I wanted to put in one more mention of Robot 13 in case you haven’t seen it already. I’d gotten a chance to preview the first issue before it was released back in August, and got a look at the iPhone version via Robot Comics. There are three issues available at this point, and each one has had at least one massive battle as well as a smidgen of history. Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford are doing a slow reveal, telling Robot 13′s origin through half-remembered dreams and sort of a Greek chorus.
They pull from mythology for their beasts, too—so far Robot 13 has faced a Kraken, a phoenix and a Cyclops. I’m sure there will be plenty of others. The artwork is captivating; Bradford makes great use of shadows and silhouettes. His artwork has a very angular, blocky quality to it, very stylized but somehow not flat. Again, though, I’m reminded of Hellboy, particularly with the big red man on the cover of this issue. (Even the bumps on the Cyclops’ head call to mind Hellboy’s sawed-off horns.)
But the story is certainly different. If you liked your mythology mixed with a heavy dose of action, Robot 13 just might be the amnesiac cyborg hero you’ve been looking for. Having seen the two versions, I definitely prefer the print version, because the tiny screen of the iPhone just doesn’t do justice to the big splash panels (and pinup galleries at the end). Of course, I imagine it will be available for the iPad soon, at which point I might have to change my mind again. Parents should be forewarned, though: most of the baddies have lots of teeth, and while the violence is fairly stylized and somewhat cartoonish, there’s still a bit of bone-shattering and limb-rending, so you’ll want to steer little kids away.
You can order the print edition directly from Blacklist Studios (look for the store link at the bottom) for $3.99. Issue #1 is already sold out, but #2 and #3 are still available. You can also get the digital versions from Robot Comics and Panelfly, depending on your platform.
Disclosure: Blacklist Studios provided review copies of the first three issues.