.' The Giant's parts were converging upon a glacier in Iceland, where the Giant's head, still active and smiling, is waiting to rebuild itself again and possibly return to Rockwell to see Hogarth and everyone else once more.

Personality

The Iron Giant is shown to be a childlike and curious gigantic robot after he crashed landed on Earth (which it the result of a small dent on his head) and is attached to Hogarth after he saved him from being electrocuted. As the giant is inquisitive around the boy, he begins to learn more of human life from him, as well as being gentle and friendly. Unfortunately, because his programming has suffered from amnesia, he unintentionally nearly caused harm to others, especially Hogarth, which is shown because he reacted to a toy gun. He soon becomes overprotective to Hogarth as the army tries to attack the giant. The giant learns about fate and death as well and the words from his young mentor Hogarth "You are who you choose to be" which will later inspire him to sacrifice himself to save Rockwell from the missile.

Appearance

The Iron Giant is a slender and gigantic grey iron robot who is about 50 feet tall with glowing eyes that they will turn red if he turns aggressive or sees any weapon in his sight, e.g. a gun. He has many weapons in his chest and arms when he is in defensive mode, and has rocket boosters on his feet which allow him to fly.

Powers and Abilities

  • Superhuman Strength: Because of his massive size, the Giant can perform incredible feats of strength as he is strong enough to rip apart metal structures with his bare hands, lift boulders, uproot trees and crush vehicles.
  • Superhuman Durability: Made from an unknown alloy, the Giant's armor and suit renders him completely invulnerable to harm. Although he can still feel pain, his metal suit hands and all are like skin to him as he can feel something right in his hand. He has survived being hit by a freight train and can withstand machine-gun and missile fire along with multiple high-caliber rounds from tanks, artillery, and battleships. Perhaps the most impressive display of the Giant's invulnerability was surviving a head-on collision with a nuclear missile.
  • Self-Repairing Function: Whenever the Giant is smashed to pieces, an antenna on his head sends out a homing beacon to the scattered parts, automatically repairing himself by making his pieces roll, crawl or move trying to get back to him. There appears to be no known limit to the beacon's range, and it can be detected as far away.
  • Flight: The Giant's feet have rocket thrusters which allow him to fly. The rockets are powerful enough to leave Earth's atmosphere and travel through space at tremendous speed, and even the Giant himself can fly fast enough to outrun and outmaneuver a military fighter jet.
  • Matter Ingestion: The Giant regularly consumes metallic objects as a form of sustenance.

Weaponry

The Iron Giant is equipped with six different kinds of armament that are far superior to any human weapons. The armaments themselves use an unknown type of green energy, enabling virtually limitless ammunition. The weapons themselves do not have official names.

  • Arm Cannon: On his right arm, the giant's arm retracts to reveal a massive cannon similar to a tank gun. The weapon itself fires a blast of green energy that explodes on contact with the target.
  • Laser Vision: Similar to Superman's heat vision, the giant can emit powerful laser beams out of his eyes that effectively destroys and burns straight through metal surfaces.
  • Tri Scorpion Cannons: Three scorpion tail-like cannons that protrude from the giant's back. The tails appear to target enemies with a spotlight before firing. Although the weapons use spotlights, they appear to not be heavily accurate and more designed to maximize destruction.
  • Energy Claw: On his left arm, the giant's arm retracts to reveal another cannon with a claw mounted at the end. The claw itself fires a bubble-like sphere of green energy that appears to levitate and vaporize a target on contact.
  • Spark Spinner Gun: A rotating disc atop the arm cannon that, when the top spins and is repeatedly poked by two extendable mechanical needles, fires small sparks at multiple targets. The sparks impact and are implied to destroy the vehicles it hits. It was used on several M41 Walker Bulldog tanks, all of which had a cloud of smoke after impact around them.
  • Energy Cannon: In the center of the giant's chest, he can charge a gigantic green plasma ball to fire at a large target. The destructive power of it is unknown, but it can be assumed that it would have at least vaporized its target, as the blast appeared to be several kilometers in diameter. This is assumed to be the most powerful weapon in the Giant's arsenal.

Trivia

  • He is constantly thought to be the tritagonist of the film, with Dean McCoppin as the deuteragonist.
  • The specific creator of the giant is never revealed and unknown. The only hint comes in the opening sequence, specifically that the giant comes from somewhere beyond the Earth's moon. It can also be inferred from his weapons that the giant was sent to Earth for unpeaceful purposes. (Note: From a deleted scene from the film, he has a brief vision of robots similar to him destroying a different planet, which can suggest that the Iron Giant originally was a weapon of mass destruction and the giant's original objective was to destroy the earth.) However, the dream sequence also suggests it arrived on Earth by accident.
  • He is voiced by Vin Diesel with some computer effects added; other actors such as the late Michael Clarke Duncan, Tom Hanks, Robert Patrick, the late Pete Postlethwaite, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tim Allen, Russell Crowe, Ian McKellen, Peter Cullen, the late Paul Scofield, Liam Neeson, the late Sean Connery, John Goodman, Kelsey Grammer and James Earl Jones were also considered to do the voice role.
  • The Iron Giant makes a cameo in the 2018 film Ready Player One alongside several other famous characters in the Oasis. He also has a showdown with Mechagodzilla.
  • The Iron Giant also makes a cameo in the 2021 film Space Jam: A New Legacy alongside other characters from other Warner Bros properties attending the basketball stadium in the Server-Verse.
  • Many fans admires the friendship between Hogarth and the giant, since its two people in different size and showing that some giants cares about small people like humans.

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