MORAV: The History of Robotic Warfare

The M.O.R.A.V. (Multi-Operational Robotic Armored Vehicle) world, created by Fon Davis, began life, conceptually at least, as a live-action TV show. An ambitious project, work on it has since gone into abeyance — not abandoned, just gathering its forces for the next assault.

Meanwhile Davis started work on a six-part comic series of the M.O.R.A.V. tale, which Undead Backbrain reported on back in June last year. That apparently fell through, but Davis subsequently found a publisher interested in a graphic novel version.


M.O.R.A.V. chronicles the earliest days of giant robotic warfare. We are introduced to Lt. Michael Okeda, a cocky fighter pilot who is thrust into a daunting new world of armed conflict, where he and his fellow soldiers must fight for their lives.

For a full synopsis, go to the website.

Creator Fon Davis reports:

We’ve taken what was going to be the 132 page 6 issue comic book series and combined it in to a single graphic novel, which will include an extra 30 pages of bonus material.

So, the M.O.R.A.V.: History of Robotic Warfare graphic novel is 160 pages long. If you or anyone you know wants to order a copy, there is a link on my website I will be signing exclusive advance copies of M.O.R.A.V.: The History of Robotic Warfare at Comic-Con 2010 in San Diego.

The story features giant robots of the mecha kind, used not only for policing, but as combat weapons once World War Three breaks out. Davis commented in regards to the TV show:

If you like robot science fiction, MORAV could be what you’ve always wanted to see but no one has done. This kind of gritty realism is uncommon in the robot science fiction genre. [It] is heavily focused on keeping stories character based and making the environment tangible. There is an effort to bring the audience into a world where robots really walk the streets. The robots in this series do not jump, fly, and shoot lasers out of their eyes. They are designed the way giant robots would be if they were real.

In regards to the live-action version, Davis added:

I am going back to producing the live action webisodes of M.O.R.A.V. this August.  I’m really looking forward to getting back to the live action series.  Here is a sneak peak at the 1/6 scale Gen 1 M.O.R.A.V. we’re building for that series right now in my studio [see below].

  • Source: Fon Davis via Kaiju Search-Robot Avery. Written by Robert Hood.

War of the Worlds Goes Steampunk

Once again, H.G. Wells’ classic invasion tale, The War of the Worlds, is being retold in a different format. This time the story is the inspiration for War of the Worlds: Goliath — an animated film that gives the Martian tripods and Earth’s defense forces a steampunk-ish makeover.


Director Joe Pearson provided the following synopsis:

It’s an R rated, retro-history, steam-punk epic set in 1914, fourteen years after the first failed Martian invasion. Mankind has rebuilt her cities and military by adapting a lot of the abandoned Martian technology. They’ve created an international defense force, A.R.E.S., based on the lower end of Manhattan and under the command of Theaodore Roosevelt. They’ve built a formidable force centered around giant, steam-powered battle tripods [such as the sub-titular Goliath]. Think of Band of Brothers meets Star Wars, meets World WO. It will be cool steam-powered battle tripods, doomed Cossack cavalry charges, Victorian decco, steam-punk Manhattan, 1500-foot-long armored battle zeppelins, Teddy Roosevelt, souped up tri-planes, blood on steaming metal, sex in the cockpit… the usual.”

WotW: Goliath‘s budget is around $3 million, and the film is envisaged as a sequel to the novel by H.G. Wells. Originally intended to be part of a series of Heavy Metal videos, it is being co-produced by Kevin Eastman (owner of Heavy Metal).

Check out these cool production images of the tripods and the homeland defense vehicles:





For more images and an extended description of the project, see the production blog and also the Heavy Metal Magazine Fan page.

Creating Robot 13

Undead Backbrain has just posted an extensive interview with Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford, creators of a new comic series called Robot 13, which features the existential wanderings of a robot seeking clues to his own identity and fighting giant mythological monsters in the process.


The creators of the comic discuss their concept for Robot 13, both narratively and pictorially, recount how they got together to form Blacklist Studios, the influences behind the art of Robot 13 and much else besides.

Part One of the interview begins here.


A new independently created and published comic — along with a proposed and long-in-development TV series — has been announced. Created by SFX designer Fon Davis, M.O.R.A.V. Multi-operational Robotic Armoured Vehicle seeks to depict in a realistic fashion the development of a robot army as part of future global conflict. The first issue of the comic is completed, with five further parts under way.


More information on Undead Backbrain.



This is Robot-13. He’s the main protagonist of a cool new comic by Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford. Robot-13 struggles with ontological issues and wanders the world seeking answers to the perennial question: “Who am I?” He also wants to know WHY he is — though in the meantime he feels an impulsive need to defend humanity against giant mythological monsters.

Find out more about him on Undead Backbrain.

Ditko’s Robot War

Comic artist Steve Ditko and Mort Todd produced a one-page comic series under the name Robot War — for Cracked Magazine (remember that?). It’s a robotic version of the Spy vs Spy strip that appeared in Mad. Here’s an example from issue 225 (1987):